App of the week: GoodReader for iPad

Dubbed the “Swiss army knife of awesome!” by Mashable, GoodReader for iPad has become the de facto PDF reader on the iPad, but it’s also so much more. While its roots are in opening and annotating PDFs on the device, it’s able to deal with everything from Microsoft Office files to high resolution images.

What is GoodReader for iPad?

Put simply, GoodReader for iPad is a file viewer. As well as covering the basics like PDF and TXT files (which you can annotate and mark up), it allows you to open .doc, .ppt, .xls, iWork, HTML and Safari web archives, high res imagery, audio and video files. All your files can even be managed using GoodReader’s built-in folder structure.

So how does it work?

There are a number of key functions to GoodReader that pretty much sum up how it works. The first is the ability to annotate. Open up PDFs within the app, and you’ll be able to add text boxes, stick sticky notes, highlight text, do freehand drawing, include arrows, rectangles, clouds and pretty much every other kind of shape imaginable (just in case you feel the need to get that creative). It’s great for anyone collaborating with a team, and makes it incredibly easy to work with PDFs without having to boot up a laptop.

As well as being able to annotate PDFs, you can also manage files directly within the app. GoodReader has an incredibly intuitive folder structure (it’s intuitive because it mimics the structure you’re likely to find on regular operating systems) where you can move, copy and rename files or delete files. You can email ZIP and unzip multiple files and then send them off via email.

The wealth of options to transfer files that you have saved within the app is one of the stand out features. On a basic level, you can use a USB or WiFi connection or, as mentioned, pop it into an email as an attachment (although obviously we wouldn’t recommend this option for sensitive files that need extra security). But you can also integrate GoodReader for iPad with Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, and other WebDAV, AFP, SMB and SFTP servers. Essentially, the internet’s your oyster!

Who’s it for?

Everyone. At the end of the day, whether you’re downloading a document that you’ve been sent via email, or you frequently have to access business files on the move, you’re going to need some way to view them.

Our favourite feature

Annotating PDFs! This is what GoodReader was originally designed for and it’s by far our favourite feature. The ability to hand draw annotations and mark up PDFs by using GoodReader is as good as it gets on the iPad, and it’s easily comparable to the kinds of tools available on a laptop or desktop. You can even share annotated files by emailing them to yourself, from within the app, making it a great tool for working on projects on the move.

Special mention has to go to the tabs functionality though. You can have multiple files open for annotation and review, and by using the tabs you can easily flick between each document without closing another first.

How much is it and where do I get it?

GoodReader for iPad is available from the App Store for £2.99.  To find out more about some of our favourite apps, head over to our roundup iOS apps article here. Or for more information about iPad, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email

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