Access or transfer any file on your network
Where’s My Stuff?
We all know how intuitive the iPad is; literally anyone can pick it up and do things with it (once it’s turned on; sorry, Mom). After I got passed the initial ‘wow’ factor, however my first reaction, and I know I’m not alone here, was “OK, now where’s all my stuff?” Turn’s out it was all right where I left it, of course, but it was NOT on my new iPad, and I couldn’t get to it. FileBrowser changed all that in a big hurry.
Disclaimer: I’m not an Apple junkie; in fact, in a lot of ways I’m the anti-Apple. I use a Droid, not an iPhone. My primary laptop is a Windows 7 machine, and my family server is Windows as well.
Practical? What, the iPad?
That said, I’m quickly becoming the iPad’s biggest fan, but not for the usual reasons. As you may have guessed from the last paragraph, technology for me is a question of practicality, not entertainment. The iPad’s primary claim to fame as an entertainment device just didn’t do it for me, but I’ve come to understand it’s application in some (very) specific business situations, and frankly in those situations it’s unmatched.
But if it’s going to be practical it’s got to be able to access practical information in practical ways. Apple has not made this anywhere near as intuitive as the rest of the device, another in a long list of examples of Apples inability to play well with others. Fortunately, other developers have stepped into the breach. One such developer is Stratospherix, and their FileBrowser application brings practical network and file access “direct to your iPad” for less than three bucks.
Oh, There’s My Stuff!
The install and setup of FileBrowser was a breeze. I’m sure the QuickGuide and Setup Documentation (both Mac and Windows versions, depending on the computer your connecting to) are very nice documents, but I never read them. I installed the application and started right in. Click on Menu, click on the ‘Machines’ button, and there’s the ‘+’ to start adding connections. Connecting to all of the other machines on my network was a snap, but remember that spelling counts here; if the name of the computer for the machine your connecting to isn’t right, it won’t connect (obviously, but…).
Stream Video and Audio from Anywhere (On Your Network)
Once the machine name and login information is supplied, the connection is instantaneous – this thing is fast! Now that you’ve connected to another machine, you can browse the entire directory, including attached devices. You can copy to and from the other machines, or execute or stream files stored remotely. Read that part again – you can execute or stream any file stored on any other device! That means that you now have direct access from your iPad to the 250GB of BitTorrent movies you’ve been collecting for the last year. And we’re back to the iPad being… an entertainment device. Sheesh.
Bottom line, this application has saved me more time and made my iPad use more enjoyable than any other software I’ve come across. It’s one of those essential utilities that you take for granted when you have it, but couldn’t live without.