Please Help! PDF reader that syncs to iOS?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by username:, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. username: macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    #1
    Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere as I'm sure it has. Here goes...

    I need an app like dropbox that allows highlighting and annotation of PDF's. In my dream world this app would work like Preview on my MacBook Air (highlighting, annotation, bookmarks, notes) and the PDF's I save in the app would sync over iCloud to an iOS app where the highlights/notes etc. are preserved.

    Does anything like this exist? Basically a dropbox/google drive with ONE extra addition...PDF highlighting.

    PS. I am only interested in pdf readers that sync between os x and iOS.
     
  2. That-Guy macrumors 6502a

    That-Guy

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Have you tried Box?

    Not sure if the app can do it? But with the new v3 iOS app you also get 50gb of free storage.

    Alternatively Documents by Readdle will do it, just add your Dropbox Acoount in the app to keep it synced. Not sure if you can view the highlights on the mac with a different app though?
     
  3. username:, Jan 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014

    username: thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    #3
    I have started using box. But it doesn't allow pdf highlighting/notes. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe Documents by Readle does not have an OS X app.

    There are plenty of ios apps that allow access to cloud services. Unfortunately once the file is downloaded on to the app (such as Documents by Readle) it is no longer synced.

    I am looking for an OS X app that syncs with an ios app that allows PDF annotation. A small but important detail, perhaps too small for developers to consider?

    Edit: I just realised Documents has a two way sync function that works fairly smoothly. Although not ideal it might be usable.
     
  4. jojoba macrumors 68000

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    Dec 9, 2011
  5. onekerato macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2011
    #5
    You can synchronize PDFs between Mac and iOS using either Dropbox folders or using iCloud.

    Lots of iOS apps offer dropbox folder sync for PDFs such as GoodReader or PDF Expert. You only need to get the iPad/iPhone app since on your Mac, Preview.app can open PDFs from the synced Dropbox folder anyway.

    Using iCloud is trickier and may be more risky if storing large PDFs. iCloud sync technology is designed for short, piece-by-piece sync of documents stored as file packages, which PDF is not. PDFPen ($60) and Mach Write ($2) offer iCloud sync for PDFs with companion iPad apps ($15 and $0 respectively.)
     
  6. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    Yeah ^^^. Most any pdf editor - Goodreader, etc. can open documents stored in the cloud, mark them up, then place them back in the cloud with markups preserved where they can be viewed from any other computer.
     
  7. username: thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    #7
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I got excited about mach write when I saw it in the App Store, but it is super buggy right now, and it doesn't support standard PDF highlighting/annotation, only it's own weird pen drawing thing which is terrible to use. Also I couldn't figure out how to zoom in the ios app, and not sure you can. If Mach write worked well it is exactly what I'm looking for i.e. A universal app that syncs easily across all devices.

    I would give goodreader a go, but I don't think it has an iphone app?

    All the solutions seem to require shifting files here and there. But so far documents by Readdle is doing ok.

    ----------

    PDF pen looks good! Wish it wasn't $60!! As they say in the app description:

    "The only pdf editor available on both mac and ipad with cloud storage for easy editing."

    But 60 bones!
     
  8. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #8
    I guess what you're looking for is an iOS application that has a companion Mac OS application that syncs behind the scenes? Most people use one thing in Mac OS and some other app on the iPhone or iPad and just pass files back and forth via iCloud or Dropbox. PDFs are exchanged so much you have to move them around anyway.

    Goodreader does have an iPhone app as well as iPad and is excellent. Why not just use that, store in Dropbox, and use Preview on the Mac? It can use iCloud as well, although I think Dropbox is superior. But YMMV. And have you tried Adobe's Reader? There are iOS and Mac versions, both free. It syncs through adobe.com and IIRC gives 5gb free.
     
  9. username: thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    #9
    I downloaded adobe reader on mountain lion and it was awful. It was so slow and the scrolling and zoom were really stuttery, compared to preview which is always smooth. I removed it. On mavericks I assume it would perform the same.

    Didn't realise goodreader had an iPhone app thanks.

