iPad for Writers: iPadOS 13 Review

Files and iCloud

The Files app and iCloud have gotten big bumps with iPadOS 13. Files now allows users to plug in external hard drives either via USB-C (on the iPad Pro) or through the use of an adapter. Now writers can back up their work both to the cloud and to an external thumb/hard drive without having to transfer it to a desktop computer first.

In a future update coming later this Fall, iCloud will support shared folders, so writers collaborating on a project can have all their files and assets synced up to one folder right within iCloud.

And if navigating your various Dropbox, iCloud, or hard drive files by grids of icons gave you a headache before, Apple has included new views to make hunting for the files you need much easier, including a MacOS-style column view.

I love the column view. It’s how I had Finder set up on my Mac and the addition of tools like Markup, rotate, and Export to PDF make manipulating files a breeze because I don’t need to import them into apps first.

Files in column view

I do wish I could expand or shrink column sizes like I can do in Finder, especially when file names run long. However, there’s an additional “List” view that hides the preview column and allows the full file name to display in the window. It’s not perfect, but it is a solution.

The jury is still out on iCloud Sharing’s stability, so I wouldn’t cancel your Dropbox subscription just yet, but it’s worth looking at as a potential secondary backup/storage location for your files if you’re worried about one of the other ones failing.

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