Getting files on the iPhone and iPad is some kind of a problem: unless you purchase an additional application in the App Store, there's no easy way to get any file on iOS by default. Sure, you can email yourself some files and open them in Pages, Numbers - still you have to purchase the iWork apps and only documents can be opened in them. This is why GoodReader for iPad sold so well in the first weeks of April: there was no alternative. If you wanted stuff to land on the iPad, you had to buy GoodReader.
Now we have alternatives. I already reviewed Air Sharing HD, iFiles (the app I use every day) and explained how you can easily link your Mac's Finder to iOS using a jailbroken iPad. Filer, previously known as Downloader, is a very nice looking and useful file viewer / document manager available both on iPhone and iPad as universal app.
Filer is not iFiles: it's not meant to import local files (screenshots, for example) and get them out of the iPad (bonjour sharing, Flickr and Facebook upload). For that matter, iFiles is still the most complete file manager I've seen on the iPad so far. Plus, it's got an awesome design. Filer is an app that helps you in getting things on the iPhone & iPad, thanks to Dropbox integration (sadly, no MobileMe), an in-app browser and a handy booomarklet. To get the hang of what I'm talking about, take a look at the whole list of supported file formats:
- Plain Text (.txt and others)
- Rich Text (.rtf and .rtfd.zip)
- PDF (.pdf)
- MS Word (.doc and .docx)
- MS Excel (.xls and .xlsx)
- MS Powerpoint (.ppt, .pptx, and .pps)
- Pages (.pages.zip and .pages)
- Numbers (.numbers.zip and .numbers)
- Keynote (.key.zip and .key)
- HTML (.webarchive, .html, and others)
- Source Code (Plain Text with Color Highlighting)
Filer supports viewing of the following image formats:
- PNG (.png)
- JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg)
- GIF (.gif)
- TIFF (.tif, .tiff)
Filer supports playback of the following media formats:
- MP3 Audio (.mp3)
- MPEG-4 AAC audio (.m4a)
- MPEG-4 video (.mp4, .m4v, and .mov)
- 3GP (.3gp)
- AIFF Audio (.aif and .aiff)
Filer supports extraction of the following archive formats:
- ZIP (.zip, including password-protected archives)
- RAR (.rar, includes password-protected and multi-volume archives)
- TAR (.tar)
- Gzip (.gz, .tgz)
Pretty impressive. Another cool feature of Filer is that, no matter if you're running iOS 4 or not, the app will always remember your position with persistent state. It feels good to close the app and re-open it to find that .RTF file exactly where you left off. So, how do you get files on Filer? You can browse to any URL with the built-in browser to download linked files. The great thing is, you can also open an article and download it as .html document to read later.
If you don't need to download files in the browser, you can also log in with your Dropbox credentials and get files from there. Just navigate through folders and tap on files to download them. Very simple. The design is nice, especially the filetype icons. As for files viewing: I found the app pretty decent at displaying large PDF documents, but it's not Fast PDF. Anything else works smoothly.
Filer is a good app that lets you easily download files from the web and your Dropbox account. It's pretty basic, simple to use and has a pleasant interface design. Available at $3.99 in the App Store.