Some customers have expressed frustration with the way that files are downloaded and imported from cloud storage providers, like Dropbox. We’re frustrated about this too as it has nothing to do with our apps!
First we’ll provide some guidance for settings you should have selected, then give you an explanation of the challenges, then we’ll offer some suggestions, and solutions to make it a smoother process.
This may seem like a long support document, but we wanted to make sure we comprehensively cover the different scenarios that some customers have experienced. Once you find the solution that works for you the import process will become second nature.
GUIDANCE FOR SETTINGS
Before you start using the TrialPad, TranscriptPad, and DocReviewPad make sure that the Document Storage setting is set to be On My iPad. This ensures that your Case File is always saved to the correct location. Open the iPad Settings app, scroll down to each of the LIT SUITE apps, and then change the Document Storage setting to On My iPad. You can still backup and move your Case File to another location, but when working on a Case File it should always be stored in the On My iPad location. This ensures your Case File is always available (not in the cloud) and also prevents the apps constantly uploading and downloading entire Case Files for any change.
EXPLANATION OF CHALLENGES
If you were a user of our legacy apps you will notice that the import process has changed. It is different, especially if you've built up some muscle memory for the old process, but the new way is much better.
The legacy versions of our apps used a very simple integration with cloud storage providers that we created. It allowed users to easily access and download files from their Box, Dropbox, or Citrix ShareFile storage. You would access the cloud storage provider by pressing the Cloud icon in the Cases Screen, tap on the cloud storage provider, select the files to download, choose the case to import them into, and they would appear in the topmost level of the case. You would then have to select the imported files, choose Edit, then Move, and select the location where you wanted the files moved to.
This multi-step process was not efficient, and also had other disadvantages, like not being able to access other cloud storage providers which many of our customers requested, such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox Business accounts, or being able to import from a USB drive.
For our new apps we adopted the standard iPadOS document browser that is part of Apple’s Files app. Apple uses this for their own apps, like Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, so it should be familiar to many users. This has great advantages in that it allows you to import files, not only from On My iPad and iCloud Drive, but also from cloud storage providers such as Box, Citrix Files, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and many other cloud storage providers that integrate with the Files app. You can even import files from a USB flash drive connected to your iPad, which is probably the fastest and most intuitive way to import files!
Importing files using the new apps starts from inside a Case File, so make sure that you are not tapping on any of the cloud storage provider icons in the Locations sidebar in main Case Selection screen.
We created a video to show the process of importing evidence. The video was made with TrialPad but the process is exactly the same for TranscriptPad and DocReviewPad. Tap on this link to view the video on your computer or iPhone while you follow along with your iPad: https://support.litsoftware.com/hc/en-us/articles/360058503294-VIDEO-Importing-Evidence
Integrating with the Files app has been a double-edged sword. It gives the LIT SUITE many advantages, but our users have to deal with the user interface between the Files app and third party cloud storage providers. The window that appears when you tap on Import Documents is not part of our apps, and we have no control over this integration, how it looks, or how it behaves. We are simply using the Apple Files app to gain access to the cloud storage providers.
This integration between the Files app and the cloud storage providers has been a little buggy, and we have contacted Apple and the cloud storage providers about it. Sometimes when you access one of the cloud storage providers it may give an error message saying “Authentication Required” or “Content Unavailable”, or some files may be grayed out and unavailable to download and import into a Case File. Once again, we have no control over this integration, and there have been many posts in the various support forums for the cloud storage providers (especially Dropbox) with these issues. We believe that the Apple Files app and the various cloud storage providers are working on making the integrations more robust.
With the LIT SUITE you need to create a new Case File, or open an existing Case File, and then press the Plus button at the bottom of the Document List, and choose Import Documents. This process allows you to navigate to any folder in your Case File (e.g. Expert Reports) and then import the files directly to the location where they belong.
If you encounter a “Content Unavailable” message, or see files grayed out with the cloud icon next to them and are unable to select and download them, here are some things you can try:
The first is the typical IT suggestion, "Have you tried turning it off and on?", but please don’t dismiss this suggestion. It has worked for other users who have had similar issues importing files from a cloud storage provider.
For example, the Dropbox app includes an extension for iPadOS which allows the Files app and third party applications to access content (your files) stored in Dropbox. This extension is loaded by iPadOS so that the Dropbox app does not need to be running to access your Dropbox content, therefore quitting and reloading the Dropbox app does not restart the Dropbox extension for iPadOS. If issues arise with Dropbox the only way to fix it is to restart the iPad, or to remove and reinstall the Dropbox app.
Restarting the iPad it forces the iPadOS document browser and the cloud storage provider to reload making your files available. Here are the instructions how to restart your iPad: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210631
Some other things you can try:
- Make sure that your cloud storage provider’s app on your iPad is updated by going to the App Store app on your iPad and checking for updates.
- Open the cloud storage provider’s app on your iPad to make sure you can see and open the same files you're trying to download.
- Open the Files app on your iPad to check if you can see and open the same files from your cloud storage provider. If you can't download them using the Files app you won’t have access to them using our apps.
One solution is to use the Files app to copy your files from your cloud storage provider to the On My iPad storage location, then you'll be able to import the files from the On My iPad storage location without any issues:
- Open the Files app and tap on the cloud storage provider’s name in the Locations sidebar (e.g. Dropbox).
- In the document browser view, long-press on the folder or document.
- In the popover menu that appears, tap on Move.
- In the next popover select the On My iPad location and tap on Copy.
- Now when you’re inside a Case File, press on the Plus button, tap on Import Documents, and select the On My iPad storage location.
- You should be able to select and import files very quickly.
However, the best solution that is very popular among our customers is to copy the files you want to use from your desktop computer onto a USB drive, then connect that USB drive to your iPad and import the files from that USB drive. When you tap on Import Documents, just navigate to the Locations area and select the USB drive in the list of Locations. Here are instructions on how to connect a USB drive to your iPad, note that there are differences if your iPad has a Lightning connector or a USB-C connector: https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/external-storage-devices-ipad75b7b23f/14.0/ipados/14.0