How to view PDF and other files on your iPhone and iPod Touch

This art­icle was ori­gin­ally writ­ten in April 2009. A few new apps have appeared since then, but one, GoodRead­er is now my daily go-to PDF read­er right now. I touch on a few of the new apps here, includ­ing GoodRead­er, but you’ll be back on this page if you want to check out Stanza — a great eBook read­er.


I have to read a lot of fic­tion in the next few months. A lot of Sci­ence Fic­tion to be pre­cice, and it’s so I can cast an informed bal­lot to help select the best of the genre at this year’s World Sci­ence Fic­tion con­ven­tion (World­Con).

As a mem­ber of World­Con, a pack­et con­tain­ing this year’s nom­in­ees arrived in my inbox earli­er this week. Lots of PDF, RTF, DOC and TXT files, for many diverse cat­egor­ies includ­ing best Nov­el, Novella, etc. Not small files by any stretch.

So, to avoid cull­ing a small forest by print­ing it all out, I decided to try and read them on my iPod Touch. In the past I’ve enjoyed read­ing on my pre­vi­ous port­able device, the Palm T|X, so figured that I should give it a try on the Touch. And that got me won­der­ing, is there an iPhone or iPod Touch app to read pdfs? I’m happy to say the answer is yes, but.

The dilemma, how to get just under 200mb of data on to this little suck­er. Well, I solved it, two ways. Here’s how: Con­tin­ue read­ing “How to view PDF and oth­er files on your iPhone and iPod Touch”

Simple update adds iPhone style to your blog

Yes­ter­day I installed the WPTouch plu­gin on this blog. Basic­ally it’s a Word­Press theme that reformats your blog so it’s much more read­able on mobile devices (Android, iPhone, iPod Touch). Full list of fea­tures here.

More than just a plu­gin, WPtouch is an entire theme pack­age for your Word­Press web­site. Modeled after Apple’s app store design specs, WPtouch makes your Word­Press web­site load light­ning fast on touch mobile devices, show your con­tent beau­ti­fully, all while not inter­fer­ing with your reg­u­lar theme.

In prac­tice, it’ll take a blog laid out like this (thanks to Thes­is):

And make it look like this:

Bonus: WPTouch also includes hooks for web­site traffic ana­lyt­ic pack­ages, as well as Adsense mobile accounts, so you won’t miss out mon­et­iz­ing your mobile web­site traffic.

5 favourite iPhone & iPod Touch applications

I recently bought an iPod Touch to replace my very cool, yet aging Palm T|X. The iPod Touch doesn’t yet ‘fit me like a glove’ but I’m sure after time it will, and I’ll doc­u­ment my exper­i­ences with it here.

Pre­vi­ously I’d writ­ten that I was rather unim­pressed with the ‘WiPod’ as I called it then. The fea­ture set looked lim­ited and the price was rather high.

My how much dif­fer­ence a year and a half makes. This is a very func­tion­al device that I’m begin­ning to really appre­ci­ate.

But today, I thought I’d share my five favour­ite iPhone / iPod Touch applic­a­tions. Even though I’ve had mine under a month, be assured that I’ve been scour­ing the iTunes Applic­a­tions store over that month. You may not agree with me, or maybe I’ve missed YOUR must-have applic­a­tion; please let me know in the com­ments below.

But, since I found that app store so handy, it has to be the first applic­a­tion on my list:

