Annotating PDFs from Dropbox on an iPad - which app to use?

Kalebima

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 7, 2013
8
0
Hi there, I just switched over to an iPad Air from a Nexus 10. I'll be using it primarily to annotate textbooks and academic articles that I store on my Dropbox and need an app that can open the pdf, edit it and save it back to Dropbox (not keeping duplicate copies on my iPad) where I can view the notes on my laptop when writing up drafts. Does anyone have suggestions? GoodReader looks too clunky for my taste and also seems to create local duplicates. For reference, the app I was using on the Nexus 10 was RepliGo. Thanks so much!
 

SM2010

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2010
3
0
Annotating PDFs from Dropbox on an iPad - which app to use?

The best one is 'PDF expert' in my opinion. You will have to have a folder synced with Dropbox though which will mean you can't avoid the duplicates (they aren't technically duplicates as they are synced). If you don't want to sync a whole folder you can also sync individual files as well (with Goodreader too).
 

swedefish

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2008
386
40
The updated version of iAnnotate does this. I cannot praise it highly enough, and this is coming from someone who used to swear by GoodReader.
 

Kalebima

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 7, 2013
8
0
Thanks for the responses! Does iAnnotate have automatic sync with the Dropbox folder or would I have to manually save the document to get the changes synced? Ideally I'd like something where I can open a document from my Dropbox, highlight it, have it save automatically and be able to open it up on my laptop and see the changes.
 

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
3,616
88
USA
The updated version of iAnnotate does this. I cannot praise it highly enough, and this is coming from someone who used to swear by GoodReader.
Goodreader was updated today for iOS 7 and is, IMO, quite awesome. PDF Expert also works great but does not feature one way sync or delete file option on server like GR does. Never tried iAnnotate.

Frankly, I used to swear my PDF Expert until they released PDF Expert 5. I still feel it is missing a lot of key features that GR offers - especially one way sync and option to keep files on server when deleted on device but sync everything else. For people like me who have their dropbox mapped to their entire Mac HDD (not just the Dropbox folder), it is a crucial feature.
 

That-Guy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2012
651
55
UK
Goodreader was updated today for iOS 7 and is, IMO, quite awesome. PDF Expert also works great but does not feature one way sync or delete file option on server like GR does. Never tried iAnnotate.

Frankly, I used to swear my PDF Expert until they released PDF Expert 5. I still feel it is missing a lot of key features that GR offers - especially one way sync and option to keep files on server when deleted on device but sync everything else. For people like me who have their dropbox mapped to their entire Mac HDD (not just the Dropbox folder), it is a crucial feature.
A free option may be Documents by Readdle:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/documents-by-readdle-free/id364901807
 

saberahul

macrumors 68040
Nov 6, 2008
3,616
88
USA

Kalebima

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 7, 2013
8
0
Now that GoodReader is updated, would anyone be able to chime in on how it compares to iAnnotate? Narrowed it down to those two!
 

jojoba

macrumors 68000
Dec 9, 2011
1,582
21
Now that GoodReader is updated, would anyone be able to chime in on how it compares to iAnnotate? Narrowed it down to those two!
iAnnotate generally has a larger feature set. The question then is whether you really need those features or not. GoodReader does all the basic things you can expect from a pdf annotation tool, and does them well.

Another difference is that iAnnotate has continuous vertical scrolling, while GoodReader scrolls page by page. I prefer the former for large documents, especially when I work on research articles where I often go back and forth between the main text and the reference list. Again, that's a quite specific use pattern that you might not need.

Another difference is that GoodReader offers a better hand writing experience, because it has a zoom box. For some reason, iAnnotate doesn't seem to want to add this feature to an otherwise rich set of tools. I find it extremely useful for making up pdfs.

There may be differences in how they sync (one sync versus two way sync, selective sync, etc). I don't know if they are different and if so, what the differences are, but that's something to consider.

Finally, as I wrote in the post I linked to above, a key difference for me has been extraction of annotations. That's the main reason why I now use GoodReader rather than iAnnotate, because iAnnotate jumbles the text, while GoodReader doesn't.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,337
10,242
Singapore
Notability also allows for dropbox backups, IMO, but I can't recall offhand if there is an option to automate this. It will result in duplicate copies on the iPad though. Is there any reason why you are so averse to this?

I have goodreader, but I don't really like it. It is awesome for categorising PDFs, but sucks when trying to annotate on them.
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
986
245
Looking for the exact same thing

I'm looking for the same thing as the OP. I want to be able to edit a document (pdf) that is stored in google drive WITHOUT importing and exporting. Basically just edit and save changes to the original document so I don't have tons of duplicates. iAnnotate does this PERFECTLY! (Seriously it is an amazing app and for my purposes just about the best pdf reader out there).

BUT. iAnnotate doesn't have very good handwriting support. I've heard that Goodreader does have handwriting support (with a zoom box). But I can't really find out from any of the reviews if Goodreader works like iAnnotate with respect to cloud storage (allowing me to directly edit a file on google drive without changing its location or copying it to anywhere else).

Does anyone know if this is possible? I'd be happy to spend $4.99 on Goodreader if it has this function but I hate the thought of wasting $4.99 if it doesn't.

Thanks in advance!
 
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