GoodReader really is a good reader.

Posted: August 3, 2010 by Kim Flintoff in Productivity, Reference
Tags: , , , , , ,




Price: $1.19 (AUD)

App size = 9.1 MB

[Click here to download from iTunes]

One of the key strengths of the iPad is the ability to take a large collection of documents with you in one small device.  I’ve installed a range of readers on the iPad and the one that’s surfacing as most useful is Goodreader.

Given that the majority of documents that come my way at work are either .pdf or .doc the issue I have is making sure I have the right documents with me in class, in meetings, in training sessions and generally when not at my desk.  This is where Goodreader  comes into its own.


Beyond simply displaying a document, Goodreader has the following functions:

  • Preview file
  • Find Files – search by file name; filter by name, date added, date read, or starred.
  • Manage files – copy, zip, protect/unprotect, mark read/unread, star/unstar, email, rename, link, add to PDF portfolio, open in another application… and more
  • Web downloads – this function is one of my favourites – it allows me to download a file into the application directly by entering a URL or web browsing.
  • Connect to Servers – really useful in an enterprise environment where shared folders are still used.

File transfer

You can load files in and out of GoodReader in a variety of ways.  GoodReader can be launched from a document preview in Safari or Mail but also allows:

  • direct URL entry,
  • search the WWW,
  • WiFi File Transfer – a little tricky but there are good instructions on the vendor’s website – [Goodiware WiFi Transfer instructions]
  • USB File Transfer – via  iTunes Apps interface – or using the GoodReaderUSB tool provided as a free download from the vendor website. [GoodReaderUSB download page]

From the website:

GoodReader supports massive PDF and TXT files, but it can also handle all of the most popular file types. Have a look for yourself:

  • MS Office – .doc, .ppt, .xls and more
  • iWork’08/’09
  • HTML and Safari webarchives
  • High resolution images
  • It even does audio and video! []

Ease of Use:

GoodReader has quite a few features that take a little time to discover.  The more files you start accessing with GoodReader the more obvious the features become.  It’s ready to use as a simple reader from the moment its installed, but GoodReader really does become something of a Swiss Army knife as you push it further.  (At this point you also need to keep in mind the price point we’re talking about – GoodReader is $1.19 and does far more than the free readers that are often limited to proprietary site access and have poor file management features.)

Pros and Cons:

The only Con I’ve experienced is the text flow option seemed to lose its controls – but I suspect that was more related to the fact that my iPad hadn’t been restarted in more than a week.  After a restart GoodReader has been working perfectly.

Potential uses in Higher Education:

GoodReader is proving very useful in a range of contexts.  I’m teaching in a dance studio and I can have all my readings and course documents with me in the one device without worrying about losing or disrupting papers.  I can search for the exact items I want to use at the instant I need them.  Yesterday I was able to have my lesson plan open on the reader and refer to it as the class progressed.  In a WiFi environment I can quickly distribute digital copies of documents to my students via email (or WiFi if they have iPod/iPad/iPhone).

I can quickly access documents shared by colleagues via local (or remote) servers.  The ability to have all my minutes and action lists for meetings in one location is a boon.  I’m often more than a kilometre from my desk and shifting from one colleague’s office to the next – so the portability of the iPad and reliability of this app is really appreciated.

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  1. jacquiak says:

    Hi Kim,

    Nice post. I find I’m also using Good Reader more and more each day, particularly as it lets you zip up files from your iPad.

    The other day I needed to send an email to my posterous account and wanted to send a number of images, so used Good Reader to zip them up and then send via email. Worked a treat! Mainly because you are unable to add multiple attachments using the inbuilt iPad email – unless I just haven’t figured out how to do it(?).

    I’ve also just wanted to add that the GoodReader USB File Transfer program ( is BRILLIANT. If you download and install it, it will let you drag and drop files from your desktop to your iPad (using the standard iPad > USB connection to your computer).

    Plus its faster than emailing it to yourself or sending it to Dropbox.


  2. […] that only one document can be emailed at a time. A work around is zipping multiple documents using Good Reader. Perhaps Quickoffice will address this at some point in the […]

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