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Posts tagged with "readdle"

Readdle’s Documents for iOS 9 and Safari File Downloads

Documents' downloader UI (left).

Documents' downloader UI (left).

Given iOS Safari's baffling lack of a proper file management interface in 2015, I was relieved to see an update to Readdle's file management app Documents with iOS 9 support yesterday.

Documents is a good file manager for iOS: its options aren't overwhelming, it lets you organize files in folders with decent search filters (unlike others), and now it can be used alongside other apps thanks to Slide Over and Split View. More importantly, it comes with a built-in web browser that, upon tapping download links, will bring up a downloader UI to start a download, choose where to save it, and monitor its progress.

Since releasing our eBook version of my iOS 9 review yesterday, the question I'm being asked the most is how to download the .zip archive containing two EPUB files directly on iOS. The problem is twofold: readers need to download a .zip file and expand it, then choose to open one of the EPUBs in iBooks for iPhone or iPad.

The main issue is that Safari seems to do nothing when tapping a download link (such as a link to a .zip file) in a webpage. In reality, Safari starts the download invisibly in the background (something I mentioned in the past) without showing any indicator or progress bar: if you leave the tab open long enough, the download will eventually complete and show you an outdated Open In menu to send the downloaded file to another app. In our case, because the .zip archive is well over 100 MB, tapping its download link in Safari may result in nothing showing in the browser for several minutes while the download is actually happening in the background, without the user knowing.

For this reason – and this goes beyond our eBook – I recommend using Readdle's Documents app to download and manage files on iOS 9: it's been updated for iOS 9 multitasking and search, it has a web browser with a downloader feature, and it's free on the App Store.

PDF Converter Gets Universal Update

With iOS 8, Readdle updated their PDF Converter app for iPad with an action extension to quickly convert any webpage to PDF. While the same can be done with Workflow now, I like that PDF Converter saves documents automatically into the app, which can store them in iCloud Drive (and thus on all your devices) without even launching the app after a PDF has been generated.

PDF Converter was updated to version 2.2 yesterday with iPhone support – you can now “print” a webpage to PDF directly from Safari with the tap of a button without having to decide where you want to save the file. In the app, you can tap an iCloud Drive button to open the iOS 8 document picker and switch it to other document storage extensions, and you can also convert the contents of your clipboard or files from Dropbox.

If you don't want to convert webpages or files, PDF Converter's action extension shows up in the Photos app, which will let you convert images to PDF documents (handy if you, say, want to annotate screenshots with full-featured apps like PDF Expert).

PDF Converter 2.2 is available on the App Store at $2.99.

Documents 5 Brings iOS 7 Update, New “Add-On” Features for Inter-App Communication

With Documents 5, released today on the App Store as a free update, Readdle is seeking to build its own ecosystem of interconnected apps on iOS. By leveraging inter-app communication features currently available on iOS but mostly ignored by Apple's apps, Readdle is turning Documents into a centralized location for files, which can be sent to other Readdle apps and modified without creating duplicate entries.

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PDF Expert 5 Brings Updated Design, More PDF Editing Features to iPad

PDF Expert

PDF Expert

Released today on the App Store, PDF Expert 5 is Readdle’s new version of the popular PDF Expert for iPad, a feature-rich PDF manager and reader that I’ve been using on my iPad for years. PDF Expert 5, a separate app sold at $9.99 on the App Store, brings a cleaner design for iOS 7 and, more importantly, new functionalities such as better document management, an improved sidebar and document viewer, Review mode, and more. Read more

Calendars 5.1 Improves Sync, Reminders Integration, URL Scheme

Last month, I reviewed Readdle's Calendars 5 and noted how, in spite of getting many things right with event presentation and Reminders integration, the app had been released with some dubious choices for Reminders management, date settings, and task creation. In particular, I noted how the way Readdle supposedly "enhanced" Reminders with a Today list led to more confusion than actual benefits. I concluded that Calendars 5 was a great calendar and reminders client with dozens of nice features and a good set of views, but that needed a more streamlined implementation of Reminders and reliable sync. Read more

Scanner Pro Gets Real-Time Border Detection

Readdle's Scanner Pro has been my favorite iOS scanner app for over a year now:

...for the professional who runs a small business, or individuals who do scan documents, just not so many every day, I’d seriously suggest considering Scanner Pro on the new iPad. The device’s camera will give you decent images — especially with good lightning and background — and the app works with the services many are already using for document storage and archival.

