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MacNN reviews GoodReader for iPad; easy to use, inexpensive

updated 07:50 pm EDT, Fri May 21, 2010

App works with text PDFs, images, audio, video

MacNN has reviewed GoodReader for the iPad. Supporting text PDFs, images, spreadsheets and audio/video files, the app allows users to load, read and organize numerous data files. It also includes a built-in web browser, allowing easy searches for text. It supports WebDAV for direct downloads over WiFi. Users can also transfer documents between the iPad and a computer via iTunes.

GoodReader's organizational capabilities are a strength, allowing users to organize document types by separate folders, subjects or any other scheme. Text display is quirky, however -- the app uses tap zones for navigating pages and, oddly, does not enable page navigation using right or left swipes. The reviewer found that the tap zones sometimes exhibit odd navigational behaviors. Despite the navigational quirks, the reviewer found the app to be a good, easy to use app, especially for the low price.

The new version supporting the iPad requires OS 3.2 or higher. It costs $1 and works with the iPad, while a separate version for the iPhone and iPod touch is also available.

by MacNN Staff



  1. wfolta

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nice program, but...

    I've seen comparisons to Air Sharing on the iTunes store, with people saying that Air Sharing costs $10, so must be a ripoff...

    Everyone with an iPad needs to get GoodReader, no question. But it may not be the only program you want. Why?

    1. GoodReader, at least for me, can be extremely slow opening large TIFF files. (Slow as in 30 seconds to open something that Air Sharing opens in 3-4 seconds.)

    2. GoodReader supports FTP, which has no encryption and is thus insecure, while Air Sharing supports FTPS and SFTP.

    3. Air Sharing supports SSH. I don't leave FTP pr WebDAV enabled on machines on my local network, but I do leave SSH on, so I can remotely login. SSH is encrypted and secure. So I can pop into Air Sharing and grab files from my laptop without enabling any additional services.

    On the other hand, GoodReader supports Dropbox, which does have encrypted links, so is secure. On the other, other hand, there's a free Dropbox app (very nice on the iPad). Also, Air Sharing does not support Dropbox.

    So, for only $1, it's a no-brainer to get GoodReader for your iPad and your iPhone. Go ahead and get Dropbox, too, if you want to set up an account -- it's free. But you may also want to consider something like Air Sharing if it supports protocols that work better for you.

  1. ccrider

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I have both but I've become a ReaddleDocs fan myself -

    -seems to load items MUCH quicker (Dropbox, iDisk etc)
    -interface is much cleaner, easier to understand/navigate/setup

    But it doesn't have ftp access which is one thing goodreader has going for it

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