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Old 02-03-2013, 06:34 AM   #121
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Just chiming in to relate to an earlier micro-discussion in this thread:
As PDF reader, I would recommend PDF Expert, albeit its steeper price compared to Goodreader...
Has a more elegant UI,
has a more dynamic cropping feature (it just locks screen orientation and you can still pan with two fingers, in case you accidentally cropped something out, ezPDF I found to be the worst, it uses, or used to use at least, the Acrobat mechanism for cropping which really cut of margins, which had to be restored in Acrobat X),
has great annotation features: same set, but, at least for me, a superior implementation... when you hold a word to bring up the marker, you can drag along and include more words, much like Kindle does it, afterwards you get to select the type of highlight... awesome for reading full screen without toolbars annoying you, while still retaining the full feature set and normal page flipping (Goodreader users know what I mean),
and finally, it has great Dropbox auto sync, never lost a book while never having had to worry about clicking that sync button when going back to my desktop for review...
Ah yes, and the "export notes" options are more elegant, you can create PDF files with them and print, mail and review them on other computers...
Only limitation compared to Goodreader: highlighting and underlining colors are predefined, no palette... If that doesn't turn you off, give it a try... (and I'm not affiliated only super stunned by its awesomeness)

EDIT: just came to my mind: almost everything i described here in terms of PDF _reading_ features (as opposed to editing etc) is included in the same company's free "Documents" app (same engine, same highlighting, autosync, note export)... I think the only feature I am missing in "Documents" is having multiple PDFs open at the same time, something I sometimes use when looking stuff up in multiple books... If you can live with that, you don't have to spend a cent to improve your reading workflow (god I know I sound like an advertisement today)...

Last edited by johnnyb; 02-03-2013 at 06:39 AM. Reason: addtion
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:08 AM   #122
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Many thanks for the recommendations, johnnyb, that sounds very nice. I'll take a look at Documents first to decide if PDF Expert is worth investing the €9. That's a relatively high price in the world of iOS, but still very low compared to "legacy" OSs like Mac OS or Windows.

PDF Expert also has suberb reviews and ratings (straight 5 stars all around, it seems) in my own micro-country's App Store, which should suggest something.

And I can see another thing PDF Expert and GoodReader have in common: both are Russian apps, and because GoodReader is commonly held to be the best PDF app on iOS, I'm sure PDF Expert did the best they could to come up with a product that could truly compete with, and exceed, GoodReader.

The same Russian developer, Readdle, offers two more apps that have outstanding reviews, Scanner Pro and Calendars, so I'll take a look at those, too. Heaven knows the default iOS Calendar app is so lame it can make you cry.

PS: All Readdle apps at a glance can be seen at http://readdle.com/products/

Last edited by Faterson; 02-03-2013 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:50 AM   #123
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johnnyb, I expressly need to thank you again , although I'm now lighter by €21.

I'm absolutely astounded by the quality of these Readdle apps. Their reactions are super-fast, they work super-smoothly. Amazingly clean, easy-to-understand user interface in all their apps.

I first tested a couple of freeware Readdle apps. Terra is a browser that is very elementary, but still better than Safari. Again, lightning-fast reactions. Good for me as a tertiary iOS browser (behind my no. 1 favourite, Atomic Web Browser, and Dolphin).

The free Documents app for the iPad is very nice in that it allows the integration of your Dropbox account, SugarSync account, etc. etc., in one place. Again, the speed with which it reads the cloud folders, is amazing! It's rather embarrassing for the SugarSync folks that their own house-made SugarSync app is a lot slower in reading SugarSync folders, compared to this third-party app, Documents by Readdle. I'll now be using Readdle's Documents to load my EPUB files from SugarSync into Marvin -- the SugarSync app is quite buggy in this regard, failing to pop up the "Open in..." menu for many or all EPUB files. The downside of Documents by Readdle is that it's not free on the iPhone -- it's called ReaddleDocs there, and costs €4.50, so I haven't bought it for the iPhone so far.

