PadSync: a great looking iTunes file sharing alternative

By , Apr 18, 2012

PadSync from ecamm is yet another way to access the documents folders of apps on your iDevice. The interface is very similar to iTunes File Sharing, located in the device view of a synced device. The main advantage is that you don’t need iTunes running to use it.

Maybe not enough apps you use have added iCloud support yet. Or perhaps you want to be able to easily drag and drop movie files into your movie app from your computer without performing a full iTunes sync. The rest of you might need an easy way to drag a document from your iPhone or iPad to your desktop. Let’s take a look at how PadSync can help…

The interface of PadSync is very familiar. Its two-pane table view closely resembles iTunes File Sharing. At the top of the window you will notice a drop down combo box for selecting your device. Below that is a list of apps that you have installed on your iPad. At the bottom are options to empty the trash.

After syncing, tap on an app from the list on the left. In the right pane, a Finder-like interface displays the contents of that app’s Documents folder. Items can be dragged out and dropped in to the folder with real-time syncing on a per-app basis. Items deleted from the list will be removed from the iDevice. Items dropped into the area will be added to the iDevice.

What sets PadSync apart from other USB file managers is offline access. All synced data is fully mirrored to PadSync’s Application Support folder in a hierarchical folder structure by device. You will still be able to copy files to and from the app between syncs and changes will be applied during the next sync. If you browse the folder with Finder, changes are updated within PadSync in real-time. This functionality opens up possibilities for desktop utilities like Hazel and Dropbox. Furthermore, if you delete an app from your device, PadSync keeps the files until deleted. If you reinstall and sync again you will recover all files that were backed up.

Now let’s compare that to iTunes and Diskaid. iTunes will not even let you view app data unless the device is connected via wifi or USB. iTunes may back up document data, but it’s not easily accessible without a backup and recovery app. Diskaid provides more options for accessing data and messages, more so on jailbroken devices. Backups are not done automatically and the interface resembles a file browser more than that of iTunes File Sharing. Diskaid also will not let you work with files when the device is disconnected.

The only advantage that iTunes maintains is the ability to sync over WiFi. Also, iTunes is completely free.

PadSync is Mac only and comes with a 30-day fully functional demo. After that, you can buy it for $19.95. Click the link to download from their website.

What do you think? If you find PadSync useful, let us know.

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  • Dan

    not bad, but it doesn’t work on windows

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Geoffrey-Lau/100002282111018 Geoffrey Lau

      It says it only work with mac……………..

      • Dan

        Yeah what I meant to say is: too bad it doesn’t work on windows.

        Hadn’t had my coffee yet

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shu-Tse/100003031122741 Shu Tse

    Cool, I didn’t know that’s where the document folders were for. Now i can simply use dropbox in conjunction with ifile :D

  • Anonymous

    are you serious?

    so in 5 years of iPhone there’s no decent app/tweak to easily import (without iTunes) music in the Music app?
    Pwntunes is a joke. Gremlin won’t work. iFile won’t work with MP3. The others are crap…

    I guess I’ll stick with iSub…

    • Anonymous

      Dropbox to Automatically Add to iTunes folder on the desktop, iFile MP3s to that folder, stream with iTunes match or AudioGalaxy Mobile.

    • Sina

      CopyTrans Manager is the perfect iTunes alternative for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
      I’m using this app since my iPod Classic to transfer/manage MP3s on my iDevices w/o iTunes.
      Hope it helps. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/justinxxvii Justin Amberson 

    Is this jailbreak only? If not how does the app get write privileges to individual sandboxes

    • Anonymous

      The Documents folders for each app have been open to sharing for a while. This is how the “Open In…” functionality works for sharing documents between apps. “Open In” copies a file to Documents/Inbox. Apple also grants USB connected computers to browse these files. Computers typically do not support the iOS file system, which is why it’s not common knowledge. Programs like PadSync have iOS file system support, so they can read these folders and read and write to them.

  • http://www.mobile-world.co.cc/ Akshay Shah

    The trial is 7 days not 30.