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I'm getting closer to my goal of not needing my laptop when I go out of town – I'm trying to get down to just needing my iPad. I've already shown some printing options in a past posting (and that might even become easier when Apple natively supports printing in a couple of months). I've got a couple of solutions for accessing desktops remotely, so I can run anything I need to for work or for home (although running something complex, like, say, Dreamweaver, is probably still too difficult, but I'm talking about doing quick fixes).

The only outstanding big issue I have is with PDFs. I'm in a few Play By EMail (PBEM) games of Speed Circuit, a racing board game. We try to get in a turn a day in each game, and the turns for most of the games I'm in are sent out as PDFs. The race track is a static image, and the cars are all notations on the track. Here's a sample (click on the graphic to be taken to an even smaller one – then click on that to see one where you can actually read it [no, it makes no sense to me either…]):

The colored circles represent the cars, and clicking on one (or hovering over it) in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader shows the details in the box (which are important pieces of info on the car's current speed and status).  

However, on an iPad, it looks like this:

No cars! iOS' built-in PDF viewer doesn't recognize annotations in PDFs, unlike on a Mac, where Preview does (although it's not as nice a display as in Acrobat).

But thanks to an update to ReaddleDocs for iPad($5), I'm a little bit closer (but not quite there). Here's what it looks like in ReaddleDocs (after touching an annotation):

It's a bit hard to see, but in the background are a lot of little word balloons – those are the cars. And as you can see, almost all the info from the car is displayed – all but the name of the driver (it may be hard to see, but my name appears in the title of the popup in the first graphic above). So if I don't remember exactly where my car was, I might not be able to pick it out of a crowd.

In addition, in one of my other races, the cars don't show up at all, just like in the iOS reader.

So hopefully soon I'll be able to do without my laptop on trips, but not just yet.

Any of you trying to get by on just your iPad when on a trip? If you can't, what's holding you back?


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3 Responses to Come A Little Bit Closer

  1. Phyllis Evans says:

    I’m a total sucker for a good video. It’s all your fault that I just bought a Jay & the Americans album on iTunes.

  2. […] October 6, 2010, in Software, iOS, iPad, by Jack Beckman So shortly after I post about ReaddleDocs adding annotations to their iPad PDF reader, GoodReader (0.99) adds it as well. Only GoodReader's support is slightly better […]