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Mid-sized smartphones like Apple's iPhone see most usage, 'phablets' a fad - report

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
Smartphones around the size of Apple's iPhones are seeing the most regular usage among device owners, a new study says, while larger-screened phablets are something of a fad.

eh


A new report out from Flurry Analytics on Monday took a look at the proliferation of screen sizes and form factors in the mobile device sector, finding that mid-size phones ? phones with screen diagonals between 3.5 and 4.9 inches ? make up the majority of device models detected in Flurry's network. Smaller-screened devices such as BlackBerries made up about 16 percent of device models, while so-called "phablets," 7 to 8.4-inch tablets, and 8.5-inch and above tablets made up 2, 6, and 7 percent of device models detected, respectively.

While smaller devices accounted for about one-in-six detected models, Flurry's analysis shows that they're only about seven percent of active devices once users-per-device are taken into account. These smaller devices only make up about four percent of overall app sessions, Flurry found.

yeah


Medium-sized phones ? a category into which Apple's entire iPhone line falls ? accounted for 72 percent of active users and 76 percent of app sessions.

The report deems phablets ? phone-tablet hybrids ? to be a fad, considering their holding only two percent share of the installed device base. Despite the increased screen real estate of these devices, they do not account for a much larger share of active users or app sessions than their install base.

Large-screened tablets such as Apple's iPad appear to have the most outsized use patterns based on their install base. While large-screened tablets make up only 7 percent of the device install base, they account for 13 percent of active users and 13 percent of total app sessions. The report found that, in terms of apps, tablets are largely used as gaming devices, with users spending about 17 percent of their time gaming. Books and video watching, while easier on a tablet's larger screen, don't amount to 10 percent of tablet usage time combined.

flurry-3-130401.jpg


Nearly a quarter of the iOS users included in Flurry's report were using a full-size iPad, while 74 percent were using a model of iPhone. Two percent of iOS users in the report were using an iPad mini, which is a testament to the quick sales of the device, given the more than 500 million iOS devices on the market.

Flurry's analytic network now detects roughly one billion mobile devices in use around the world every month. The last study saw activity on more than 2,000 unique device models.
post #2 of 68
LOL. Ya don't say.

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post #3 of 68
As far as I'm concerned a phablet is anything in that 5 inch range, a la the Galaxy Note and now Galaxy S4. Anything 7" or above ain't no phablet, that's just a plain old tablet. So these numbers are all screwed up.
post #4 of 68

"LOL GYZ THIS JUST APRIL FOOL JOKE SAMSUNG WINNING."

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #5 of 68
It's too early to gauge how well the large phones will fill out the market. As these devices become more powerful I think many people will just have a large mobile phone instead of a tablet and phone. When all phones can be put into a dock and run an HD monitor for watching movies and doing office work, the laptop will be less popular and so will the desktop. We're just a few years away from smart phones completely replacing our regular work stations and laptops. I'm sure there are a few people for whom this has already occurred.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

As these devices become more powerful I think many people will just have a large mobile phone instead of a tablet and phone.

 

Seems more likely that it will be the opposite, i.e., the phablet is a temporary bridge device for people who don't own a tablet yet, or who thought the last wave of tablets were too heavy.

post #7 of 68
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
It's too early to gauge how well the large phones will fill out the market.

 

Three years on is "too early"?


We're just a few years away from smart phones completely replacing our regular work stations and laptops.

 

Good luck with that. What's my incentive to do that when cheaper, orders-of-magnitude more powerful and actually useful solutions will always exist?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #8 of 68

Wait, what? 

 

So the argument is, "there are fewer phablets, therefore fewer connected devices, therefore it's a fad."  Huh?  Um...okay.  So are small phones fads, too?  Looks that way...they've been around a lot longer than phablets and have numbers almost as low. 

 

But how do you get "fad" information from this?  A fad would indicate sudden, then declining interest over time.  Is the percentage of phablet owners connected less than the relative percentage of medium devices connected?  That at least would tell me that getting a larger phone is a predictor of decreased connection time.  But where is the time scale?  Should I conclude that all things that are small in number are fads?  If not, what is the difference? 

 

I suppose 5inch phones could be a fad, but what on earth does this data have anything to do with predicting that? 

 

If I'm totally missing something, please help me out. 

post #9 of 68
I'm shocked, just shocked. The internet lead me to believe that a 5" phone that can't be manipulated with 1 hand and that can barely fit in most pockets is the "ideal" size that everyone is just clamoring for.
post #10 of 68
Apple should just make it so that all their iPads & Touch devices can make phone calls.
post #11 of 68
Wish I could agree with the article but I can't. I never underestimate the ridiculousness of the average consumer.
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

Seems more likely that it will be the opposite, i.e., the phablet is a temporary bridge device for people who don't own a tablet yet, or who thought the last wave of tablets were too heavy.


