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Downloading Directory Files to iPad/iPhone

The process of downloading the Riverside Snowbird Directory to an iPad or iPhone is not as straightforward as it is with other devices, but it can be done. The problem is that Apple did not include a user accessible file system in iOS, and without one, there is no way to download files directly to the device. 

With most PDF files, this shortcoming can be overcome by opening the files in Safari, and then saving them to the device by selecting 'Open in iBooks'.

However, this workaround does not work with some PDF files (such as files that have an encrypted path or files that require a password.) These files cannot be opened in Safari. When attempting to download these files, an error message is displayed in the browser. Unfortunately, if the files cannot be opened in Safari, they cannot be saved to the device by opening them in iBooks. 

While iOS doesn't provide a method to download files that can't be opened in Safari, there are many third party solutions available in the App Store that can download the files. 

Documents by Readdle is one solution. It is a free file manager that can be downloaded from the App Store.  It will allow files that can't be opened in Safari to be downloaded to your device (it also has many other features that you may want to use.)

Follow these steps to download a file to your device with Documents :

  1. Launch Documents and open the app's browser.
  2. Login to the website that has the file.
  3. Locate the file you want to download, and tap on it to load it.
  4. If the file can't be opened in your browser, you will still be allowed to save the file to your device. You can do this by going to the top right corner of the screen and taping on the upload button. From there you can change the name of the document and select its destination, either locally to the Documents/Download folder of Documents 5 or to the Cloud.

Once the document is saved to the device or the Cloud, Documents will let you select which app you want to use to open the file. 

While It would be much nicer if Apple provided a method to save a file directly to iPhones and iPads, this method provides a workaround until they do.