What I Liked at Macworld|iWorld: PDFpen for iPad

PDFpen for iPad ScreenshotDisclosure: Smile sponsors Mac Power Users and I have been beta testing PDFpen for iPad for several months. Regardless of their sponsorship, I think the product is awesome and am thrilled to finally be able to talk about it publicly. When I first learned that the Smile team were working on PDFpen for iPad I was over the moon with excitement. PDFpen is one of my must-have applications on the Mac and the ability to have some of that functionality on the iPad would open up a whole new level of productivity on the go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a PDF on my mobile device but had to wait until I got home to do something with it. With PDFpen for iPad, no more.

PDFpen for iPad incorporates many of the key features of it’s bigger brother, PDFpen for Mac including the ability to add text, images and signatures to PDFs, make changes and corrections to PDFs, fill out PDF forms, save commonly used images (like your signatures, initials, company logos etc) in your image library for future use, and annotate and mark up PDFs with comments, notes, shapes and more.

Because simply having PDFpen functionality on the iPad wasn’t enough, the Smile team also decided that they were going to incorporate iCloud support both for PDFpen for iPad and their desktop applications. This means you can store your PDFs in the cloud edit them on the fly on your iPad or Mac and the changes will always be in sync. If developers like Smile can figure out how to make iCloud access work so seamlessly for their Apps, it makes you wonder what Apple’s problem is with iWork.

Given the type of work I do in my day job, I interact with PDFs on a daily basis and unfortunately I have to do most of this on my work PC at the office and fumbling around with Adobe Acrobat. In fact, I have been known to remote access into my home Mac from my PC at work JUST so I could use PDFpen. Since my iPad is with me just about everywhere I go, I see a lot more work being accomplished on my iPad and on the go.

Because of the restrictions currently put in place by Apple, iCloud support is available natively for copies of PDFpen and PDFpenPro bought directly from the Mac App Store. If you purchased your copy direct from Smile, you’ll need to purchase and install the $0.99 companion application PDFpen Cloud Access which is available on the Mac App Store. While some may see this extra hoop as a disappointment, I have to give kudos to the Smile team for finding such an elegant workaround to this restriction and bringing iCloud Support to all versions of PDFpen regardless of where it was purchased.

The team at Smile is always innovating, ridiculously smart, and on top of it all, they’re above average dancers. I’m thrilled to have PDFpen on my iPad and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.