I agree somewhat and am open to agreeing completely, but for the time being I'm an iPad 2 owner who switched from an iphone to a Note 2 (not because it is better but because I prefer it for subjective reasons).  I read very heavily, and one thing the Note 2 offers me is a screen size that simulates a paperback book very well.  I did read on the iPhone4 and 4S, but not nearly as much.  Since day one with the Note 2, I've been turning to it for all my browsing rather than the ipad.  I did love how the iPhone disappeared in my pocket, but the Note 2 doesn't create the awkwardness most people attempt to dwell on. 

 

There are two issues for me in switching back to a smaller phone (the iPhone, of course).  One is exactly what you said...if the ipad were half the weight so that I could hold it in one hand without getting tired (even my iPad 2 fatigues my hand and it is lighter than the latest iteration), I might be inclined to get a smaller phone and tote around the iPad.  But the second issue is exactly that...I never tote around two devices anymore.  I have a phone that is big enough to impersonate a paperback, and small enough to put in my pocket.  I love that.  I think that I'm in the minority, but it works great for me.  However, I still use my iPad...but only when I'm sitting on the couch at home, and rarely for long stretches like I do with the Note 2.  I'm almost certainly fringe in this regard...if you're not browsing or reading as much as I am, there'd be little point. 

 

Edit: One little thing I love about the note as a "phablet" is that even though I'm using two hands, I can hit the "back" button with a flick of my thumb, and without looking because it is just inside the bottom right corner and has haptic feedback...whereas the "back" button for the iPad is at the top left and requires that I move my entire hand.  It's subtle, but noticeable when you browse a lot.  Two handed?  Yes.  But I don't have to move my hands once I start.  As much as I enjoy the iPad, I enjoy browsing on my Note more.


Edited by Sol77 - 4/1/13 at 10:47am
post #13 of 68
too bad Flurry doesn't adjust the length of each OS bar (and their sub parts) to their proportional size of the total sample. of course if it did, the BB and Windows Phone bars would be really sad to see. the comparison of Android and iOS would be really interesting. but even then, "Android" misleadingly conflates several disparate fragments.
post #14 of 68
Does this analysis also include the iPod touch, since it is pretty much an iPhone without the cellular chip? If not, as for tablet goes is the iPad cellular only counted. It wouldn't be a proper analysis if they include both the cellular and non-cellular iPads and not include the iPod touch.

In addition people aren't asking for an Apple phablet phone, phablets are pretty much useless, people want an iPhone >4in and <5in. The current iPhone screen is too small for browsing, playing games, and for iWork apps.

Just a random question, am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Apple made the phone 16:9 format and not the iPad, considering iPad with its larger screen is better suited for watching widescreen movies and TV shows.
post #15 of 68
Silly article.
{2010 Mac Pro-6 core 3.33-12gb 1333 ram-ati5870-velociraptor 600's-SL/win7/64-Konnekt Live/Onkyo-Dell3007wfp}
{2008 Mac Pro-8 core 3.2's-16GB-evga285} {MBP17}{ipad}{iphone 4 blk16gb}
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{2010 Mac Pro-6 core 3.33-12gb 1333 ram-ati5870-velociraptor 600's-SL/win7/64-Konnekt Live/Onkyo-Dell3007wfp}
{2008 Mac Pro-8 core 3.2's-16GB-evga285} {MBP17}{ipad}{iphone 4 blk16gb}
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post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaqib2 View Post

Does this analysis also include the iPod touch, since it is pretty much an iPhone without the cellular chip? If not, as for tablet goes is the iPad cellular only counted. It wouldn't be a proper analysis if they include both the cellular and non-cellular iPads and not include the iPod touch.

In addition people aren't asking for an Apple phablet phone, phablets are pretty much useless, people want an iPhone >4in and <5in. The current iPhone screen is too small for browsing, playing games, and for iWork apps.

Just a random question, am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Apple made the phone 16:9 format and not the iPad, considering iPad with its larger screen is better suited for watching widescreen movies and TV shows.


I think the phone ratio is well suited to quick checking and perusing of updates, emails, texts, and quick browsing.  Have you had a chance to hold the Microsoft Surface yet?  It was incredibly awkward, and I never, ever want to browse the web on a vertical screen of those dimensions.  I wonder if some of the choice for the iPad size is related to weight and balance?  It certainly feels better to me in the hand than the Surface.

post #17 of 68
Originally Posted by ssaqib2 View Post
Just a random question, am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Apple made the phone 16:9 format and not the iPad, considering iPad with its larger screen is better suited for watching widescreen movies and TV shows.

