Developer: Lukas Foldyna
Price: $5.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The iPad is an immensely useful tool in many different situations. Where it truly comes into its own, however, is when travelling on business. A combination of a powerful text editor and file manager ensures that there’s hardly any need to take a laptop on business, thus freeing up space. With plenty of options already out there, iStorage sets out to be the latest must have file manager for the iPad and it very nearly succeeds.

The main thing that lets iStorage down is its interface. It’s not quite as clear as it should be. A tutorial explains the basics, such as how to set up new places to browse, but once organized, it’s not quite as obvious what certain buttons do.

Plenty of different cloud based services are catered for. Users can connect to iCloud, Dropbox, MobileMe, Box, WebDAV and numerous varieties of secure FTP. There’s no sign of Google Documents support or Sky Drive but at least the main group are covered. Password details can also be protected via passcode functionality, something that other apps of this type have foolishly omitted.

Setting up a service is as simple as entering basic details such as username and password, and away you go. Browsing such content is as simple as if the data was contained on the iPad with a breadcrumb trail making it easy to navigate embedded folders.

Opening a file is simple enough and the source code editor within iStorage supports many file formats such as MS Office file types, iWork and HTML. While it’d be preferable to open such files in a dedicated app such as Pages or Diet Coda, it’s handy for quick edits. Awkwardness lies in actually doing anything more complex with the files. Many icons control what can be done with a file but there’s a certain amount of trial and error when it comes to learning what each one does. A help facility might exist but it involves browsing a website rather than a series of tooltips or help overlay.

It’s little things like the lack of advice and Google Documents support that makes iStorage one step away from being an essential purchase. Priced on the slightly higher end of the scale, it would have been convenient for all these niggles to have been rectified. It’s a decent app but a dose of user friendliness would have gone a long way here.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Productivity, Reviews

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