View Large PDF files on iPhone with Good Reader

Price: $4.99    Score: 7/10    By Samuel Bostrom GoodReader (large PDF viewer) - read big PDF files with reflow

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.



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5 Responses to “View Large PDF files on iPhone with Good Reader”

  1. ilya says:

    The pages switching works much faster in the latest version. The developer has sent me a beta version for testing, and says it is submitted to the app store. When it comes out, the page switching should be almost instanteneous. The beta version also has many other good elements (can load files into the app via USB, or directly from the web). If you ask the developer for this beta version chances are he will give it to you before it comes out in the store. His email is
    support at goodiware dot com.

  2. Steve says:

    I was very impressed with this app. It’s fast and with its search, bookmark and easy navigation features, it’s very useable. This is a must have for your iphone or ipod touch.

  3. Kyith says:

    Very nice app. At current price of 99 cents it certainly beat out the more expensive competitors.

    To understand how to upload and view you documents easily and how viewable it is take a look at the review here

  4. frank says:

    This is a great app, but a few more additions would make it perfect.

    I use it to read technical books and find the ability to zoom in or re-flow depending on the situation really useful.

    In terms of improvements, can I suggest:

    [1] moving the re-flow on/off away from the turn page option, I find I miss it quite a lot and turn page … I would move a lesser used option to the middle such as night/day reading..

    [2] the ability to set bookmarks and a bookmarks menu which could take you to the bookmarks in any stored book.


  5. Marlon says:

    I’m wondering where I’d find a website where I can upload large pdfs viewable to the public?

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