 

Nope. 16:9 at that size is far worse to use than 4:3. They did the right thing.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

Edit: One little thing I love about the note as a "phablet" is that even though I'm using two hands, I can hit the "back" button with a flick of my thumb, and without looking because it is just inside the bottom right corner and has haptic feedback...whereas the "back" button for the iPad is at the top left and requires that I move my entire hand.  It's subtle, but noticeable when you browse a lot.  Two handed?  Yes.  But I don't have to move my hands once I start.  As much as I enjoy the iPad, I enjoy browsing on my Note more.

 

I likewise enjoy browsing more on any device with the browser back button at the bottom, instead of the top. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Medium-sized phones ? a category into which Apple's entire iPhone line falls ? accounted for 72 percent of active users and 76 percent of app sessions.

 

Medium-sized phones in this report were also a category into which all the most popular under 4.9" Android phones fall into.

 

As someone else said, it's no surprise that 5"+ phones don't show up as a big portion here, since they're not a huge portion of total smartphone sales.

 

Strange report.  Would rather have seen 3.5" and 4" broken out by themselves.

post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

It's too early to gauge how well the large phones will fill out the market. As these devices become more powerful I think many people will just have a large mobile phone instead of a tablet and phone. When all phones can be put into a dock and run an HD monitor for watching movies and doing office work, the laptop will be less popular and so will the desktop. We're just a few years away from smart phones completely replacing our regular work stations and laptops. I'm sure there are a few people for whom this has already occurred.

 

 

For smartphones, including iPod touch, and tables to properly replace laptops, Apple needs to create a proper file managing app, and something like standard photo album app they have. In this app we can store all of our documents, drawings and PDF and all apps which use documents, drawings, and PDF should have access to. I personally use multiple productivity apps, and it is a pain to manage documents.

 

In addition, maybe Apple should add thunderbolt or micro USB 3 to iPads, therefore we can connect portable drives to access our stored movies, pictures, tv shows, music, and documents. i devices do not have enough memory and I am currently using around 500GB on my laptop. Cloud services are waste of money, slow download and upload for large files, and no download without internet connection.

 

 

Just an opinion, let me know what you guys think. 


Edited by ssaqib2 - 4/1/13 at 11:05am
post #20 of 68

It would be nice to see a further breakdown of the sizes. The 3.5 - 4.9" category seems too big, imho. Perhaps split it around 4.2? I think this would be more interesting.

post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I'm shocked, just shocked. The internet lead me to believe that a 5" phone that can't be manipulated with 1 hand and that can barely fit in most pockets is the "ideal" size that everyone is just clamoring for.
That's why Flurry's classifications and the subsequent AI headline are so boneheaded. The study misleadingly counts the iPhone 3GS and the entire Samsung Galaxy phone series as the same type of device. Coupled with the headline, it can lead one to conclude that large screen smartphones are failing while the iPhone sits pretty atop the mountain when in fact these numbers say nothing of the success of phablets like the Galaxy S.

And when it all comes down to it, the success or failure of Android phablets bears no relevance to the potential of an iOS phablet. If Flurry had statistics about smartphone usage in 2006 should we have said Apple had no business jumping into the phone market? If phablets are limp then maybe it's because Apple hasn't made the best one.
Edited by MacVicta - 4/1/13 at 11:13am
post #22 of 68
Originally Posted by ssaqib2 View Post
In addition, maybe Apple should add thunderbolt…

 

That's what Lightning is for.


…therefore we can connect portable drives…

 

That's not gonna happen. Not until we start getting larger (screen) iPads, at least, and the laptops are gone.


iDevices do not have enough memory…

 

The idea is perpetually downloadable media somewhat mitigates the need for local storage for that. 


Cloud services are waste of money…

 

So use the free ones.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzTerri View Post

Apple should just make it so that all their iPads & Touch devices can make phone calls.

I would like this - I could see using the iPad mini as a speaker phone or via bluetooth (without the need to carry a cell phone also). 

post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaqib2 View Post

Does this analysis also include the iPod touch, since it is pretty much an iPhone without the cellular chip? If not, as for tablet goes is the iPad cellular only counted. It wouldn't be a proper analysis if they include both the cellular and non-cellular iPads and not include the iPod touch.

In addition people aren't asking for an Apple phablet phone, phablets are pretty much useless, people want an iPhone >4in and <5in. The current iPhone screen is too small for browsing, playing games, and for iWork apps.

