USB Disk by Imesart is a document storage and viewing app for the iPad and iPhone. This is a review the iPad version. It does more than most document storing programs I’ve seen on the iPad so far and has a very large list of supported file types.
Initially the app opens a quick guide to its usage, which informs the user of how to transfer files (either by importing through iTunes via USB lead or by using other apps to save them to the iPad locally such as email attachments), a guide on how to use the interface to view and manage files. This is one of the places the app really shines as it allows you to copy, cut, paste files into user created sub folders, which makes it very simple to sort your files quickly and easily. Viewing files is self explanatory, as a single tap loads up the file for you allowing you to scroll through at your leisure. However, when the device is in landscape mode, you are able to scroll through all files in one folder as a sideshow, which is handy if you find yourself needing to refer to another document whilst reading, as it saves your position in the document when you’re finished with it. It also has the ability to email your files as attachments which is generally a useful feature.
According to the developers, the app will remain free until they feel that it has matured at which point they will add adverts and release a new paid for version with additional, so far unamed features.
The list of supported file types is as followed (taken from Imesart website):
• PDF files.
• MS Office documents.
• iWork documents.
• Pictures (jpg, png, gif, …).
• eBooks (pdf, html, txt, …).
• Audio files (mp3, m4a, wav, …).
• Video files (m4v, mov, some avi, …).
I managed to test a few different formats and here are my results:
I have found the PDF viewer very good due to its short render time when compared to other PDF readers. However I have also discovered that it has an inability to render large or graphic laden PDF files, which cause the app to crash. I have emailed Imesart about this and got quick response saying that it was due to the app running out of memory and that it would be fixed in future updates. It also lacks the ability to use bookmarks, which is annoying with long documents.
The MS Office viewer worked fine viewing the majority of MS Office files, with it only not being able to view the publisher files I tried with it and access files I tried with it. However I am running MS Office 2003, so it might work better with newer versions.
It seems to open all the picture had fine along with Html and .txt files.
The audio files I played with it played and sounded fine, but the app experienced drastic slowdown whilst they were being played. This didn’t effect usability at all but it was slightly annoying.
I tried a bunch of .avi files but I could not get any of them to play, although I was surprised that the .mp4 files played very smoothly with none of the slowdown the audio files caused.
Although this program has some problems it is all together a very handy little app with some interesting features and a very large list of supported file types and is free (for now) to boot. I think the worst of the problems can easily be ironed out with software updates and I will probably buy the full version when it is released. The promise of new features also lends to this and whilst it may not be for some people, its worth at least checking out.
TekGoblin Rating 3.5/5 Gears