Browsing, Reading, Editing: PDF Expert Does Documents Expertly [Review]
This is Readdle‘s PDF Expert 4 for iPad, and a more full-featured PDF reading and editing app you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Of course, no document editor for iOS is much use without plenty of simple ways of getting documents in and out of it. Apps that only offer sync-via-iTunes are not the answer, because they depend on you being in front of your computer at the time you need the document. Cloud access is essential.
PDF Expert scores well here, with support for connecting to Dropbox, Google Docs, (S)FTP servers, and, um, iDisk. Yes, iDisk, but not iCloud.
PDF Expert also helpfully sets up a WEBDAV server on your iPad, which means you can connect to it directly and wirelessly from your Mac, PC, or any browser. Instructions are included inside the app, so that needn’t be as technically challenging as it might sound.
The result is a super-useful instaconnection to your files. The browser mode, in particular, will appeal to many simply because it looks and works like a website. Upload files to your iPad, and download them back again. It’s simple. It’s great.
Your documents synced and loaded, you’ll want to start reading and editing them. Again, PDF Expert shines. Even large PDFs are handled quickly and efficiently. The simple editing toolbar has all the annotating tools you’re likely to need: highlighter pens, arrows, shapes, text boxes, sticky notes, and more. Once placed, objects can be moved and edited.
Like Preview in OS X Lion, there’s a built-in signature tool for signing your life away when the moment comes. Just scrawl your signature on the screen and it’s saved for future use.
PDF Expert is well named. It provides a lot of expert features. (There’s even a built-in file zipper – it’s tucked away, but it’s there. Nice.) But you don’t need to be some sort of expert to use it.
The combination of easy cloud storage, clean looks, and comprehensive editing features make PDF Expert an excellent purchase for anyone whose work involves pushing documents of various kinds from one machine to another. Thanks to the direct browser connection, it offers potential for simple document workflow within teams. At 10 dollars, I’d say it’s good value for money.
Pro: Simple, easy file transfer in both directions; feature-packed
Con: A little pricey for some, but not if documents are how you do stuff