You probably already know that the iOS 11 file application can integrate services such as Dropbox and Google Drive so that they appear and act like normal folders on your iPhone or iPad . But did you know that you can choose these third-party services in the default storage option for your applications?
Take Apple’s own pages, for example. Previously you’d store files on your iCloud drive, or locally on your iPad. Now, you can choose anything , including Dropbox, as the default save location.
Default document location in iOS 11
In iOS 11, there are some storage location types . First, there is local (stored only on the iPad or iPhone) versus cloud storage (iCloud, Dropbox, etc). Then, there are storage spaces provided by applications , which are local. They appear when a developer makes the file system within their application available for searching in Files. For example, Readdle’s PDF Expert app does this, and it appears in the Files application’s Locations section. Take a look.
These locations are provided by the applications themselves, and the mirrors of the folder structure you will find within the application. This allows an application to make its own internal organization of its files and folders , while making them available to any other application.
Changing the Default Document Location of an Application in iOS 11
What if you want to store all your Pages files in Dropbox, instead of the default iCloud drive? Or maybe you want to keep all your Numbers spreadsheets private and only store them locally on your iPad? Now you can do both. Go to Settings> Pages> Document Storage within the Settings application to choose a default location. Once there, you’ll see something like this:
Choose any of these locations, and they will be used as defaults in the future. Switching to Dropbox or another cloud storage provider is an obvious scenario, but you can also use this trick to use an application such as Readdle Documents as your default storage location.
Please note that you will lose automatic synchronisation of your documents s between devices if you do not use iCloud Drive.
You’re not ready yet?
This feature still seems to be in development and is not yet super-reliable. Also, remember that the Files application now presents all these different types of storage as single folders. This means you can easily find, access and open any of your files , wherever they are stored.
That could make what we’ve explained useless to you, so consider your options before you start changing things . The truth is that storage is now much more flexible and powerful, while at the same time becoming easier to use.