Cell Phones

Downsize laptop to iOS devices for travel

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 23rd, 2017 12:47 pm
[OP]
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Jan 6, 2011
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Downsize laptop to iOS devices for travel

Will be on long haul flights and long wait at transfer. Look to downsize the laptop and bring only the ipad/iphone.

Used to load Windows laptop with 500GB SSD via Dropbox (auto sync when arrived) but prefer smaller/lighter device, since power outlet is sometimes unavailable or broken. Plus it's hassle when in middle aisle. MS Surface would be ideal (though storage very limited) but unwilling to invest for just this purpose.

What would be the best way for iOS devices (iOS app, cloud vs storage extension) to manage (review, file/folder rename, multi-select: delete/move, not much modifying) large quantity of files (photos from previous trip, ebooks, xls, doc, movies...etc.).

I can't just use Dropbox on iOS as it does not download the files to device, unless there's separate iOS app that can deal with this.

Thanks a ton!!
13 replies
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
I use FileBrowser Business to move files around. But it is really only accessible within FileBrowser unless it is a photo. I use nPlayer for my entertainment. Both these apps can connect to my NAS and I can download what I need.
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Aug 4, 2008
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Toronto
Gee wrote: That’s too big for travel. The 9.7” is ideal but I’ve seen the 10.5” and it is not much bigger than the 9.7”.
Sorry, I mean the 10.5"
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Nov 14, 2003
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Gotham
Files on Google Drive are accessible offline, if I specify, on my iPad so I imagine Dropbox would be the same.
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Dec 28, 2015
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Westmount, QC
LongLiveRFD wrote: Will be on long haul flights and long wait at transfer. Look to downsize the laptop and bring only the ipad/iphone.

Used to load Windows laptop with 500GB SSD via Dropbox (auto sync when arrived) but prefer smaller/lighter device, since power outlet is sometimes unavailable or broken. Plus it's hassle when in middle aisle. MS Surface would be ideal (though storage very limited) but unwilling to invest for just this purpose.

What would be the best way for iOS devices (iOS app, cloud vs storage extension) to manage (review, file/folder rename, multi-select: delete/move, not much modifying) large quantity of files (photos from previous trip, ebooks, xls, doc, movies...etc.).

I can't just use Dropbox on iOS as it does not download the files to device, unless there's separate iOS app that can deal with this.

Thanks a ton!!
Just get a surface tablet and be covered for everything. ios is not robust enough to handle being the only device
[OP]
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MrWhiteCoffee wrote: Just get a surface tablet and be covered for everything. ios is not robust enough to handle being the only device
Yup. Surface plus DropBox with USB Flash drives via VPN would do, do work on plane and sync immediately off plane.

So iOS still can't match MS in basic GUI file operations in 2017?

An ipad is still lighter/smaller and has more battery life than Surface though.

Plus, besides long haul, I don't really have a use for Surface.
[OP]
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iOS 11 Files is not usable. If you click on the cloud drives, it require connection and there's no way to get cloud drives to pre-download.

I don't think iOS is designed to allow local offline file management.

There's only one more possibility: Load USB Flash Drive and edit content via Thunderbolt-USB Adapter. Has anyone tried this?
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
LongLiveRFD wrote: I don't think iOS is designed to allow local offline file management.
The File manager in iOS 11 is crap. But it’s a step in the right direction.

The problem is not a lack of file management. It’s iOS itself. With the exception of the photos app, all data must be stored with the application.

iOS is like a prison (guess that’s why they call it jail breaking). Each app is stored in its own cell and each cell looks identical. Bunk bed, toilet and sink. The problem is that you can not see who is in he cell next to you. The apps are not aware of each other.

To put this into perspective. If you use the music app and copy all your music into your iPad. The music will be stored in the same cell as the music app itself. If one day you decide to try a different music app, you need to make a duplicate copy of your music into the new app. In effect, you have two copies of the same song on your iDevice.

In your situation, I would select an app to play my movies and another for my music. Just use the app’s internal file manager to copy your data.

I recommend nPlayer for watching videos. You can connect to any NAS or windows share at home and copy your content over WiFi before your trip.

I hate iOS, but I have replaced my notebook with an iPad. It is the best tablet on the market. Haven’t used a notebook since 2011 and I use my iPad for work. Spreadsheets, VPN, email, WebEx etc
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Oct 27, 2013
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Mississauga
Just got back from a big trip (with two 15+ hour legs), we took only iPads - one 13" and one 10" one. I brought a 4TB hard drive and bought a Ravpower Filehub Plus from Amazon.ca. With it, I was able to stream movies, pics etc. from the 4TB hard drive, and also copy my SD cards to the 4TB hard drive using the iPads. Also copied some stuff to the iPad with VLC and downloaded stuff from Netflix.

The 13" iPad ended with 19% charge playing movies the whole time on a 15 hour flight while connected to QC35s via BT.
[OP]
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thesearchfordean wrote: Just got back from a big trip (with two 15+ hour legs), we took only iPads - one 13" and one 10" one. I brought a 4TB hard drive and bought a Ravpower Filehub Plus from Amazon.ca. With it, I was able to stream movies, pics etc. from the 4TB hard drive, and also copy my SD cards to the 4TB hard drive using the iPads. Also copied some stuff to the iPad with VLC and downloaded stuff from Netflix.

The 13" iPad ended with 19% charge playing movies the whole time on a 15 hour flight while connected to QC35s via BT.
Sounds good.

Was thinking the Filehub but small issue: for streaming on airplane, doesn't everyone see your SSID including the stewardess? AFAIK intl flights should still forbid wifi radio, some domestic forbid smartphone or any BT devices.

Also, did the Filehub work as 4G hotspot no problem? given frequency etc.
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Oct 27, 2013
882 posts
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Mississauga
Yeah your SSID is visible, but it shouldn't be an issue while the plane is cruising, and I've personally never seen anything about any airline not allowing BT devices. Rules about mobile devices have relaxed significantly in the last few years, and on a technical level, it doesn't "interfere" with anything. It does depend on where you are though, with the US being the most lax, but on this trip through 7 countries for me, they didn't seem to care too much anywhere.

The Filehub isn't a cellular hotspot, but it can work as a repeater... and I did get to try that, works fine. I had to manually enable N mode for 300 mbps speed though.

Overall it worked quite well (most techies I was with wanted it), with my only nitpick being that the SD card reader is USB 2, while the hard drive attached is USB 3. That made for slow transfers from 128GB cards.
LongLiveRFD wrote: Sounds good.

Was thinking the Filehub but small issue: for streaming on airplane, doesn't everyone see your SSID including the stewardess? AFAIK intl flights should still forbid wifi radio, some domestic forbid smartphone or any BT devices.

Also, did the Filehub work as 4G hotspot no problem? given frequency etc.

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