GoodReader for iPad Review

As the MoD has previously mentioned the lack of a true file sharing/syncing capability is one of the major liabilities for the iPad right now. You can use Box.net’s app to access and view an online file directory, but that does not provide offline access to the documentation. MoD is hoping the lack of MobileMe apps for the iPad is due to Apple building in some layer of file syncing between your Mac-MobileMe-iPad.

In the interim, there are a number of applications in the app store offering file syncing/file storage, but some of these applications cost upwards of ten bucks. A cheap solution currently $.99 in the app store is GoodReader.

GoodReader provides a documents directory for the iPad that you can copy documents to via USB using iTunes or via WiFi with your Mac by connecting to the iPad using the “connect to server” option in OS X. The iTunes way is easier but does require a physical connection. Once the files are on your iPad, GoodReader can display the documents for viewing. GoodReader can display PDFs, and all MS Office files. You can even create folders inside GoodReader to organize the files. Unfortunately, there’s no printing access in Goodreader. But, GoodReader does have a couple other tricks. One, is emailing documents. Two, is that you can open documents in other applications namely Pages. Pages, Numbers, or Keynote can edit and then save documents, but there’s no way to get those documents back into GoodReader after editing them. The iPad is dying for a unified documents folder that all applications can use for just this very reason.
Still for $.99 it does that some things very well with a pretty good interface for managing files. If all you need is access to documents then this is a good cheap application to solve that problem. And much more efficient than using email to get documents onto the iPad.

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