April 15, 2011
Network Storage Access
I found a few apps that allow for access to network storage, e.g., SMB/CIFS (Windows-compatible) network shares (for UR folk, I’m talking about netfiles), AFP (Apple file shares), and WebDAV, as well as cloud storage like Dropbox and Sugar Sync. First off, the question on an iOS device is what do you want the files for? For office productivity like access to spreadsheets and documents, one could go straight to DocsToGo that allows editing of MS Office files, but it only works with cloud storage and content already on or accessible by the iOS device. netPortal, iExplorer, iFileExplorer, and ezShare allow the user to establish conenction profiles to sources such as network storage sites. The best one in my opinion is NetPortal. It’s commercial but it does the best job at giving read access to storage like netfiles and does the best job at viewing the file or allowing the user to open the file in an editing app like DocsToGo; however, one cannot write the edited files back to the CIFS server so for now, it is a one-way street. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have at least read access to remote content when needed. By the way, all of these apps seem to work well with using the device’s VPN configuration to allow tunneling to a provate network when off campus or using 3G (such as UR netfiles).
There probably are hundreds of notetaking apps available in the App Store and Cydia. Besides using Google Docs or some other mobile-friendly but otherwsie web-based app, a couple of the free ones worthy of trial include Evernote, OneNote, Sundry Notes, and Toodledo. Evernote stores notes in the cloud and synchronizes with your installations elsewhere but it’s pretty basic. OneNote syncs in the same manner, and yes, it handles notes, but it is nothing like the app installed on a PC as part of MS Office by the same name. Sundry Notes syncs also but it allows real-time collaboration over wi-fi with other users. Toodledo is more of a task management or GTD app, but it does have a notepad function as well.