Any other apps like Goodreader, PDF Expert, and iAnnotate?

Cptnodegard

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2013
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Finding myself in a bit of a document handling app crisis like now since I'm not really happy with either of the three above. Goodreader is the one I use, simply because it has a zoom box feature for hand written annotations, which is an absolute requirement for me. PDF Expert has some ****** "innovative" (read: useless) zoom feature, whereas iAnnotate - which is the app I like the most in most other respects - doesn't have anything.

So, what I'm wondering is if there's any other apps like the three above out there? Note that I'm not asking about note taking apps like Good Notes/Noteshelf/Notes Plus/etc, only apps that are first and foremost document reading apps with annotation features, not note taking apps with document reading features.
 

lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
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The Netherlands
I'm also thinking of switching from Goodreader. I like Goodreader but the latest version has some flaws.

I was looking at Notesuite, the features seem very good. However, is it not available yet in the appstore of my country and I have no idea when it will (I asked the developers in august and they said "in a few weeks").

Another alternative might be PDF Max. Lots of features. It can't connect to SMB or WebDav however.

Did you take a look at PDF Expert 5?
 

Cptnodegard

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2013
393
34
PDF Expert is just overall crap, including v5. That zoom mode they implemented has me baffled, and I cannot grasp why someone would implement something that stupid when every other app out there has settled on a method that works.

PDF Max was promising, but it has the worst Dropbox integration I have ever seen.
 

Wzrd0715

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2012
21
0
College Station, TX
Finding myself in a bit of a document handling app crisis like now since I'm not really happy with either of the three above. Goodreader is the one I use, simply because it has a zoom box feature for hand written annotations, which is an absolute requirement for me. PDF Expert has some ****** "innovative" (read: useless) zoom feature, whereas iAnnotate - which is the app I like the most in most other respects - doesn't have anything.

So, what I'm wondering is if there's any other apps like the three above out there? Note that I'm not asking about note taking apps like Good Notes/Noteshelf/Notes Plus/etc, only apps that are first and foremost document reading apps with annotation features, not note taking apps with document reading features.
Docas. I honestly haven't used it in quite some time, but if i remember correctly I switched from Goodreader to Docas when my iPad was used primarily for PDF annotation. [Edit] Oops I should have read the bottom part of your post... Apologies, just got done with finals and kind of spacey. [Edit]
 

jojoba

macrumors 68000
Dec 9, 2011
1,582
21
I've tried quite a few apps and, to my knowledge, there aren't any better alternatives out there. My perfect app would be iAnnotate without jumbled extracted annotations, with background sync, and with a zoom window for hand writing. In the absence of that, I'm using GoodReader.
 

Cptnodegard

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2013
393
34
I can tell you haven't actually TRIED Goodnotes. Note-taking is by far a secondary feature. It's primarily an app to read and annotate PDF's, and it does it better than iAnnotate, PDF Max, etc.
I've used Goodnotes for over two years and am on the beta team. Don't you maybe think that when I mention specific apps that I'm not looking for, I'm actually sure that those apps won't fit my needs?

Goodnotes has neither proper Dropbox integration nor proper annotation features and is as such useless for what I use Goodreader for. I do use it for other things
 

Han Solo 1

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2013
495
11
I've used Goodnotes for over two years and am on the beta team. Don't you maybe think that when I mention specific apps that I'm not looking for, I'm actually sure that those apps won't fit my needs?

Goodnotes has neither proper Dropbox integration nor proper annotation features and is as such useless for what I use Goodreader for. I do use it for other things
Well, excuse me! :rolleyes:
 

GerritV

macrumors 65816
May 11, 2012
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I was looking at Notesuite, the features seem very good. However, is it not available yet in the appstore of my country and I have no idea when it will (I asked the developers in august and they said "in a few weeks").
Hello neighbour (I'm from Belgium). Seems like Notesuite is available. Did you purchase it?
 

lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
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The Netherlands
Hello neighbour (I'm from Belgium). Seems like Notesuite is available. Did you purchase it?
Thanks for the tip!
Hmmm, I just bought PDF Expert 5. But NoteSuite is only 2 euros (introduction price?) so I just bought it and I am going to try it out the coming days. :)
 

GerritV

macrumors 65816
May 11, 2012
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Thanks for the tip!
Hmmm, I just bought PDF Expert 5. But NoteSuite is only 2 euros (introduction price?) so I just bought it and I am going to try it out the coming days. :)
Purchased it this morning on my iPad, read the whole Help.
Next transported all my notes and todo's from around Apple's Notes and Reminders apps and Things.
Finally threw in a bunch of weblinks.
It feels good to have all in one app, money well spent IMHO.
And yes, I think it's their introduction price. I'm definitely getting the Mac app tomorrow, hopefully for an introduction price as well.
 

lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
1,229
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The Netherlands
Purchased it this morning on my iPad, read the whole Help.
Next transported all my notes and todo's from around Apple's Notes and Reminders apps and Things.
Finally threw in a bunch of weblinks.
It feels good to have all in one app, money well spent IMHO.
And yes, I think it's their introduction price. I'm definitely getting the Mac app tomorrow, hopefully for an introduction price as well.
Please let us know your findings :)

I played with NoteSuite on my iPad3 for a few hours and these are my first impressions (updated):

Positive
* a lot of functionality (notes, PDF annotation, tasks), nice to have in a single app; it gives me the possibility to store all these things in one place
* nice webclip possibilities
* PDF vertical scrolling and continious scrolling
* (for me) good enough annotation features
* possibility to store a wide range of file formats
* possibility to make task from within a note
* view (downloaded) web pages
* convert (downloaded) web pages to PDF
* link files to note
* adding photos and resizing them is very easy
* link files to task

Negative
* highlighting text is a bit slow, it takes 1-2 seconds before the highlight appears
* no complete list of annotations, only a list from the highlighted text
* when jumping to an annotation, NoteSuite only goes to the page, not to the exact position of the annotation (apps like PDF Expert and Goodreader do this better)
* no support for WebDav, SMB and FTP (PDF Expert and Goodreader have these)
* font setting is the same for notes and annotating. I like it to be different (I want to have black text for notes and red text for annotations), this can be overcome by setting the right preset but it's an extra step
* first bug :) : at a given moment the highlights I made disappeared. Restarting the app solved the problem.
* bug #2: draw an arrow, undo, draw arrow again and tap it several times: app crashes

Summary for now: NoteSuite has a great set of functionality, but some things are better in other apps.
 
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GerritV

macrumors 65816
May 11, 2012
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Well, I now have the Mac version as well. It does feel familiar, once you know and use the iPad version.
Your Pos/Neg list is already packed, here's a few extra's:

Positive
- Tags are available in both Notes and Tasks. A tag filter (in the Notes part) makes one list with notes, tasks and documents that have the selected tag.
- You can add tasks to your calendar as calendar items. In addition, you can see your calendar items in your task list (optional).
- Smart folders in Notes.
- The Search is very good, and even goes into pdf documents.
- Notesuite can replace Apple's Notes & Reminders. I find it a very good alternative to Evernote, Things...
- In app Help is quite good. Everything is there, including some suggestions for a good use of all the functionalities, and a chapter on GTD.

Negative
- In the iPad version you can't unassign someone from a task, on the Mac version there's a "None" option.
- The keyboard shortcuts of the menubar item (New note, Quick to do) seem to be hardcoded for a QWERTY keyboard. I found the AZERTY equivalent through trial and error. The ideal would be to have the shortcuts customizable.
- Notesuite seems to run some of it's own resources instead of using the MacOS. The window widgets have no graphite variant, their non-active state is ugly (I replaced them), the sidebar highlight colour is a little awkward, the top toolbar has no non-active light gray gradient, the window has a bottom edge that serves no purpose...
- As a solid Noteshelf user, I'm not impressed with the handwriting - but it's OK for simple jobs, there are enough tools and colors. Still, the zoombox should use a slightly smaller factor (p.e. x2 like Noteshelf and NotesPlus use as default) - that would make it a lot better IMHO.
- The Mac version has no 24h notation in the Tasks list view (when showing calendar items). It has in the popup edit window though.

So far I used notes and tasks. Annotating pdf's will be next.
 

lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
1,229
390
The Netherlands
Some other thoughts on NoteSuite.

I like the fact that it has a lot of features. However, for annotation it falls a bit short for me:
1) it does not give a complete list of annotations (only of highlighted text) and it jumps only to the page where the highlight is, not the position. This is a deal breaker for me. In a large document I want to be able to quickly jump to my annotations (and no tedious searching by flipping through the pages).
2) slowness of annotation. It sometimes takes 1-2 seconds before the highlight or underline appears.

But Notesuite has also a few great features like clipping an article from a web page. So for now, I will use PDF Expert 5 and NoteSuite side by side. I also will report my findings to the makers of Notesuite and see how this product develops. Maybe in the future I will be able to use just one app :)
 
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