Earlier this week, I ran across an interesting article by Sean Aune titled “40 Essential iPhone Applications For Web Designers.” It’s a very impressive list, but I didn’t realize until I started looking for the apps in iTunes that the majority of them were not free. Granted, I certainly don’t mind buying an app or two now and then, but I couldn’t very well justify buying 20 or 30 in one sitting. (plus I like keeping my screens few and meticulously organized!)
I may come back later and snag a database app or two, but I didn’t want to fill my iPhone with reference apps which looked to be not much more than common cheat sheets that you can find anywhere on the net. I discovered some handy references posted to MakeUseof’s website a while back and an idea struck me — it would be a lot easier (and cheaper) to use a file manager and simply store copies of these references, cheat sheets, and other essential files on my iPhone.
I mean, hey, wouldn’t it be cool to be sitting there working on one of my themes and look to my iPhone as a reference tool?
I had tried a couple of different file managers a few weeks ago, but never really found anything that I loved. Most apps that I’d looked into required signing up for an account on a website — and most of them were not free services. I needed something that didn’t require an internet connection for those times when I can’t get to a PC. I took a peek at Pandora Box yesterday and happily discovered that DigiDNA’s FileAid (normally $4.99 if memory serves me) was FREE due to a promotion!
As of this post, FileAid is still free, but who knows for how long?
Per DigiDNA’s website, “FileAid is a file manager and viewer for the iPhone and iPod Touch.” Basically, you can copy files over to your iPhone or iPod Touch wirelessly (by FTP) or via USB using DiskAid, which is their PC/MAC tool which can also copy files onto your device. Personally, I found that FileAid does exactly what I need, and can’t see myself using DiskAid. I love that I can use FileAid to connect to my iPhone via FTP and copy over my favorite tech references and cheat sheets, work-related documents, personal files, and other things that I would want to carry out with me without the need to use a 3rd party website. It’s now one of the most essential apps on my iPhone.
According to DigiDNA’s website, FileAid supports a pretty decent list of file types:
- Images (JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF and others)
- MS Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
- iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynotes, iWork 09 not yet supported)
- OpenDocument (OpenOffice) (Text, Spreadsheet, Presentation)
- Plain Text and RTF (Rich Text Format)
- Audio (MP3, VBR, AAC, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV, CAF)
- Video (standard iPhone formats : H.264, MPEG-4)
- Web Archives
- HTML files
- ZIP Archives
So far I’ve loaded various images, PDFs, TXTs, HTML and DOC files onto mine. Had no problems with any of those and will try out more later this weekend.
FileAid FTW! :clap_tb:
So if you’ve been thinking of downloading a few reference or cheat sheet apps, you may want to consider going a cheaper route using FileAid or another file manager of your choosing.
Turn your iPhone into your own personal library.