Three essential PDF readers for iPad

A while ago I wrote about ways to read PDF files on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. Well that post is show­ing it’s age, so rather than com­pletely redo it, I thought I’d dis­cuss my cur­rent three top PDF read­ers, and why.

GoodRead­er is my first choice, go-to PDF read­er on my iPad.

First off, get­ting files into GoodRead­er. It’s simple, and sup­ports iTunes file trans­fer, Net­work trans­fer via WiFi, or down­load­ing from shared ser­vices such as;

  • Drop­Box
  • Google Apps
  • Mobile Me
  • Sug­ar­Sync
  • FTP serv­ers

Next, it’s under act­ive devel­op­ment, with fre­quent new fea­tures, updates and bug­fixes.

As expec­ted GoodRead­er sup­ports PDF and TXT files, but it can also dis­play all of the most pop­u­lar file types includ­ing:

  • MS Office — .doc, .ppt, .xls and more
  • iWork’08/’09
  • HTML and Safari webarchives
  • High res­ol­u­tion images
  • Audio & Video play­back in some formats

Yes, GoodRead­er is my PDF read­er of choice. But, there are cases where an altern­at­ive is import­ant. Enter…

This is a more simplist­ic app that I use primar­ily for read­ing graph­ic nov­els and com­ic-book files. Some are in PDF format and oth­ers in CBZ or CBR format.

CloudRead­ers allows WiFi upload by run­ning a small serv­er that you con­nect to using your desktop com­puter. Here’s some of the cool­er fea­tures of CloudRead­ers:

  • Multi-task sup­port
  • Rota­tion lock
  • iPhone/iPod/iPad touch sup­port
  • Auto­mat­ic­ally add books when files were trans­ferred via iTune applic­a­tion
  • Auto page align­ment (on iPhone/iPod touch)
  • Smooth­ing (from Set­tings app)
  • Default page-ori­ent­at­in (from Set­tings app)

As a free eRead­er and PDF read­er, it’s a bar­gain. There’s also an in-app pur­chase that allows you to share (via P2P) with oth­er loc­al CloudRead­ers users. Very neat.

This is my go-to eBook read­er on the iPad, and has been one I’ve used on the iPod Touch pre­vi­ously.

I’d writ­ten about it here, and it’s still a sol­id app you should check out, espe­cially since it’s free!

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6 Replies to “Three essential PDF readers for iPad”

  1. Hey Craig! iBooks is great as just a read­er but is lim­ited when com­pared to oth­ers lis­ted.

    GoodRead­er really stole my heart with con­nectiv­ity to Drop­Box and oth­er serv­ers (mail, WWW, MobileMe, iDisk, Google Docs,, Sug­ar­Sync, Web­DAV, FTP, etc).

    Very easy for me to be in a meet­ing and grab any­thing I need from my ‘cloud’.

    But since iBooks is free, it *is* a good read­er to have in your toolkit — just not one that I use as often as the oth­ers.

  2. With the com­bin­a­tion of the Drop­Box app, I’ve been mov­ing away from the 3rd party apps. Its really easy to select a doc­u­ment in Drop­Box and add it to your iBooks lib­rary. I sup­pose if my life was strewn over a bunch of dif­fer­ent ser­vices, I’d be more frus­trated, but there is some­thing to be said for the single, uni­fied read­ing app. iBooks is far from it, but I still think its the closest thing you can get for an iPad.

  3. True that — there are a whole host of choices which can lead to a cluttered selec­tion of apps when try­ing to do some­thing. Try­ing them all to find the *best* could get in the way of actu­ally just *using* one and get­ting the job done 🙂

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