  1. The iTunes Applic­a­tion Store: Here’s where you pur­chase your iPhone & iPod Touch applic­a­tions. The store is search­able, and breaks the avail­able applic­a­tions down by cat­egor­ies, as well as rank­ing them by pop­ular­ity and ‘new-ness’. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get more func­tion­al­ity on your device; many applic­a­tions are only $0.99 (in your loc­al cur­rency!). And, there are often ‘lite’ free ver­sions avail­able too. A must have applic­a­tion, and since it’s shipped with your device, you’ve no reas­on to not explore it fur­ther.
  2. Flight Con­trol: Cur­rently one of the hot­test cas­u­al games for the iPhone & Touch. Decept­ively simple…aircraft appear at the edge of your screen; simply touch them and drag a ‘flight path’ to guide them to a safe land­ing on the appro­pri­ate run­way. But wait,another plane has appeared, and now anoth­er! As you can guess, your air­space quickly gets com­plex. A very simple game to play, but much more dif­fi­cult to mas­ter. Well worth the $0.99 it’s cur­rently priced at.
  3. Ever­note: A very cool applic­a­tion that mates up with the PC/Mac part­ners. Basic­ally, Ever­note lets you clip any­thing to an online stor­age vault. You can then view your docs via any browser, or through OS spe­cif­ic desktop applic­a­tions. Unlike social book­mark­ing sites such as Del.icio.us, Ever­note actu­ally clips the web page, pre­serving the state of the page at the time it was clipped. A rather gen­er­ous free account is avail­able, as well as a paid one offer­ing more stor­age capa­city.
  4. Google Apps: Since I tend to do a lot of my work ‘in the cloud’ Google Apps is the applic­a­tion suite for me. The iPhone / iPod Touch imple­ment­a­tion is quite effect­ive at get­ting me access to my ‘office suite’ of tools. Mostly I use it to dis­play and review doc­u­ments I’ve cre­ated and stored there. Since it’s browser based, it uses Safari, which is great for dis­play­ing and manip­u­lat­ing text, but is a pain for text entry.
  5. Safari: The default browser. For me this is an essen­tial tool, for what is the point of being con­nec­ted and not being able to surf the web? The browser works as expec­ted. Depend­ing on which ori­ent­a­tion you hold the device on, pages can be rather tiny, but a simple multi-touch zoom makes them eas­ily read­able. But don’t get me star­ted on key­board entry for pass­words and oth­er logins…I must have fat fin­gers as I’m always mis-typ­ing my logins. For text entry, it’s barely func­tion­al. I hope the recently announced 3.0 OS upgrade will address this.

Giv­en that I’ve got over 70 apps cur­rently installed, and I appear to have a vora­cious appet­ite to down­load and try out new ones, I’m sure I’ll be mak­ing anoth­er post like this one in the future.

Now these are just my cur­rent top five. What have I missed? What are your favour­ite iPhone apps? Please add yours in the com­ments section…I’m always look­ing for some­thing new to down­load and play with 🙂

From the ‘so simple why didn’t I think of it’ category

A friend of mine poin­ted me to this bril­liant post (via iPhone Cent­ral)

The concept is simple; Scan the front and back of all your bar­coded mem­ber­ship cards, and carry them around in your iPhone.

To test it out I went to the loc­al hard­ware store and asked the girl
behind the counter if she could scan the bar­code from my phone. The
first look I got was pure amazement. To her the phys­ic­al card was
trans­formed into a pic­ture on a shiny device. On top of that the
bar­code was scanned suc­cess­fully. The res­ult; a slightly con­fused girl
and a happy me.

My take: I’m going to try this on my lib­rary card and see if this works on my Palm Pilot T|X.

iPhoney — an iPhone skin for your Treo and Palm TX

File this under the fun/cool funny, par­ody and homage cat­egor­ies.

Can’t wait for the Apple Inc. iPhone? Then check out iPhony, a free (as in beer) launch­er /skin for your Palm device. The developer is a respec­ted Palm applic­a­tion / sim­u­la­tion developer who put this togeth­er for fun, and is now tak­ing a bit of heat online for it.

We’re not link­ing to it, as any reas­on­ably web-savvy surfer knows, a simple search using any of the pop­u­lar search engines will reveal many links to the iPhony palm applic­a­tion.
Oh, and Apple is, of course, issu­ing take­down notes to any­one post­ing the actu­al launch­er applic­a­tion, or images of the launch­er — copy­right viol­a­tions you know.

Any­way, there’s lots of free PR for Apple with this issue.…what’s that old saying…any press includ­ing bad press as long as they get the name right?

 Update: after three months, this could be the last sur­viv­ing iPhony link on the inter­nets.