How to sync and edit documents from my desktop computer on my iPad is a question that I’ve had ever since I purchased my iPad in April of 2010. The good new is that I finally have a good answer, and ironically the apps that facilitate the editing and syncing are ones that I’ve used for years now, one of which has just recently come to the iPad and iPhone… or at least recently came to my attention. Here’s the equation:
Dropbox + Documents To Go = iPad Document Nirvana!
Here is what you need to turn your iPad into a document editing & syncing machine:
Step 1: If you don’t have a free Dropbox account already, then now is your excuse to finally download and install it on your desktop computer(s). Dropbox is a cloud service that synchronizes files between your computers, and keeps them up to date. It runs on Mac’s, Windows & Linux. For example, I have dropbox running on my Mac laptop and Windows desktop computer. So when I save a file to my Dropbox folder on my desktop computer, that file gets save to my account on the dropbox server on the internet. The next time I turn on my laptop, it checks to see if any files have changed, and then if they have, download the changed files to my laptop. It is a wonderful service if you use more than one computer (or computer & iPad/iPhone). The use of Dropbox is free for up to 2GB of data, and then $10 per month (for $99 per year) for 50GB of data. I personally subscribe to the 50GB plan because I store all my family photos there along with all my documents, but I digress.
Step 2: Install the free Dropbox app on your iPad (or iPhone, or Blackberry, or Android phone if you have one) via the Apple App store. Enter the same user name and password that you setup your Dro
pbox account with on your desktop computer.
Step 3: Again via the Apple App store, and install Documents To Go Premium – Office Suite. Make sure you get the “Premium” version for $16.99, as the basic version does not sync files with Dropbox (or Google Docs). Once you’ve installed the app, press the “Online” button on the bottom nav bar, and then the app will ask you what type of account you want to synchronize with. Select Dropbox, enter your account information, and you set.
That’s it! You’ve now turned your iPad into a legitimate business machine so that you can word process & spreadsheet on the go, and sync everything back to your desktop computer. Enjoy!