iPDF Thumb

Review: iPDFWriter for iPhone

Rating: 1/5

Posted in Apps, iPhone, Reviews on 07/12/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler

667s

If you’re looking to create a PDF document, and you only have an iPhone at your disposal, iPdfWriter ($3.99, App Store link) may be just the sort of app you’re looking for, allowing you to create professional multipage PDF documents while away from your computer.

Overview

iPdfWriter is a very interesting app, and contains plenty of tools and features to help you create custom PDF documents, including templates, over 40 unique fonts, customizable text, images, table, barcodes and more.

In short, iPdfWriter contains all the tools you’ll need in order to create nearly any type of PDF document imaginable, secure the document with a password, then email the document to yourself or someone else directly from within the app.

Design

Unfortunately, while iPdfWriter does contain all the tools you’ll need, what it lacks is a suitable interface. The app’s interface is about as unintuitive as you can get. Adding, removing, or editing content is a terrible chore, due partly to the ridiculously small size of the control buttons, and also partly due to the fact that almost nothing in the app is labeled.

The app doesn’t even take advantage of gestures built into iOS. To zoom in on a document, instead of pinching and spreading, you must use a blue slider bar at the bottom of the screen (and that’s assuming that you understand what that slider is, as it is neither labeled nor obvious).

I was also puzzled by the fact that this app is designed only for the iPhone, with no iPad version in sight. Frankly, an app like this simply doesn’t belong on a device with such a small screen – the developer would have been much better suited to develop this as an iPad app.

Usability

Using this app is a guessing game. Even after reading the tutorial (which I take issue with anyone having to do for a simple content creation app), I was left confused. Even when I did learn how to accomplish the various tasks in the app, I found the app something of a chore to use.

The buttons in the app are ridiculous. I often found that, since the button was significantly smaller than my finger, I would often press the wrong button, not because I wasn’t aiming for the correct button, but because the button was so small that I ended up hitting a neighboring button instead (since you can’t press two buttons at once).

By the time you finish creating any useful sort of document with this app, you’ll have wasted so much time that the value of the document you just put together is far outweighed by how long it took to complete.

Verdict

Considering this app’s nearly unusable interface, its lack of labels, the absurdly small size of the various buttons, the fact that you have to read a manual to do much of anything in the app, and its $3.99 price tag, I don’t feel I could recommend this app to anyone. At all.

But hey – it does come with a decent collection of fonts, objects and images. Too bad you’re stuck with this app if you want to make use of them.

Rating & Conclusion

Rating: 1/5
Rating: 1/5

iPdfWriter is a good idea, and I’m sure someone could develop an excellent program for creating and editing PDF’s on the iPhone. I’m sure it’s probably already been done. But one thing is crystal clear after spending some time with this app: iPdfWriter is NOT that app.

For its poorly designed interface, unnecessary level of complication, and overall lack of usability as anything other than a fast way to get a finger cramp, I award iPdfWriter a 1 out of 5. It gains a half-point for actually loading, and a half point for trying, but loses the other four for failing miserably.

iPdfWriter is available immediately from the App Store for $3.99 (App Store link), but you’ve been warned: I definitely don’t recommend it.

Pros

  • The app loads
  • Comes with some nice fonts, objects, and images

Cons

  • Poorly designed interface
  • Overly complicated
  • Buttons are too small
  • Way to time consuming to actually create a useful document
  • Price is far too high ($3.99) considering the app’s performance
  • No iPad version
  • Etc.


J. Glenn Künzler

Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.