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Old 06-12-2010, 11:18 AM   #1
scottjl
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PadSync (Mac)

http://www.ecamm.com/mac/padsync/index.html

For those who don't like using iTunes to sync applications from their Mac to their Pad, there's an application called PadSync that replaces the small window in the Apps tab of iTunes. Available for the Mac only it sells for $9.95 and also has a free demo version available so you can "try before you buy."

It works similar to the Apps tab in that it allows you to drag files in and out of your iPad apps with drag-and-drop from your Mac files. It maintains a full-copy of your iPad files on your mac (stored in ~/Library/Application Support/PadSync) which can be a handy backup to have. You can run the Mac app and drag file into it even without your iPad connected, the next time you connect it will upload those files into your iPad. You can drag files out of the apps onto your desktop to make a local copy, with or without your iPad attached (since it syncs and stores them locally). Interestingly, you can not use it to delete files out of iPad apps, you apparently must do that within the application itself, but iTunes also works this way so it isn't really a limitation of the app, just how the iPad file management works.

You can view your files in a thumbnail view, or a list view, clicking on column headers sorts the view as expected.

Interestingly, PadSync showed me applications that were not available in iTunes such as GPS HD and Masque, allowing me to edit the graphics and sample files directly in these two apps! Probably not a good idea unless I want to break the app. The iWork applications were all present, DocsToGo, GoodReader, iCab Mobile, SketchBook and Stanza, all behaved as expected when importing files. Obviously the application has to be able to understand the file you're importing to it, while I could drop a Numbers spreadsheet into Stanza, Stanza could do nothing with the file on the iPad.

If you dislike the iTunes interface, have $10 to blow, and want a file-backup of your iPad's documents you might want to look into this app. This app is iPad only for the time being, I suspect it will be updated to work with the iPhone with iOS 4.0.

eCamm also sells another application, PhoneView, which allows you to import and export files directly into the iPhone and iPad.

Last edited by scottjl; 06-12-2010 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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Interesting find... I'm on a PC so can't try it, but really I don't mind iTunes, it always works for me... but I had problems until I actually learned how to use it. iTunes does things sometimes in a non-intuitive way for me, but after I figured it out I never had another problem....

Years ago I used podutil or something like that to sync an iPod without iTunes, but I found it easier to just use iTunes.
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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i don't mind itunes either, but some people have expressed dissatisfaction with the interface. i do think it seems to work better on the mac than it does on windows, which wouldn't be a big surprise. this is another option for people to consider.

phoneview has versions available for the mac and the pc, so i would guess they'll release a windows version of padsync sooner or later as well.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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I don't see the point myself since iTunes is free and does the job.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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I don't see the point myself since iTunes is free and does the job.
Tamara, that puzzled me also - so I went and read the Features section of the developer's website carefully looking for the value in their use case, and it looks like the best description of that is here:

"With PadSync, files are always up-to-date and accessible on both devices. Any changes you make are automatically synchronized the next time you connect your iPad to your Mac. You'll never need to manually manage files."

That description can be found on the features tab of the developer's site:

http://www.ecamm.com/mac/padsync/index.html

So the bottom line is that it syncs changes locally to the iPad - no need to copy newer versions of files over. That is managed through an automatic sync. I don't think that iTunes file sharing has that feature - at least not yet.

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Old 06-12-2010, 03:02 PM   #6
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"PadSync that replaces the small window in the Apps tab of iTunes."

so it still syncs through iTunes? What's the point then?
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Old 06-12-2010, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Tamara, that puzzled me also - so I went and read the Features section of the developer's website carefully looking for the value in their use case, and it looks like the best description of that is here:

"With PadSync, files are always up-to-date and accessible on both devices. Any changes you make are automatically synchronized the next time you connect your iPad to your Mac. You'll never need to manually manage files."

That description can be found on the features tab of the developer's site:

http://www.ecamm.com/mac/padsync/index.html

So the bottom line is that it syncs changes locally to the iPad - no need to copy newer versions of files over. That is managed through an automatic sync. I don't think that iTunes file sharing has that feature - at least not yet.

-- Rique
You can set sync in iTunes to be automatic so I still don't see the point. Personally, when I plug my iPhone and soon my iPad into my laptop, I want to decide whether to sync or not.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:16 PM   #8
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actually iPad doesn't sync through itunes. it reads/writes directly to the ipad.

is it redundant to itunes? yep. and it costs $10. but some people said they didn't like working with itunes, so this is an alternative.

it does have a bigger window. and it offers a thumbnail view as well as standard text view. and it allowed me to peer into some apps that itunes doesn't, although i don't think it should and this is more a bug than a feature.

i was just pointing out that we have another option besides itunes now.

having the local backup is actually nice, i can go and yank a file out on my mac without having to hook the ipad up first. and something i found more useful, i can drag and drop a file into PadSync without the ipad hooked up, when i plug it in next, it will sync in the file. handy for when i am sitting at my mac but my ipad isn't around and i get an email attachment or download some new document i want to read later. i was piling them up in a folder named "sync later" and then i'd have to remember to get to it when i had my ipad around for syncing. now i can drag it in now and forget about it and padsync will add it for me.

will the app be useful for everyone? nope. for some? yep.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:45 PM   #9
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You can set sync in iTunes to be automatic so I still don't see the point. Personally, when I plug my iPhone and soon my iPad into my laptop, I want to decide whether to sync or not.
Tamara, I don't see how to do that. I'm sure I've probably missed something obvious.

