A number of our applications are able to take advantage of "cloud" storage using Dropbox™. Dropbox is a company which provides 2 GB of free storage (and more for a fee). Unlike Apple's iCloud™ service, Dropbox offers our users several distinct advantages, which extend far beyond its use for our iOS apps:
Interacting with Dropbox is also significantly easier for our apps. For these reasons we have chosen to support Dropbox rather than iCloud. There is no conflict between iCloud and Dropbox, however, and your iPhone can still use iCloud to sync your Contacts, Calendar, and other Apple-supported data.
Click here to get your free Dropbox account
To set up a Dropbox account, simply visit www.dropbox.com and enter the requested information to set up a free account. Having done so, you will then be able to save and retrieve files to and from that account from our apps which support Dropbox, as well as access those files through a web browser on any computer. The first time you attempt to access Dropbox from a particular app, you will be transferred either to the Dropbox iOS app (if you have downloaded and installed that app, which isn't required) or to the Safari web browser on your iPhone or iPod Touch or iPad, and asked to allow access to Dropbox by that particular app.
To have those files automatically synced to a computer, simply download and install the Dropbox software onto the computer, entering the appropriate account information so the software knows what Dropbox account to sync to. Note that you can do so on multiple computers and the files will be synced to all of them.
Now any file that you save from one of our apps to Dropbox will automatically appear on your computer(s) (typically within a few seconds). The first time you do this, Dropbox will automatically create in the master Dropbox folder (both in the "cloud" and on your computer) a sub-folder entitled Apps, and in that folder you will find a folder by the name of the app (e.g., On Hand BT or Athlete's Diary). Any file which you put into that folder will then be accessible to the app on your iPhone. If you have multiple iOS devices (e.g., an iPhone and an iPad), the file will be accessible to all of them. Thus you can upload a file from your iPhone to Dropbox and then immediately download the same file into your iPad; at the same time, the file will also be accessible on any of your computers which are being synced to your Dropbox account.
For some of our apps, the app folder may also have one or more sub-folders. For example, with our Athlete's Diary folder, you may find a sub-folder named Pictures which is used to hold the photos or other jpg images which you are using to annotate your log. Putting files (jpgs in this case) into that sub-folder will make them available to the parts of the app which look for files in that sub-folder.
Of course you can use your Dropbox account for things that have nothing to do with our iOS apps or other iOS apps. Any files or folders that you put into the master Dropbox folder on your computer will be automatically backed up to the Dropbox "cloud," and will also automatically be copied onto any other computers which are syncing to the same Dropbox account, enabling you to easily share files between multiple computers in your home or office. In order for files to be accessible to our iOS apps, however, they must be put into the particular sub-folder of the Apps folder as noted above.
Many of our apps can download files from "web servers," which are nothing more than documents residing on the Internet and accessible to the software. It is possible (as explained in this document) to configure your own computer as a web server, but for many users this can be a tricky process. It's actually much easier to use Dropbox for the same purpose, because, while most of your Dropbox files are private and accessible only to you, your Dropbox account automatically includes one "Public" folder into which you can put files to make them accessible "publically", i.e., "on the Internet." Here's a step-by-step way to provide access to files using Dropbox:
If you install the free Dropbox app into your iPhone or iPad, steps 2-5 can also be accomplished using the Dropbox app on that device:
Although Dropbox automatically syncs files to computers, it has no way to automatically sync the files to iOS devices. For most of our apps which use Dropbox, you simply upload or download (output or input) files "manually" whenever you choose to do so. For some, we provide a method to automatically upload files to Dropbox whenever a change is made, or to automatically download files from Dropbox whenever you open the software. When we do this, we allow you to specify (in the Settings app) whether you want to do this under all circumstances or only if you have WiFi access, and whether you want to limit the number of automatic downloads to once per day.