Just a random question, am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Apple made the phone 16:9 format and not the iPad, considering iPad with its larger screen is better suited for watching widescreen movies and TV shows.

 

I use my iPad for college a lot (though I still use my macbook more, due to programs like AutoCAD, Solidworks, MathCAD, etc for windows). I have friends with the iPad and a couple with the Samsung Notes. The pens are really nice but I would hate to work on a 16:9 for school. I wouldn't buy an iPad with 16:9. However, for movies 16:9 makes sense. But a little of math says the iPad has a little more screen area than a 10.1 note despite the smaller screen size ( 9.7vs10.1). If apple would just make a stylus for the iPad, I would stop concerning leaving the iPad in 3 years or so. (Currently have the iPad 2 since launch and it works just fine)

post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post


I think the phone ratio is well suited to quick checking and perusing of updates, emails, texts, and quick browsing.  Have you had a chance to hold the Microsoft Surface yet?  It was incredibly awkward, and I never, ever want to browse the web on a vertical screen of those dimensions.  I wonder if some of the choice for the iPad size is related to weight and balance?  It certainly feels better to me in the hand than the Surface.

 

I never held a Surface, however I have an iPad 3rd gen and my dad has an iPad 2nd gen and a Kindle Fire HD 9in, it does not seem that bad. I just thought watching extra widescreen movies, >16:9, seemed annoying with thicker letterbox.

post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by huffcw View Post

I would like this - I could see using the iPad mini as a speaker phone or via bluetooth (without the need to carry a cell phone also). 

They did for the iPod touch. I forget what it's called though. Its a phone and Apple usually uses the letter "i" a lot......Oh wait, iPhone. That is it, iPhone.

post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

As someone else said, it's no surprise that 5"+ phones don't show up as a big portion here, since they're not a huge portion of total smartphone sales.

 

Strange report.  Would rather have seen 3.5" and 4" broken out by themselves.

 

Agreed.

post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That's what Lightning is for.

 

That's not gonna happen. Not until we start getting larger (screen) iPads, at least, and the laptops are gone.

 

The idea is perpetually downloadable media somewhat mitigates the need for local storage for that. 

 

So use the free ones.

 

Lightening does not have enough bandwidth. Cloud storage are useless without internet connection, my university turns Wi-Fi off during school session. Cloud services are free for few gigabytes, not for half a terabyte.

post #29 of 68

So Flurry discovered that by defining an overly broad category encompassing every popular touchscreen smartphone ever produced, it could conclude that this size category was the most widely used?  I hope somebody got fired.

post #30 of 68
Originally Posted by ssaqib2 View Post
Lightening does not have enough bandwidth.

 

What's it's bandwidth? What's 'enough'?


Cloud storage are useless without internet connection, my university turns Wi-Fi off during school session.

 

Your university is useless, then. What manner of stupidity is that?


Cloud services are free for few gigabytes, not for half a terabyte.

 

Free for all media purchased. Freeing up your device for documents.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #31 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I'm shocked, just shocked. The internet lead me to believe that a 5" phone that can't be manipulated with 1 hand and that can barely fit in most pockets is the "ideal" size that everyone is just clamoring for.

I know you're using sarcasm here, but have you actually seen many claims saying that 5" is the ideal smartphone size?  When people say that want something with a screen larger than that of the iPhone, a statement that I believe is your basis for the sarcastic remark, they don't mean you have to jump up an entire inch.  There are an infinite number of screen sizes in between 4" and 5".  The range I most often see referred to as the ideal screen size by reviewers who get to test all the important phones is somewhere between 4.3" and 4.5".

post #32 of 68
smallwheels said: We're just a few years away from smart phones completely replacing our regular work stations and laptops. I'm sure there are a few people for whom this has already occurred.

I just love reading comments like this. They're clearly made by people who don't actually use computers in their day-to-day work, because if they did, it would be abundantly clear that smart-phones and tablets are absolutely and entirely incapable of replacing workstations, desktops and notebooks for anything but the most simplistic of tasks.

I'll give you an example of how stupid this sounds. I have no idea what it takes to run a particle accelerator, but that won't stop me from saying "we're just a few short years away from smartphones completely replacing high power particle accelerators, in fact, for some, this has already happened".
post #33 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Connell View Post

smallwheels said: We're just a few years away from smart phones completely replacing our regular work stations and laptops. I'm sure there are a few people for whom this has already occurred.

I just love reading comments like this. They're clearly made by people who don't actually use computers in their day-to-day work, because if they did, it would be abundantly clear that smart-phones and tablets are absolutely and entirely incapable of replacing workstations, desktops and notebooks for anything but the most simplistic of tasks.

