WebDav on #iPad - Getting Documents On and Off

In response to my previous blog entry, Exploring Workflows on an iPad, where I mention it's hard to save documents off my iPad when using apps like Pages and Keynote, Mark Leeson shares the following suggestion:
Go to otixo.com and set up a free account that links Dropbox, Googledocs, Box etc to their webDav service. Connect Pages, Numbers, Keynote etc to WebDav via otixo and you have a perfectly fine way of uploading and downloading from those services. works fine for me and makes iPad a near laptop replacement now. 
Another possibility--as an alternative to using Otixo--is to setup WebDav using DAV-pocket Lab, a suggestion by Lucie DeLaBruere. And, of course, you can always setup WebDav on your own server:
WebDAV is a web protocol that enables file reading and writing via the web. A few cloud storage services support WebDAV (Source: Cheap Geek)
The benefit of connecting cloud based services like Dropbox, GoogleDocs to WebDav is that the iPad supports those and I can use Otixo as a go-between to save content to any one of those services. This is important because if you create something on the iPad, you want an easy way to get the content out. For example, I spent some time last night creating a presentation Common Goals, Uncommon Approaches in Keynote and I wanted to get it off the iPad to somewhere like Slideshare where I could easily embed it. Using Otixo, I was able to drop it off into GoogleDocs and Slideshare, and voila! here it is (PDF version):

You can see from the screenshot below, there are quite a few featured cloud services...for example, I use Dropbox, Box.net, GoogleDocs, Picasa, SugarSync, and for those that use Microsoft SkyDrive, that's also available!

New account on Otixo showing all the cloud-based services one can add.

For example, if I select Dropbox, I'll get something that looks like this requesting permission:

And, then I should be able to interact with content on Dropbox. Here's what the web interface looks like:

According to the help file in Otixo, here's the process for accessing your cloud stored documents:

This document explains how you can view and edit a text document that is stored on any of your Otixo connected Cloud Services within Pages for iPad.
Editing documents that are stored on a network drive in Pages is a three-step process:
  1. Download and open the document
  2. Edit the document
  3. Upload the document back to your cloud service

Download and open the document

In Pages click on the "Copy from..." button at the bottom of the screen, and from the menu select "Copy from WebDAV".

If your Pages application has been configured to connect to a different WebDAV account, you have to click "Sign Out" to navigate to the server configuration screen.
Next enter the Server Address "https://dav.otixo.com" and your personal Otixo User ID and Password. Then click "Sign In."

You will see the list of your Otixo connected cloud drives. Navigate to the file you want to edit and click on the document.

Otixo automatically converts GoogleDocs Documents into a Word format.
Pages downloads and opens the document - ready for you to edit.

Edit your Document

To finish editing, click "My Documents" in the upper left corner. This brings you back to the gallery of Pages documents on your iPad.

If you want to change the file name, click on the file name below the document. This brings up a text field where you can edit the file name.

Upload the document back to your cloud service

To upload the file to your Otixo cloud drive , click on the "Submit" button and from the upcoming menu select "Copy to WebDAV".
Make sure the Server Address is "https://dav.otixo.com".
From the "Choose Format" panel please select "PDF" or "Word".

Next you will see the list of your Otixo connected Cloud Drives. Navigate to the folder where you want to save your file and click "Copy."

Pages automatically converts the file back to the appropriate format and copies it to the destination.

This process works well, although there is a limit of 250 megs per month of content you can transfer via Otixo. If you want to upgrade, you have to pay $9.99 per month for the business. I haven't tried doing this for a month, so we'll see how that goes!

Another neat aspect of Otixo is that it allows you to access documents via FTP...that could be very useful on an iPad:
In regards to my original problem--working with GoogleDocs, saving files created in Pages/Keynote from my iPad to cloud, opening files stored in the cloud then editing them and saving them back to cloud--Otixo appears to be working quite well! 

Of course, as great as this is, wouldn't it be neat to setup WebDav for your own use in a school district? That would make it much easier to move documents on/off your device. How could school districts set up their own Do It Yourself WebDav for sharing documents among students/staff with iPads, and not have to rely on the cloud-based services at all, eliminating the concern of storing confidential student data in the cloud?

The process doesn't appear too difficult based on instructions above...I'll have to give it a try and share my results here!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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