Let me start by saying I don’t yet have an iPad (darn that need vs. want distinction). Therefore, this post is not a review of these different iPad apps for PDF viewing and document management, but more of a roundup of apps I have coveted from afar.
With that said, I have used some of them, but on my iPod Touch, not an actual iPad. If you have anything to add about any of these apps, definitely leave a note in the comments.
Ready? Lets go.
To start with, what some people don’t realize is that you don’t need to find a “PDF reader app” to have a good document experience on the iPad:
Dropbox (Service free up to 2GB, App is free): I am sure you are saying “what the, isn’t Dropbox a file syncing app?’). Yes, yes it is. However, it is also my favorite PDF viewer on the iPhone. If there are any PDFs or other documents I want to be able to access on the go, I throw them into my Dropbox folder and it syncs it up with the app. It’s really great.
Evernote (Service free to store PDFs and images and transfer 40MB/month, App is free): Any regular readers know that I am a fan of Evernote, and they recently released an iPad version of their great app. Free users can sync individual notes/documents for offline viewing, and Premium users can sync entire notebooks and store any type of document.
Box.net (Service free up to 1GB, App is free): Similar to Dropbox, it is a cloud-based service that stores all your files and then you can view them on the app. Box.net also lets you share files with other users. One thing it doesn’t have is local storage which Dropbox and Evernote do have.
Of course, if you just want an actual PDF reading, “there’s an app for that”:
PDF Reader Pro (.99 on iTunes): Allows you to view a bunch of document formats and syncs via Wi-Fi or USB.
GoodReader (.99 on iTunes): Syncs via wifi or USB and has “automatic reflow” to automatically wrap words. It integrates with Box.net, Dropbox, and Google Docs which is pretty cool. GoodReader also views Office, iWork, images, audio, and video.
ReaddleDocs for iPad (4.99 on iTunes): Pretty similar to GoodReader from what I can tell.
iAnnotate PDF (9.99 on iTunes): It’s not just a PDF reader, but it also will let you actually mark up/annotate/highlight the documents. It integrates the PDF annotations right into the file so they carry over to Acrobat or Preview if you send the document to someone. One thing it lacks is integration with Dropbox/Google Docs etc. You have to transfer the files by USB, iTunes sync, or a desktop transfer software.
So there you go, a list to get you started. Any killer apps that I missed? Any good/bad/otherwise experience with any of these? Leave a note in the comments.
Update: I am adding Fast PDF as a write-in vote from people in the comments.