Now, as to PDF Expert, I believe you are right. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have the winner here, in terms of the best PDF app on iOS! GoodReader is excellent, but no matter how I look at it, PDF Expert strikes me as even better. Much, much cleaner and better-looking interface (including the app icon!). Fantastic thumbnails feature. Amazing speed in loading even very large PDF files -- better speed than in GoodReader, I believe, and miles better than the pitiful iBooks by Apple. Great annotation tools, great automatic synchronization with your cloud. It's an all-around winner! The only downside is the pretty high price, for iOS standards: €9. And not only that -- you need to purchase the iPad and the iPhone version separately, so it amounts to €18 in total. I have so far only purchased PDF Expert for the iPad. But it's pretty clear that PDF Expert is the flagship app for Readdle, and based on what I've seen so far, they are totally justified in charging that much.

The Scanner Pro app by Readdle is no less wonderful. Photographing books in it, and creating PDF files out of them, will be a breeze! Automatic Dropbox backup feature in real-time, as you make the photographs. Once again, minimalistic, squeaky-clean and easy-to-understand user interface. The price is €6, but if you buy this app, it can be used both on the iPad and the iPhone!

Finally, Calendars by Readdle. All the quality self-evident in PDF Expert and Scanner Pro, applied to the calendaring functionality. Fantastic synchronization with Google calendars, preserving all the original colour-coding of calendar events from Google's desktop Calendars. Apple's default iOS Calendar app is an abomination and an insult, and so is Google's mobile version of their Calendars. But here comes Readdle, and turns Google's calendars into exactly what Apple and Google should have made them look like in the first place! The price here is €6 as well, and once again you only need to pay it once to get both the iPad and the iPhone version of the app.

johnnyb, many thanks for bringing these wonderful apps to my attention yesterday.

Last edited by Faterson; 02-04-2013 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #124
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I finally made it to an Apple store and was able to compare the iPad mini screen with the retina iPad screen. I will definitely be waiting for a higher resolution screen before getting an iPad mini.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #125
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johnnyb, many thanks for bringing these wonderful apps to my attention yesterday.
You're welcome
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:25 PM   #126
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If you read no other article on this topic, read this one:

http://www.xconomy.com/national/2013...ures-show-why/
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:51 PM   #127
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If you read no other article on this topic, read this one:

http://www.xconomy.com/national/2013...ures-show-why/
Good link. Pretty much sums up how I felt after checking it out in the store. Text display was just unacceptable. But I love the lighter weight and 4:3 screen ratio. Ahhhh... hurry up, Apple, with a retina mini!
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:58 PM   #128
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A question for iPad owners who are reluctant to buy an iPad Mini: Is the lack of Retina display the only aspect of the Mini that concerns you?
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:04 PM   #129
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A question for iPad owners who are reluctant to buy an iPad Mini: Is the lack of Retina display the only aspect of the Mini that concerns you?
Pretty much. If they release a retina version, there is a good chance I'll get one.
It is perhaps a little on the large side, but without seeming several different models side by side it is hard to know if a smaller one would be useable.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:21 PM   #130
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A question for iPad owners who are reluctant to buy an iPad Mini: Is the lack of Retina display the only aspect of the Mini that concerns you?
Yes. The day Apple release iPad Mini with a Retina display, I'll be there in the line at the Apple store in the early morning, just like I was there for iPad 1 and iPad 3. (For iPhone 4, too, the first-ever with a Retina screen, I went to my mobile operator's store on Day 1.)

Never regretted any of the purchases -- in fact, I continue using iPad 1 to this day, as a secondary display: which is precisely why I'm constantly aware and being reminded of just how inferior that 1024 x 768 pixels resolution is, compared to the iPad 3+ screen. (And also compared to the iPhone screen.) Yes, iPad mini is slightly smaller, so the screen will be slightly less horrible (measured by 2013 standards) than on iPad 1, but it just isn't enough. The above article and the pictures attached to it illustrate that very nicely.

