Thu, 18 Apr 2013 Documents review - Quality iPhone, iPad file manager from Readdle
Free file manager from Readdle brings almost all files under one attractive roof
- Manufacturer: Readdle
- Pros: Convenient way of organising and viewing files; attractive user interface; ability to share documents; now universal; free.
- Cons: Lacks support for some popular file formats; apparent crashes on older Apple mobile devices.
- Min specs: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Optimised for iPhone 5.
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
Readdle has in recent years put together a quality portfolio of iPhone and iPad apps designed to make your digital lifestyle that much easier. Documents is a recent edition to that portfolio, initially available for iPad only, it’s now a universal app with added support for iPhone and iPod touch. As the name suggests, it’s an app for keeping your documents in one convenient place, particularly when on the move. Those documents include text, audio, music files and web and email content, those files you may not want to commit long term, particularly audio and music files you might otherwise add to iTunes.
Documents comes wrapped in a beautiful and intuitive user interface, which makes the learning curve minimal and accessing files quick and simple, despite a hefty user guide. It's a vast improvement on the very PC-centric ReaddleDocs, which Documents effectively replaces. Documents offers support to varying degrees for iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud based services, so you can copy and shares documents. Support for PDF files includes the ability to annotate those files, which is useful for collaboration on the go, although as yet Documents lacks the same capabilities for Spreadsheets. While the recent addition of support for iPhone and iPod touch is a significant plus, it’s worth noting that the lack of screen real estate makes viewing some files a compromise compared to the iPad.
Despite an impressive list of supported documents, regretfully Documents lacks support for two popular video file formats - .avi and .mkv - a decision that is either an oversight or licensing issue. While there are apps available on the iTunes Store that support both file formats, it's a pity you can't as yet play those files within the otherwise fairly comprehensive Documents. Full support for all eBook formats, a lengthy list, is also on the 'to-do' list, with Readdle claiming in a blog post they are working on improved compatibility. We've also noted the odd crash, when the apps simply quits, although iTunes App Store feedback suggests this might be confined to older Apple mobile devices. On a more positive note, for those still using ReaddleDocs, Readdle provides four ways to transfer documents to the newer Documents, which makes the transition a breeze. However, the ability to copy multiple attachments from your inbox, found in ReaddleDocs, appears to be missing in Documents for now at least.