For example, using GoDocs (supported under the apps tab in iTunes), I changed the local copy of a file which I had synced to the iPad (using iTunes). After a sync, that change was not reflected on the iPad - I had to manually refresh the copy of the doc within the apps tab by adding the new version (and I strangely had to delete the older version - it did not simply overwrite).

So here's my question: How can I make the sync between my local file - which is referenced through the iTunes app tab - and accessed through the app on my iPad - be automatic whenever that local file is modfied, without requiring any intervention on my part - and strictly through the use of iTunes?

If I can do that strictly with iTunes, I have a real hard time seeing the value for this app - if not, then it makes sense.

Thanks,
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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afaik itunes can't auto update like that. but i don't think PadSync will do that either, unless you alter the copy in the Library directory and it will detect an modified timestamp and update the copy on the iPad.

I can probably test this out if you want me to, or you could try it with the demo copy..

another use for it, keeping 2 devices in sync with the mac. since it auto syncs the files you could have it pull down changes from one device and push the updated file to the other device. itunes can't do that without any manual work.
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:05 PM   #11
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afaik itunes can't auto update like that. but i don't think PadSync will do that either, unless you alter the copy in the Library directory and it will detect an modified timestamp and update the copy on the iPad.
Hmmness... I interpreted this blurb from the features section of the developer's page to mean that it did just that:

"With PadSync, files are always up-to-date and accessible on both devices. Any changes you make are automatically synchronized the next time you connect your iPad to your Mac. You'll never need to manually manage files."

Quote:
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I can probably test this out if you want me to, or you could try it with the demo copy..
That would be much appreciated if you don't mind! If you don't have time or would rather not, I will take your advice and go snag the trial copy. Thanks!

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another use for it, keeping 2 devices in sync with the mac. since it auto syncs the files you could have it pull down changes from one device and push the updated file to the other device. itunes can't do that without any manual work.
There's some value there, thanks!

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Old 06-12-2010, 07:40 PM   #12
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ok. here's what i did..

i created a text file with textwrangler, a popular free text editor from bare bones software, with some content (one line of text) and saved it to my desktop. dragged it into the goodreader application window of padsync while my ipad was not connected.

i connected up the ipad, and padsync automatically synced the text file into goodreader on the ipad.

i disconnected the ipad and quit padsync. i verified on the ipad my line of text was there. then launched up textwrangler and added a second line of text.

i re-connected my ipad, and launched padsync. it went through a quick sync session.

i then disconnected again and quit pad sync. the second line of text was not added to the text file on the ipad.

i started up padsync, dragged the file again from the desktop into goodreader window. connected my ipad. watched it sync. disconnected the ipad.

the second line of text was present.

from this test i can say changes made to the original file, on my desktop, after the initial sync, are not replicated over to the ipad. not unless you drag and drop the changed file into padsync again (which will give you a warning and ask if you want to replace the previous file.

as an added test. i drilled down into the ~/Library/Application Support/PadSync/[device UDID]/com.goodiware.GoodReaderIPad directory and there is a copy of my text file. synced away. i edited that file directly. changes made there were auto-uploaded into the ipad.


one of the times i launched padsync i happened to have my iphone 3gs, running 3.1.2, connected, it asked if i wanted to sync it and i clicked yes. it did sync out a few applications but i can not see their stored files, nor can i drag any files into them. i am assuming this is because 3.1.2 does not support application directories like 3.2 (the iPad's OS). 4.0 will resolve this and i'll be able to drag files to/from the iphone as well.

hope this answers some syncing questions. and i learned a little more about the capabilities and limitations of the product.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:02 PM   #13
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If it works as well as PhoneView does or if the PhoneView folks come out with an iPad version, I'll probably grab it. What's the point? The point is that several times now, iTunes has "lost" music and video files I've purchased. Not just broken the links that tell it where to look for the file, but irretrievably deleted them from my laptop (and in one case, my phone). The last time it happened, I was able to use PhoneView to pull the file from the phone, and re-add it back into my iTunes library--otherwise, I would have had to repurchase it.

Being able to access ALL files from a device is an important thing should you ever need to for backup purposes, and iTunes by itself doesn't give us that capability. If this program does, I'm all for it.
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Old 06-12-2010, 08:06 PM   #14
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i think phoneview will be updated to handle 4.0 soon enough. but if you use phoneview (i do) it allows you access into parts of the iPhone's filing system, but not into the applications's storage. using it with my ipad right now, i can't drop files into GoodReader. PadSync will allow this. would be nice if they would combine both programs into one. but then that might be too much. phoneview does have a free demo version available as well. so feel free to try before you buy.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:52 PM   #15
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I've never used Docs to go so I'm not familiar with how they sync.
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