[Athen] iOS frustrations -- what are your thoughts?

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Tue Nov 26 09:19:36 PST 2019

I always suggest to print-impaired students that reading things on their iPHONE or iPAD during their commute is a good use of time. But showing them how is a different matter entirely.

I myself have found it terribly inconvenient to transfer common formats, MP3, html, rtf etc. to my phone. For example, if I save a file to one-drive, and then locate it in either the Files app or the one-drive native app, I often can't just start it "playing". I have to pick "share" and then I get what seems to be a random list of apps, some of which don't even open my file.

For example, I had a web page that I wanted to read offline. I saved it to my hard disk, and made sure I could open the offline file in my browser. I then moved the HTML over to One-Drive. But later when I tried to open it, iOS wanted to run a podcasting app that didn't even show the HTML file.

I'd like to tell iOS to make VoiceDream reader the default for epub and RTF files; I'd like safari to be the default for html and I'd like the native iOS audiobook player to be the default for MP3.

If I pick an Mp3 off the web, the phone will start streaming it immediately. But if it's in cloud storage, that doesn't happen. If I save an MP3 in dropbox, I can play it by tapping on it, but if I save it in Google drive I cannot, in both cases using each cloud storage's native app. Even the "open in" list for each app is a bit different; is their no way I can standardize an "open in" list so that it is app-independent?

And different disabilities will have different defaults they want to use for reading different file types. Yet, iOS seems to not always show on the share sheet everything that's available or even put them in order by which filetypes they handle best.

As a Windows user, maybe there's just something basic I don't understand about the iOS paradigm. On my Windows PC, I can choose which app will open a file and it just happens after that. No sharing, no list of random apps that are unrelated.



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