One of the most useful functions of the iPhone/iPod Touch is the ability to use it as a document reader. You can read PDF from native apps Mail and Safari, but the features are limited. Normally I use the application Files in order to read PDF, Microsoft Office and iWork documents – and it usually works great for that purpose.
However, large PDF files are common and can cause problems. eBooks, for example, are often in PDF format and can easily run over 100 Mb. For a few different reasons there are issues with files of this size being read on the iPhone. The whole PDF file is normally preloaded into the memory of the iPhone, but if the file is bigger than about 50 MB, you won’t be able to load the document and the application will subsequently crash.
This is where the Good Reader app from Good.iWare comes in. Good Reader is an app designed to read large PDF files. It achieves this by loading the documents page-by-page, rather than all at once. I tested files of about 150 MB and had no issues at all. The App Store description states that Good Reader can handle files over 500 MB, so big documents are not a problem.
The downside of using this application is that there is a noticeable load time when moving between pages. Sometimes about 3-4 seconds – which can start to get a little frustrating, especially if you’re just intent on skimming through a document.
From my understanding, Good Reader is the only application that can handle PDF files over 50 MB. If you have the need to access large documents on your iPhone/iPod Touch, then this app will stand you in good stead. The only downside, as mentioned, is the load times – but an otherwise highly functional application.
Bottom Line: If you need to be able to read large PDF files, Good Reader is the way to go.
Good Reader requires the iPhone OS 2.0 or later, and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.