Working with the Files Interface

Working with the New Files Interface

Don’t be surprised if the new start screen in Storyist 4 for iOS looks familiar. It should. Starting in version 4, the Storyist home screen is essentially the Files app with a few important additions. If you’re not familiar with the Files app, you’ll find information about how to use it in Apple’s tutorial.

Here are some of the new features it brings to Storyist.

Edit in Place

If you’re a long-time iOS user, you know that files originally “belonged” to the app that created them. One side effect of this model was that you needed to copy a file to another app before editing it in that app. If you weren’t careful, you ended up with multiple copies of the file in different apps and needed keep track of which modifications were made in which app. Some apps still operate this way.

However, when using apps that support the “edit in place” Files functionality (like Storyist 4 does), you can edit a file wherever it is stored without having to copy it. This means you can organize your work in whatever way suits your project while avoiding the multiple copy problem.

3rd-Party Cloud Storage Providers

Another main feature of the Files app is that it gives 3rd-party cloud storage providers like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive a single, Apple-approved, way to integrate their services with iOS.

While Storyist 3 supported only iCloud and Dropbox, Storyist 4 can use any provider that supports the Files app. For example, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive all support the Files app.

To set up a 3rd-party cloud storage provider:

  1. Download and set up the cloud storage app.
  2. Open Storyist 4.
  3. Tap Edit in the Locations list.
  4. Turn on the cloud services you want to use.
  5. Tap Done.

Folders, List View, Tags, and Searching

Storyist 3 showed all of your files at the same level as a grid of icons. Using the Files interface in Storyist 4, you can

  • Organize your files into folders.
  • Display your files as a list.
  • Tag your files with a label or color.
  • Sort by name, date, size, and tag.
  • Search across all storage locations on your device.

Share Sheets

The Files interface works with iOS share sheets so you can

  • AirDrop your files to other devices.
  • Send a copy of your file using Messages, Mail, or 3rd-party apps that provide a share extension.
  • Share your work with collaborators using iCloud Files Sharing. (More on this below.)

To share a file:

  1. Tap Select.
  2. Tap the file you want to share.
  3. Tap Share.
  4. Select the sharing method.

iCloud File Sharing

iCloud Sharing lets you share files you’ve stored in iCloud with friends and collaborators who have an Apple ID.

As with iCloud Photo Sharing, you can

  • Give access to the file to anyone with a link, or only to those you invite.
  • Set permissions to let them make changes or just view the file.

Recent Files

The Files interface gives you quick access to recently edited files both in the app and on the home screen.

To see your recently edited files in the app, just tap the Recents tab on the Storyist home screen. To see them on the home screen, press and hold the app icon.

Tapping a file in the Recents lists opens it in the app.

Version History

One thing that the Files app doesn’t offer is access to previous versions of your file. Storyist 4 lets you view and restore previous versions stored in iCloud and in the Storyist folder in the “On My iPad” location.

To view the previous versions of a file, press and hold the file icon and select Versions from the popup menu.

If you want to return to an older version of the file, just select the file and tap Restore.

Note that version history is only available for files stored in iCloud and for files stored in the Storyist folder on your device.

If you’re using a 3rd party cloud storage provider, you may also be able to get version history from the provider’s app or website. For example, both Dropbox and Google Drive support this feature.

For more information, see the “Backing Up Your Work” section in the Users Guide.

As you can see, the Files interface brings some powerful new file management features to the app. Storyist 4 for iOS offers a free trial, so download it and take it for a spin!