Version Reviewed: 1.2
Reviewed on: iPad
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Weeks ago, Steve Jobs announced that the popular iBooks program would be released for iPhones and would begin to support the PDF format, showcasing them in a separate "bookcase" from the ePubs iBooks has traditionally been compatible with. One might think this would put a swift end to PDF readers like GoodReader or CloudReaders, but one of the best apps for PDF reading on the iPad and iPhone is a recent release.
Fast PDF purports to be your "iBooks for PDFs," showcasing a similar bookshelf visual and touting speeds faster than any other PDF reader on the iPad. I've tried GoodReader and Stanza, and found both to be average at displaying PDF files. GoodReader has sophisticated tools for PDF management and viewing, but it's plagued by slow page turns and zooms. Fast PDF lives up to its name and is easily the fastest PDF reader I have seen on my iPad. A comparison from Mobfarm, the developer of Fast PDF, demonstrates the speed differences between their app and any other on the platform.
The app appears simple and does exactly what it claims to. Reading and zooming of PDFs is quick, and the typical PDF transfer mechanisms are present within Fast PDF. Users can wirelessly transfer PDFs from their computers over WiFi, use an integrated browser, or download directly from PDFs. The included brightness slider is a nice touch as well. Fast PDF also allows the simple emailing of PDFs as well.
If you're looking for a simple PDF reader that will hold you over until the impending release of iBooks' PDF reading abilities, look no further than Fast PDF. It's more expensive, at $2.99, than some of its competitors, but the time and frustration Fast PDF will save you is definitely worth the extra charge.