I finally purchased something from the App Store yesterday. I ponied up my $4.99 for FileMagnet (iTunes link). Up until this purchase I had refused to purchase demo-less software from the App Store.
I’m going to Boston later this month and wanted the ability to carry and view some files on my iPhone. Files like ticket confirmations, hotel numbers, and subway routes would be great to have access to while around town. I could have printed them out but that seems like such a waste. Sure, I could have also emailed the files to myself but that still requires a network connection to view the files. I wanted the ability to view the files offline. Currently the only way to do this is on my non jailbroken iPhone is with one of a handful of 3rd party apps available from the App Store. Files, DataCase, and FileMagnet are the three apps that I was familiar with that allowed this capability.
So what made me choose FileMagnet over the other two? It was part ease of use, price, and a video. FileMagnet has a dead simple uploader for getting files onto your iPhone. Just open the file uploader, drop the files into the application, and open FileMagnet on your iPhone. Provided you’re on the same wi-fi network, the files will automatically begin copying to your iPhone. It’s that easy to use. From the uploader application you can also remove files from your iPhone and download them to any Mac running the uploader.
While not a big deal, the fact that FileMagnet was $2 less than both Files and DataCase was a factor in my purchasing decision. Normally I wouldn’t care about $2, but since I was purchasing an application that I had never used before, I wouldn’t feel as ripped off if the application didn’t work.
As for the video, this YouTube video shows just how easy it is to use FileMagnet. I think every iPhone application website should have a video demonstration like this. A video showing the application in use is a GREAT way to demo the application. In my case, it was this video that put me over the top and gave me the confidence to purchase FileMagnet.
Using FileMagnet has been a breeze. After I downloaded the previously linked file uploader, I dropped a file into the uploader.
Once I had the files I wanted to transfer queued up, I opened FileMagnet on my iPhone. As soon as you open the app on the iPhone, the files begin transferring. Within a few seconds the files were on my iPhone.
FileMagnet on the iPhone gives you a view like the one below. Once you see the file you want to look at, just tap it. You can also upload entire folders and the iPhone will allow you to browse through them. FileMagnet also gives you the ability to delete files from within the application.
FileMagnet allows yo to view iWork files, Office files, PDF, text, images, sounds, videos, and more. Depending on the file size and type, the speed of the application can vary. Opening up a 360KB PDF file took about 5 seconds.
While I like FileMagnet, I do have two minor complaints. While browsing a 360KB PDF file of the Boston transit system, zooming in and out on the file seems slow at times. There is a noticeable delay while you wait for the file to refocus. I hope file viewing will get faster in future versions of the software. My other complaint is that you can’t rearrange files within the FileMagnet application. If you want to add a file to a previously uploaded folder, there is currently no way to do this. To their credit, the developer says they are currently working on the ability to rearrange files.
Would I buy FileMagnet again based on what I know about it now? You bet! The ability to wirelessly transfer and view files on my iPhone for $5 seems like a fair price to me.