Version Reviewed: 1.7
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third-generation)
iPad Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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If nothing else, the iPad is a great device for reading. The App Store is full of file management apps for PDFs and other types of files and many of them, while functional, look awful. Book+ packs powerful features with an aesthetically-pleasing interface that results in one of the better file managers I’ve used on the iPad (it’s a universal app so it’s iPhone compatible as well).
It definitely has an easy-to-use and snappy interface. All of the features function quickly and are easy to figure out. Also, the variety of import options makes the app quite versatile (though Dropbox is always the way to go). Import options include Dropbox, iDisk, WebDAV, Amazon S3, SugarSync, Pogoplug, and Box.
It has some great touch features like Smart Focus, which zooms into a specific area by double-tapping and dragging over the desired zoomed area, and Smart Zoom, which switches from thumbnail view to single page view when looking at a multiple page document. Users can add bookmarks that target specific selections from a page. And, within those bookmarks, users can create comments on the selected passages. Also, the Retina graphics made most of my PDFs look like freshly printed pieces of paper on my new iPad (added in the apps most recent update).
The local cache in the app can quickly be filled up by viewing files in Dropbox or other supported services. There’s an easy method of clearing that cache in the settings. This is an important feature for users looking to put Book+ through heavy use.
It took me longer than I believe it should have to find the way to copy a file from Dropbox to the Book+ local folder (to view it offline). Instead of having a simple, one-tap button when viewing the file, users have to tap edit, select the file, and click copy (then pick Book+ or a user-created folder).
While it’s called Book+, it doesn’t necessarily have the greatest support for book files. It’s important that users know that this app is made primarily to read PDF files, not all books in general. I attempted to download an ePub eBook I had in Dropbox and the app strangely only pulled the images out of the book and created a 12-page picture book including the book’s cover, map, and some random images. Don’t try to use anything but a PDF with this app. Although, PowerPoint slideshows actually displayed decently. (Note: I also randomly tried a Scrivener file out of curiosity - didn’t work.)
Book+ is a powerful PDF file manager with a well-designed, responsive interface. Anyone looking for an alternative to iBooks to manage PDFs should definitely give this app a look.