I'll give you an example of how stupid this sounds. I have no idea what it takes to run a particle accelerator, but that won't stop me from saying "we're just a few short years away from smartphones completely replacing high power particle accelerators, in fact, for some, this has already happened".

Monitoring a particle accelerator isn't a regular task.

post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaqib2 View Post

 

 

For smartphones, including iPod touch, and tables to properly replace laptops, Apple needs to create a proper file managing app, and something like standard photo album app they have. In this app we can store all of our documents, drawings and PDF and all apps which use documents, drawings, and PDF should have access to. I personally use multiple productivity apps, and it is a pain to manage documents.

 

Just an opinion, let me know what you guys think. 

Apple doesn't want a file system or external card reader because it forces users to purchase larger capacity models.

 

An iPad with 16 GB would be enough to hold numerous programs and a card reader would allow people to store data conveniently. Apple could just have one size with or without cellular connectivity. Doing that would make less profit on the high capacity models but I think it would generate more sales over all. A file system would need to be created too. Are there any third party programs that generate a file system for iPads? I know there are already external hard drives designed to expand the capacity of tablets.

 

Of course one doesn't necessarily need to wait for an Apple tablet or smart phone to get these features. I love my Mac but I'm getting an Android phone with a 5.5 inch screen and a card reader. I want it for browsing the web and reading books on the go.

post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Connell View Post

smallwheels said: We're just a few years away from smart phones completely replacing our regular work stations and laptops. I'm sure there are a few people for whom this has already occurred.

I just love reading comments like this. They're clearly made by people who don't actually use computers in their day-to-day work, because if they did, it would be abundantly clear that smart-phones and tablets are absolutely and entirely incapable of replacing workstations, desktops and notebooks for anything but the most simplistic of tasks.

I'll give you an example of how stupid this sounds. I have no idea what it takes to run a particle accelerator, but that won't stop me from saying "we're just a few short years away from smartphones completely replacing high power particle accelerators, in fact, for some, this has already happened".


Word processing; spread sheets, e-mail, presentations, accounting, and document storage are mainly what goes on in offices. Any smart phone made today could do those tasks very easily with the processors in them. Photo editing to some degree and even video editing are now done on smart phones and tablets. The computer chip in your smart phone is more powerful than numerous computers put together that ran the USA's space program in the 1960s. How is it that you can't fathom the idea that such devices in a few years could replace the computers on our desks today? 

post #36 of 68
I watched someone with a 6-ish inch Android phone and realized that they aren't using it as a phone, but a tablet. It's a tablet with a feature checkbox that says "is also a phone".

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #37 of 68
Remember the first 20 years of cell phone usage. Consumers showed a clear preference for going smaller and smaller. Now this preference is being adjusted somewhat because of the internet and all the other stuff you can do on a cell phone. But still, the overriding desire is to have a smaller phone, not a bigger one. Apple could go a tad larger in the iPhone, but it's close to perfect just the size it is, as far as most people are concerned.
post #38 of 68
I've seen a few being operated in the wild now. IMO, they're a niche product requiring two-handed operation, but popular with 'older folks' (50 ) because of the extra visibility and thumb-space of a larger screen. If Apple wants to move into this niche they could do better than the current crop by optimizing for two handed (two-fingered) operation with large, clear buttons and fonts on a 15cm screen (current iPhone being 10cm and iPad Mini being 20cm).
post #39 of 68
Anybody else notice that there are the two most popular categories which apple has had for years(obviously excluding IPad mini)
post #40 of 68
[quote name="ssaqib2" url="/t/156750/mid-sized-smartphones-like-apples-iphone-see-most-usage-phablets-a-fad-report#

For smartphones, including iPod touch, and tables to properly replace laptops, Apple needs to create a proper file managing app, and something like standard photo album app they have. In this app we can store all of our documents, drawings and PDF and all apps which use documents, drawings, and PDF should have access to. I personally use multiple productivity apps, and it is a pain to manage documents.

In addition, maybe Apple should add thunderbolt or micro USB 3 to iPads, therefore we can connect portable drives to access our stored movies, pictures, tv shows, music, and documents. i devices do not have enough memory and I am currently using around 500GB on my laptop. Cloud services are waste of money, slow download and upload for large files, and no download without internet connection.


Just an opinion, let me know what you guys think. 
[/quote]

There are wifi hard drives that are compatible with iPads. I have not tried one but it would be a solution for you. I agree the iOS should have a documents folder that could be used to store office docs, PDFs etc and allow you to choose which app you want to open them.
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