It’s a Match – the iOS Files App and Boxcryptor are a Great Fit
In a recent blogpost we have mentioned the iOS Files app for the first time. But we think it is time for us to tell the whole story of this extraordinary match between the files app and Boxcryptor.
It All Started With a Picture
As we pointed out in the above-mentioned blogpost, it is not possible to display previews of encrypted pictures (or videos), usually. But we also pointed out how to do this nevertheless: the iOS files app.
On iOS devices it is possible to display previews (thumbnail) of images and videos that are encrypted with Boxcryptor by making use of the new files app – after you have already opened the file once and the files app was able to create a thumbnail. Hence, it looks and feels like you would not be using an encryption, yet your images remain strongly protected at all times. But how is this possible? Let us explain how:
The iOS Files App
With the launch of iOS 11 a major change was made to iCloud app, used by the operating system for accessing files, until then. It is replaced by the files app, which was immediately perceived by a lot of Apple’s users as being significantly better than what they were working with before. The files app provides you with productive access to find, organize, open and delete all files that are stored on your Apple devices (no matter which of your devices you are using), in your iCloud account or on any third-party cloud storage provider. This makes browsing your files much faster and more convenient. Provided you are using iOS 11 or higher.
The files app is Apple’s answer to critics that iOS did not have a proper file management system before and was therefore rendered unsuitable as a productivity tool. Since the release the files app has been fine-tuned and is now a real powerhouse for file management. Here are some of its best features:
1. Files is Your Hub for All Files on One of Your Cloud Services
Besides the iCloud, you can access third-party providers (e.g. Dropbox) from within files. So, you will no longer have to worry about finding the right app that your important file is saved to.
How to set up this feature:
- Firstly, you need to download and install the cloud app of the third-party provider you wish to integrate. Once installed you have to log-in to the cloud provider’s app, otherwise Files will not be able to access the files within the third-party cloud provider.
- Tap “Locations” in the files app and toggle the third-party cloud provider you want to access in files (see setup explanation for Boxcryptor below).
2. Drag & Drop:
This feature is one of the most exiting new features, Apple introduced with the new files app. Now, users can select and move files with the tip of their finger and drag them into folders, without having to copy and paste them. You can also drag multiple files and folders: Tap on the first file and hold down. Then you can select other files you want to move, by tapping on them. This creates a stack of files, you can drag and drop around, until they are at the correct location.
3. Sort Files
Another feature that makes files much more convenient to use is the possibility to sort files. Apple offers four different options of sorting: Name, Date, Size and Tags. You find the sorting options below the search bar and on top of the files. Simply choose the best option for your purpose by clicking on it and the files within this folder will automatically be rearranged accordingly.
4. Rename Files
For even better organization of your files, the files app enables you to rename documents and folders. And here is how:
- Navigate to the file or folder you wish to rename, within the files app
- Tap on the file’s name
- Edit the name as you wish and tap done
5. Create and Manage Tags
In addition to all of those great functions for organizing the files on your iOS device, Apple introduced the possibility to add tags to various documents. This makes organization even better and yes, you read correctly above: you can also sort documents according to these tags. To add a tag to a document:
- Tap “Select” on the top-right corner
- Select the document you want to tag
- Tap “Share” on the bottom of the screen
- Tap “+Tag” on the to of the share menu and enter the tag you want to use, or create a new tag to be added to the document
Now you will find all tagged files in the respective tag in the locations section of the files app.
6. Hidden Menu Bar
There is another “hidden feature” that allows users to interact with a file. By pressing and holding on a document or folder, the hidden menu bar will appear, including:
Simply select one of the options to do exactly what it reads with the file.
7. Recover Deleted Files
This is a feature everyone needs. Haven’t we all been there before? Somehow you ended up deleting a file you still need – but Apple took care of this for all of us. We can now recover accidentally deleted documents by:
- Selecting “recently deleted” in the locations section
- Locate the file you wish to recover and select it via the select button in the top-right corner
- Tap “recover” to recover the file – what a surprise
To put it in a nutshell, the files app gives us users a much greater span of functionalities to organize our files and documents. Sure, drag & drop and the recovery of deleted files come in very handy, but the biggest advantage from this new file management app of Apple, is the ability to integrate all the different locations and access them in one single application – and the best about that? Your secure Boxcryptor drive can be added to the locations as well.
The files app truly enables Boxcryptor users on iOS to experience a seamless integration of encryption into the usability of a mobile operating system. Hence, we strongly recommend to everyone using iOS 11 or higher to have a look at the files app and test the mind-bogglingly good integration of Boxcryptor.
Boxcryptor Integration for the Files App
What makes files so special is the possibility to enable third-party apps to have the files of these third-party apps being displayed in the files app. This functionality is necessary to have the files that are stored at a third-party cloud provider accessible in the files app. However, for us at Boxcryptor, this feature allows us to make our secure encryption available much more convenient on iOS mobile devices. And here is how:
With the Boxcryptor app installed it is available in the locations section of the files app (click on edit and you get a list of all locations that can be displayed in the files app). Put the slider controlling the Boxcryptor app to the right, to enable files that are located in your Boxcryptor drive to be displayed in the files app. The cloud provider has to be added to your Boxcryptor drive previously, of course – simply add a provider in the Boxcryptor app and the files saved at the provider will be available securely encrypted in your Boxcryptor location in the files app.
An Expert Tip From Our Developers:
Disable the proprietary app of your cloud provider (e.g. Dropbox) to be displayed in files. This way you may avoid accidently saving an important file unencrypted in the “wrong” location.
Now that the integration of Boxcryptor is enabled, you can navigate to your Boxcryptor drive when browsing your files in the files app. (Note: We used Google Drive on our test system, but every other drive you use will be shown the same way.)
You need to create your encrypted folder(s) in the Boxcryptor app, to have them available and accessible in the files app.
You may now copy and paste or work with files like you are used to inside your encrypted folder, while resting assured all of your sensitive files remain safely encrypted.
Finally, we would like to point out a feature that helps with encrypted images. Within the files app, it is possible to swipe through photos and thereby, to move the images left or right to view the next one. Unfortunately, this function is not available in the Boxcryptor app. That is why we recommend iOS users to use the files app to browse through their encrypted images.
From First Dates to Reliable Partners
As we started using Boxcryptor integrated into the files app, it was exciting. Getting to know a “new partner” always requires patience and care. But we felt the good coming from the connection between the files app and Boxcryptor – especially for you, our users – and we kept working on making it a reliable relationship and a feature our iOS user base will admire a lot. You got a picture that you like a lot? Just drag & drop it to your Boxcryptor drive. It is this easy to encrypt your pictures on iOS now. Because after all, this relationship is not just for swiping through pictures – there are other apps for doing so. 😉
Take Action Now and Protect Your Data with Boxcryptor
Boxcryptor encrypts your data client-side, before it is synchronized to the cloud. We help you make sure that nobody but you can access your data.
Create an account and download Boxcryptor now to make the first step towards more privacy online.