App of the Week: GoodReader

Title: GoodReader
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
(Requires iOS 3.0 or later)
Cost: $2.99

Moving files from one device (or computer) to another can be a challenge. In the old days we used 5 1/4 inch discs. Then we had 3 1/2 inch discs. Then there was the move to USB flash drives. Of course lots of us store content in the cloud. But, even when working in the cloud, sometimes it’s not easy to get content from device to device. Good.iWare changes that with the GoodReader app which provides a variety of ways for getting content to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch when it lives somewhere else – your computer, Google Docs, email account, Dropbox (a cloud file storage system), etc. (The image on the left shows a list of files I’ve transferred to GoodReader along with the list of locations from which I can access files – gmail, Dropbox, and Google Docs.)

But, that’s not all you can do with GoodReader. Once documents are on your device you can work with them. For example, it’s possible to add notes and highlights to pdf files and edit documents originally created in a word processing program – Word, Pages (the Apple version of Word), and so on.

The Board documents for YALSA’s Midwinter meetings provide a perfect example of how the app works. I want to have the Board materials on my iPad so that I can read the documents while traveling, make notes while reading, and also easily access the docs at Board meetings. There are a few ways I can transfer these documents to the GoodReader app on my iPad. I can:

  • Download the files to my computer, connect my iPad to my computer, open iTunes, and synch selected files to GoodReader.
  • Download the files to my laptop, email them to myself, then connect to my email account on GoodReader on my iPad, and download the files to the app.
  • Download the files to my laptop, put them into Dropbox, connect to Dropbox via GoodReader on my iPad, and open the files in GoodReader.
  • Download the files straight from the YALSA website to my iPad and open them in GoodReader.

There are pros and cons to each method and the one that works best isn’t always the same. Different situations require different measures. The ability to choose from a variety of options for how to move from a computer or the cloud or a web server to a device is important. It means never being stuck not able to get to files needed.

Nancy Werlin Auction Sheet with open in example for GoodReaderOnce the files are added to my iPad I can read and work with them on GoodReader, or I can open them up in another app on my device. For example, I might have a Google Doc file that I want to work on on my iPad. Once I’ve added the file to GoodReader I can then open it up in Pages. The image on the left shows a file opened in GoodReader with the menu for opening the same file in Pages.

Another way GoodReader can be used is when teens collect database articles for homework projects. A teen can download full-text articles to a computer and move them to a device to access in GoodReader, or he might download the file directly to the device and open it in the app. Think how useful it can be for teens to carry around articles they need on their very portable device. And, not only carry them around, but also able to highlight content and take notes while reading on the device.

It’s also possible with GoodReader to move files into folders, rename files, and manage documents in much the same way that it’s possible to do with a traditional laptop, netbook, or desktop.

For both librarians and teens GoodReader is a useful tool. The app isn’t free. But, the $2.99 price tag is reasonable for the access GoodReader provides.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.
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