If Apple was selling these non-Retina iPad minis at the price of $200 or so (similar to Google's Nexus 7), I might -- only maybe -- consider the purchase. But to pay $330 (in fact, significantly more for those of us in Europe) for a non-Retina screen 8-inch tablet is just ridiculous. My only hope is that the pricing is already set for the Retina-screen iPad mini, to be released later this year (my bet would be October 2013, just in time for pre-Christmas sales).
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #131
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A question for iPad owners who are reluctant to buy an iPad Mini: Is the lack of Retina display the only aspect of the Mini that concerns you?
Yes, I will preorder a "retina" iPad mini the first day I can. It doesn't even have to be double the current resolution--just to have a pixel density closer to the iPad 3.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:11 PM   #132
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It doesn't even have to be double the current resolution--just to have a pixel density closer to the iPad 3.
It will either be double the resolution, or nothing. Fiddling around with any resolution in between, would cause enormous problems for app developers. The only reason Apple could increase the resolution on the iPhone 5, is because they also changed the device's aspect ratio. (And now all apps need to readjust to the new iPhone 5 aspect ratio, creating extra work for developers.)

But the 3:4 aspect ratio used for the iPads is just perfect. So much better than the 10:16 or (even worse) 9:16 ratio used on most Android tablets! In fact, I find the 3:4 aspect ratio to be one of the iPad's strongest selling points, quite apart from the amazing display quality.

So my prediction is: iPad mini Retina will arrive in October 2013, it will sport double the current resolution, and because the screen will be physically smaller than the current iPad 3+, it will make the new iPad mini's screen the finest display Apple (or anyone else) has ever produced. It will be yet another technological breakthrough for Apple, a milestone for the computer industry. I can't wait!
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:18 PM   #133
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A question for iPad owners who are reluctant to buy an iPad Mini: Is the lack of Retina display the only aspect of the Mini that concerns you?
Personally, I'm just as concerned with a faster processor and correct scaling of the desktop icons. I need the mini to be more than a consumer's ocular chew toy.

Still, I was quite unimpressed when I saw the current mini's screen in person. It needs retina to compete (in my house, though not necessarily in the marketplace).

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Old 02-08-2013, 05:22 PM   #134
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It will either be double the resolution, or nothing. Fiddling around with any resolution in between, would cause enormous problems for app developers.
...
But the 3:4 aspect ratio used for the iPads is just perfect. So much better than the 10:16 or (even worse) 9:16 ratio used on most Android tablets! In fact, I find the 3:4 aspect ratio to be one of the iPad's strongest selling points, quite apart from the amazing display quality.
Couldn't they keep the same aspect ratio but at something like 1680x1260? The same retina apps would work, but be scaled down. Non-retina apps would be scaled up like they already are on the iPad3/4. Anyway, I agree the aspect ratio should stay 3:4. Just wondering how difficult it would be to power such a high density screen without adding weight as the xconomy article author speculated. Of course, technology is coming along rapidly. I hope we don't have to wait until October, though.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #135
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Couldn't they keep the same aspect ratio but at something like 1680x1260? The same retina apps would work, but be scaled down.
I'm no hardware expert, but I fear this is not technologically possible, or at least not easily. And, seeing the current iPad 3+'s resolution on an iPad mini would be so spectacular, that I wish Apple would just go for it. The very high price tag of $330 for iPad mini would then be justified at long last. I don't wish to see any "half-arsed compromises" in this regard, if they can be avoided.

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Just wondering how difficult it would be to power such a high density screen without adding weight as the xconomy article author speculated.
Right... I would accept a slightly increased weight for the privilege of being able to look at a Retina screen. After all, iPad 3+ is slightly heavier than iPad 2, but the difference in weight pales in comparison to the superiority of the display. It's a good trade-off.

I'm OK with waiting until October myself. We lived without any iPads for decades, so I can certainly live without an iPad mini for another half-year or so. I wish they would move all iPad releases to October of each year only, just like you know you can expect a new iPhone release whenever the fall comes around. So, my hope is Apple released iPad 4 in the fall of last year, precisely because that's the intended new release cycle for iPads. In other words, I wish they would skip all spring or summer release dates for iPads from now on.
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