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Backing Up Files to Favorite Folders on External USB Drives with Scriptable


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Backing Up Files to Favorite Folders on External USB Drives with Scriptable

Earlier today, I published an iPad article on MacStories I’ve been working on for a long time: a comprehensive look at how I use the iPad Pro as a modular computer, serving the roles of tablet, laptop, and desktop workstation. In the story, besides discussing iPadOS 13.4’s new native pointer, I also highlight the USB-C port of the 2018 iPad Pro as one of the key features that’s allowed the iPad platform to become more versatile over the past couple of years. I didn’t mention this in the story, but that flexibility has also also resulted in the ability to create automations for external USB drives connected to the iPad Pro.

When I started outlining the story months ago (it’s been in the works since December), I noticed something: Club MacStories members regularly asked me if it was possible to back up specific files locally and quickly from an iPad Pro, and I always replied that it wasn’t possible due to the lack of utilities like Time Machine or SuperDuper. While that is true (I can do nothing about the fact that iPadOS doesn’t allow for third-party system backup utilities), I also realized something else: if I wanted to back up a specific file – like an important document or video – I could probably take advantage of the file bookmarks technology to gain persistent read/write access to an external USB drive, then write a script that would let me back up files to that location with one tap.

This story is for Club MacStories, Club MacStories+, and Club Premier members only.

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