If you somehow don’t know what GoodReader is, YOU SHOULD.

GoodReader truly is the Jack of all trades and master of many when it comes to viewer/reader apps. Odds are pretty good that if you need a reader to view a particular type of document on your iPad, GoodReader for iPad will handle it. PDFs may be its most prominent format, but it boasts support for an absolutely astonishing number of formats including PDFs (of unlimited size), txt files, high-resolution images (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .bmpf, .png, .ico, .cur, .xbm), Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), HTML files and Safari webarchives. It even supports viewing of any audio and video files that are natively supported by iOS.

If the plethora of file formats wasn’t choice enough, Good.iWare offers GoodReader users an equally amazing number of ways to get their content both into and out of the app. Are still kicking it old school and like to use iTunes and a USB cable for file syncing, or perhaps you are a Dropbox user, or prefer SugarSync, it doesn’t matter GoodReader has got you covered. Grab documents from the web, Google Docs, email, ftp servers, sync with a remote server or transfer files onto your device via wifi. With the latest update, GoodReader now has iCloud file access as well!

While GoodReader is a ‘viewing’ app, it does come with a really robust set of annotation tools for PDF files. When opening a PDF for the first time, you are presented with the option of saving all your changes to the original file or creating a separate copy of the file on which you will be making your notes. Intuitive and easy to use, you can highlight, underline, cross-out words, add bookmarks, add popup sticky notes, lines, arrows, boxes, circles and more. You also have full search capabilities of the document’s text, you can jump pages and alter the page layout and/or orientation. Once you are done marking up the document, you can email a full copy, a summary of just your notes or print the file. On a recent trip to Disney World with my family, I used GoodReader to view a PDF format of the Unofficial Guide To Disney World, making extensive use of the annotation features to bookmark pages and highlight areas of interest for quick future reference.

Good.iWare really seems to have thought of everything, and there is just so much to this app, that it’s difficult to keep from going into too much detail, however one final thing that I want to make sure to highlight is the high quality in-app help. Too often it seems like larger productivity apps offload their help to the web, which is all fine and good if you have internet access, but when you are in an airplane at 40,000 feet and have no internet access for your WiFi-only iPad, it’s great to have all of the documentation in a well organized and accessible manner directly accessible from within the app. Good.iWare’s docs team has done a commendable job in this area, with perhaps the only shortcoming being a lack of search capabilities within the help.

In Conclusion

There are plenty of reader/viewer to choose from on the App Store, but for my money GoodReader stands out as the one with the most robust feature set and farthest reaching in terms of file formats. The amount of choices this app offers for how and where you load your content from and save it to is absolutely mind-boggling. While I wish it was a universal app for those times that I need to view something on my iPhone, $4.99 is a great price for either of the device-specific releases of this Swiss Army knife of a reader app.