by Jason Snell
iPad diaries: Finding FileExplorer
Federico Viticci has convinced me that I should be using a different app to connect my iPad to my local Mac mini file server and to my Linode server via FTP:
MacStories reader Matthew brought FileExplorer to my attention last December; having used the app every day for over a month now, I can say this is my new gold standard for integration between Files and external servers….
What sets FileExplorer apart is its excellent integration with the Files app, which, unlike FileBrowser, is fully independent from the main app and doesn’t require a separate authentication step. Connections you create in FileExplorer (and I tested this with FTP, SFTP, and macOS servers) show up as folders in the FileExplorer location in the Files app; even if the main FileExplorer app has been force quit, selecting a server inside its Files extension will open a connection in the background and display the contents of the connected server, allowing you to browse its file structure.
Yes, yes, a million times yes. I had used FileBrowser for a while, but having to launch the app first in order to enable access within Files was ridiculous. FileExplorer has really impressed me in my first few days of using it, and I think I’ve finally found the perfect solution both for my local files and for remote FTP access since the death of Transmit for iOS.
(Dr. Drang has reasons for preferring FileBrowser, but while I understand them, my use case is far more like Federico’s. I’d be happy never to use the app itself at all—I just want Files access. I hope Apple sherlocks this feature entirely in iOS 13.)