I have been experimenting with different paperless systems (I still haven't settled on a specific one), but Scanner Pro was and will remain at the core of my mobile scanning workflow. Every day when I get home, I fire up Readdle's app on my iPhone/iPad, take the receipts and paper documents I've collected during the day, scan them using Scanner Pro, and send them to one of the services built into the app (such as personal favorites Evernote and Dropbox). With today's 4.5 update, which I have been testing, Scanner Pro gets even faster and more intuitive thanks to real-time border detection.

It used to be that Scanner Pro let you take a photo and adjust borders for cropping a document by manually moving a series of controls around the area you wanted to scan. Scanner Pro did a decent job at guessing where it should place the borders, but they still needed tweaking most of the time. In version 4.5, the Readdle team has completely reworked the algorithm behind border detection to make it smarter and bringing it into the camera view as well.

When taking a picture of a document, Scanner Pro 4.5 will overlay borders directly on top of the object, with impressive results. In my tests (a screenshot of which you can see above) Scanner Pro capably recognized borders of paper documents against dark and light backgrounds, in both normal and low-light conditions. Because borders are detected in real time, you can move objects or place other items in the shot and view borders update within a fraction of a second without leaving the camera view. It's incredibly cool – but, fortunately considering the app's utilitarian goal, also efficient.

While Scanner Pro tries to automatically detect borders and offer its best take in the Save screen, you can still tap Back to adjust borders manually. This is a welcome option – the app now defaults to the Save screen after a picture has been taken and processed, but you still want to retain manual control in case the new border detection algorithm doesn't work properly.

It's not a replacement for full-featured hardware such as Fujitsu's ScanSnap, but for people who, like me, don't have exorbitant amounts of paper to digitize every day, Readdle's Scanner Pro remains a reliable, powerful iOS scanner app with tons of useful options. The new automatic border detection is a simple feature – but a handy one that's uniquely suited for the iOS camera.

Scanner Pro 4.5 is available on the App Store.

PDF Expert Adds New Annotation Features

Readdle's PDF Expert has been my favorite PDF reader for iPad for a long time now. With Dropbox integration and a clean UI full of powerful options, PDF Expert is the app I rely upon when it comes to reading and editing PDF documents. The 4.6 version, released today on the App Store, adds a series of new features that make adding annotations and managing them inside a document even easier.

Annotations can now be copied and pasted inside a document and across different documents in PDF Expert: to do so, you can use a new selection tool available in the top toolbar. This new tool will let you select a single annotation/shape and use iOS' familiar copy & paste menu -- but you can also select multiple annotations at once to move them, copy them, delete them, or change their properties. PDF Expert's selection is also smart: if you select two shapes, the popup menu will show options for shape thickness and color (also new in version 4.6); if you drag the selection on top of text annotation, the app will show properties for font, colors, and font sizes.

In this update, Readdle also included a new custom date/time keyboard (which reminded me of a similar keyboard from another Readdle app, Calendars+) that makes it easier to fill date fields in PDF forms.

While I prefer Skitch for "quick" annotations that involve shapes and callouts, PDF Expert remains my choice for text annotations and reading long documents. PDF Expert is available at $9.99 on the App Store.

Readdle Documents Gets iPhone Support

Nice update to Readdle's recently rebranded file manager for iOS. The iPhone version has the same features of the iPad app, so make sure to read my original review if you missed it.

Now that it's universal, Documents comes with proper iCloud sync for documents. iCloud sync requires you to move files to a specific iCloud folder inside the app, and it worked well in my tests. There are two details that I like about Documents for iPhone: the dual icons for the browser/document panel, and the way the tab bar becomes an action bar after you hit Edit. I know Apple probably advises against this kind of UI, but it looks good.


ReaddleDocs Relaunches As Documents

ReaddleDocs, Readdle's file manager and document viewer for the iPad, has relaunched today as Documents, a free update for existing customers that introduces a refreshed interface and some new features.

In terms of functionalities, Documents basically shares the same capabilities of ReaddleDocs. The app can open the same file types, it can organize items in folders, sort them, and display them in icon view or list view. Unlike the OS X Finder, sub-folders in List view aren't opened in the same column, but they'll require you to open a different view that will display a Back button with the name of first level. As with ReaddleDocs, buttons to create a new folder, sort by name/date/size, and change views are displayed in a bar at the top that you can reveal by swiping down. A shortcut to create a new text file has been placed in a sidebar that you can reveal by hitting the Edit button.

To understand what Documents does, you can read our original review of ReaddleDocs 3 for the iPad. There are a series of web services supported by the app (including Dropbox) that you can access in the Network tab on the left. In the sidebar, the app also offers access to iCloud storage (which doesn't come with List view), a built-in browser (to download webpages or part of them just like ReaddleDocs 3), and "Recents". This last section provides quick access to the last five opened documents: as you re-open one, it will go to the top of the list again. Read more