Header Ads

Getting Over the Absence of USB port in iPad

The fact that iPad 2 was sold out in India the day it was launched may have surprised many of you. Now you may surely want to get one as soon as it reaches the stores in the days to come.. I understand that one of the most important things bothering you is how do you transfer files using your USB drive without using iTunes in the absence of a conventional USB port? If you need to carry Laptop also while traveling why should you buy an iPad?. In this post, I try to answer these questions.

People who buy iPad fall into different categories.
  1. Status Conscious: These are people who buy iPad to show others their latest possession, which, after the initial euphoria , will be lying somewhere picking dust
  2. Me too: These are people with enough disposable income and want to understand why iPad is so compelling device and decide to join the iPad mania.
  3. The Gifters: These are folks who can’t figure out what iPad is good for , but are convinced someone close to them will love it. They haven’t ordered it for themselves but instead for a loved one, as a gift showing the depth of their love. They believe their dear ones will figure out how to use it someday and in the process you may also get to learn about it.
  4. The informed techie: These are folks who read all the iPad reviews published and time is ripe to get one.
  5. iPad Zealot: These are hardcore Apple fanboys who believe Apple WDCs are some sort of religious events and his holiness St Steve directly passed the device from heaven, and anything he brings to this earth is purely magical and is going to transform this World for good. The zealots also believe that those who buy competing products are unworthy like heretics, and need to convert them.
This article is to help the people who fall in to category 2 and 3 and to a limited extend 4 too. It is sad that most iPad owners under utilize it to an extent that they may use it only for browsing and mailing. This is similar to Ferrari owners using their car only for weekend shopping!

To do justice to iPad it is essential that you have access to an Internet connection using Wi-Fi or 3G even while travelling. Without access to Internet connection iPad is a glorified e-book reader, nothing more!

There are many applications in the iTunes app stores which helps in transferring files wirelessly and with ease. Some of them I will discuss here. The most interesting one is GoodReader, others I like to mention are Readdle Docs (http://readdle.com/products/readdledocs_ipad/) and pdf+ (http://fastpdf.eu/) etc..

Good Reader

Good Reader is one of the best pdf file reader with annotations and Acrobat style mark ups. It can read most of the other formats too.
  1. MS Office - .doc, .ppt., .xls
  2. iWork ’08/’09
  3. HTML and Safari webarchives
  4. High resolution images
  5. Even audio and video
It can transfer files as well as sync files just about everything, namely iDisk, Google Docs, Dropbox, SugarSync, box.net and other WebDAV, FTP and SFTP servers. It can manage almost any types of files and if need arises it can even convert them and allows them to open in any application you choose. We are using these properties of Good Reader to transfer any files wirelessly from any locations in the network and open it in any appls of your choice. For a detailed review please read : http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2382542,00.asp

How to transfer any files using GoodReader?

Imagine the situation you have a set of pdf / epub books in your computer which you need to transfer to iPad. You want to do it without using iTunes.
  1. Connect your computer and iPad to same Wi-Fi network
  2. Open the GoodReader in iPad
  3. Press the wireless soft button in the bottom right of Good Reader. It will open up a dialing box shown below.
  4. Open the browser in your computer and type the IP address and port number as shown in the previous dialogbox popped up in your iPad. Once your hit return you will be seeing the following dialog box where you can browse and upload any files which is local to your machine.
  5. Once you upload the files to your iPad press manage files and open in your favorite apps (ex: epub can open in iBooks)

Similary you can transfer a bunch of files at one go, refer to this link http://www.goodreader.net/gr-man-tr-wifi-vista.html

How to connect USB storage?

There are many ways you can connect USB storage devices to iPad. To start with you need a camera connector which is available at Apple stores. These come in pairs which can be directly connected to the 30Pin dock connector in your iPad. One has an SD card slot and other has a USB connector. Using the SD card reader you can download photos and movies from your SD memory, it includes support for H.264 and Mpeg4 formats. You can use the USB camera connector to hook up your camera directly to iPad / iPhone. Some of the storage devices too can be connected through this USB camera connector. HyperDrive (http://www.hypershop.com/ ) is one example of this.

Hyper Drive is different from the usual portable HDD, it is a multimedia drive with its own battery backup, LCD display and slots for different types of memory cards. Hyper Drive uses 2.5” HDD drive can be bought without HDD and can be fitted with any 2.5” HDD which works out to be cheaper. You may recall that Apple reduced the amount of current which can be sourced through its 30 pin dock connector through a firmware upgrade 4.xx. It is reduced to an extend that normal portable HDD which used to recognize earlier ceases to work. Since Hyper Drive is powered using its own battery there is no such issues and it is a perfect companion if you want to carry lots of media files, photos and movies. Since it has a built in LCD display it can be used without iPad too for a quick review.

So with HyperDrive your need for extra local storage is almost solved, but remember that it can be used only for storing multimedia files, it will not work with any other data files. For a detailed review check the following link http://www.cameratown.com/reviews/sanho/hyperdrive_ipad/ This costs around $500/- for 500GB, so little pricy for the convenience it offers.

From these discussion it is very clear that if you want to travel with iPad and wants to watch movies and photos and read books it is better to buy a 60GB iPad and store all your books in internal HDD and movies in HyperDrive.