Spend less time managing your business and spend more time doing what you love. Regain control now!

Documents Adds WiFi File Transfer

Documents by Readdle has been on the App Store a long time. Before Apple released its Files app, Documents filled the gap with features that made it indispensable for accessing files on iOS devices and doing things like unzipping an archived folder. Although the stock Files app has taken over many of my day-to-day needs for file handling, Documents continues to evolve and adapt, providing tools that aren’t in Files.

Today, for instance, Readdle added WiFi file transfers between a Mac and iOS device to Documents. The system is easy to use and more flexible than AirDrop, making it something to keep in mind, especially when you are moving large numbers of files between a Mac and iOS device.

The WiFi transfer functionality is located in the Services tab of Documents. Tapping that option opens a camera view with instructions to open on your computer. There, you’ll find a QR code. Scan it, and Documents creates a local WiFi connection between your computer and iOS device. To maintain the connection, Documents must remain open on your iOS device.

Once connected, you'll see all the files you have stored in Documents in a tab of your browser.

Once connected, you’ll see all the files you have stored in Documents in a tab of your browser.

In your browser, you’ll see all the files you have stored in Documents on your iOS device. Drag in files to add them to your iOS device or select one or more files in your browser to download them to your computer. With Chrome, you can also drag whole folders into Documents.

The system works with a Mac or PC and over a lightning cable as well as WiFi. In fact, Documents can also transfer files between two iOS devices.

In my tests over a couple of days, I found Documents’ WiFi transfer functionality to be fast and reliable. To test the speed of WiFi transfers, I used it to move 16 RAW images from my Mac to my iPhone X, which together were about 250 MB of data. The process took roughly one minute with Documents. I tried the same files with AirDrop too, which was a little faster, but not much.

With AirDrop available on iOS devices and Macs, you may wonder what the benefit of Documents’ WiFi transfer is. The primary advantage of Documents, as with so many of its features other features, is flexibility. Unlike AirDrop, Documents can move files over a cable, it works with PCs, and it can handle different file types at the same time.

That last point is the one I foresee using Documents for the most. If you try airdropping a collection of mixed file types, the action fails with an error. In the same situation, Documents works like a champ moving any arbitrary collection of files you want.

I’ve become a regular user of Files and find it does the trick most of the time, but I’m glad utilities like Documents are available for those occasions when my needs fall outside the mainstream that Apple’s app covers. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by the process of moving files around on iOS, take a look at Documents’ new WiFi transfer system; it’s very well done.

The Documents update, which is scheduled for release today, is available on the App Store as a free download.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.