    The one thing I dislike about dropbox is that once it stopped working for me, right when I needed it in the middle of a semester (e.g. Wouldn't sync, some files were corrupted/deleted, others duplicated). It was a rare thing but so far icloud has been reliable, fast and easy to use.

    So I have a system now for anyone interested:
    Documents by Readdle (free ios app. You could use any app that syncs over icloud) uses icloud to sync between ipad and iPhone, so In order to access those documents on my mac, I made an alias of the corresponding folder in the Library > Mobile Documents and placed it on my desktop. I just use Preview on the mac. Any changes made on any device sync quick and automatically. So far working well.

    Probably been done before but it's new to me. And free.
     
  10. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    May 13, 2008
    #10
    Bumping up this thread since I'm actually looking for the same thing as the OP. Has anyone found a solution to this? Wish Apple would just make a Preview for iOS!
     
  11. dyt1983, Mar 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    USA USA USA
    #11
    edit: To remove personally identifying information not relevant to the thread.
     
  12. TheralSadurns macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    #12
    Mac: Dropbox → Folder with pdfs and other documents → Preview

    on iOS: Documents by Readdle → two way sync of said folder.

    Done.

    Been using this for years now... and I always pity the people around me trying to use any other application...
     
  13. juturna67 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 10, 2014
    #13
    Is there a way to extract ONLY the annotations you have made?
     
  14. Readdlemate macrumors 6502

    Readdlemate

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    Jan 26, 2009
    #14
    Glad to hear Documents 5 works well for your use case) With iOS 8 we support syncing with iCloud Drive, so now it's even easier to sync files between iPad, iPhone and Mac.

    Here is or Knowledge Base with detailed instructions https://helpspot.readdle.com/en/index.php?pg=kb.book&id=12

    Would be glad to assist you with any further questions or suggestions.

    best regards,
    Readdle team

    ----------

    Hey there!

    PDF Expert 5 https://itunes.apple.com/ua/app/pdf-expert-5-fill-forms-annotate/id743974925?mt=8 allows saving a copy or sending annotations list by email.

    best regards,
    Readdle team
     
  15. juturna67 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 10, 2014
    #15
  16. Readdlemate macrumors 6502

    Readdlemate

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    Jan 26, 2009
    #16
    You can view and edit annotations made in PDF Expert 5 using Adobe Acrobat or Preview, but our team is working on PDF Expert for Mac:)

    best regards
    Readdle Team
     
  17. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #17
    This is pretty much what I have been doing for all my documents not just my PDF's.

    I am to the point, that if the app doesn't support dropbox it probably won't get my business. That is how much I rely on it to sync my documents across all my devices.
     
  18. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    May 13, 2008
    #18
    Really?? Is there an ETA for this??
     
  19. Readdlemate macrumors 6502

    Readdlemate

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    Jan 26, 2009
    #19
    We'd love to release it soon, but actually we want to create a perfect product, so no ETA at the moment.
     
  20. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    May 13, 2008
    #20
    Cool. Well if you're looking for beta testers I'd love to try it out.
     
  21. Windowsrefugee macrumors regular

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    Mar 14, 2011
    Location:
    Microsoft Land
    #21
    I guess you must have considered this, but I have actually found Adobe Acrobat to be useful for my purposes. I can mark a document up on the iPad and then send to myself via email or using the cloud....
     
  22. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #22
    Thanks for your suggestion! But yes, I've used Adobe Acrobat quite a bit and have basically given up on it. It's always been really slow and crashy on my MacBook Pro, and what I'm really looking for is one app that syncs seamlessly between iOS and OS X. Unfortunately Adobe makes you use their own cloud service in order to do that, without giving you the choice of using Dropbox, iCloud, etc. All my stuff is on iCloud so I definitely wouldn't need yet another redundant syncing service, even if their app worked properly on my laptop.
     
  23. Readdlemate macrumors 6502

    Readdlemate

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    #23
    Sure! Can you please contact maryna@readdle.com?

    best regards
    Readdle Team
     
  24. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #24
    You have to be kidding me, dude.

    What possible need could you have to annotate a PDF while also not being able to afford the $60 to do so?
     

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