GoodReader, reportedly the world’s top-selling PDF file management, viewing, and annotation app for iPhone and iPad, has recently released an update which adds VoiceOver compatibility.
“We are excited to be able to provide better access to documents on iPads and iPhones to those with visual or reading disabilities,” said Yuri Selukoff, president of Good.iWare. “Our aim is for GoodReader to be the best reader for all iPad and iPhone users, including those with difficulty reading documents on the screens of their devices. We want to help as many people as possible to take advantage of our advanced product, which is why we are improving accessibility for those who have trouble reading small text or seeing small button icons on an iPhone or iPad screen.”
We at AppleVis would like to applaud the team at Good.iWare for striving to ensure that GoodReader is accessible to all users. However, our initial experience suggests that there is still some work to be done before this can be considered as being fully accessible. For example, annotation, highlighting and editing did not appear to be possible with VoiceOver. If they are, the process is not immediately intuitive. There was also a point when the app became unresponsive. On checking with somebody sighted, it turned out that the menu bars had become hidden, leaving just the text of the PDF file. In this state, it was impossible to interact with the app. The only solution was to toggle VoiceOver off, tap the screen, and turn VoiceOver back on.
If you have used this latest update of GoodReader, we would love to hear what you think of the accessibility improvements … particularly if you have found workarounds for the problems that we encountered. In the meantime, we should all be encouraging Good.iWare to continue with the positive steps that they have already taken to make GoodReader accessible.
How to review a PDF without the speech
So, I purchased this app and expected that out of the box I could review a PDF. What I find is a message that states I double tap to have the file read. Not quite what I wanted nor expected. So, perhaps there is something I'm doing wrong, but upon opening the file I expected to be able to interact with the contents of the PDF. Any pointers welcome.
At this time I could not recommend GoodReader. The solution implemented for reading PDFs is not very useful. The developer is leveraging the speak all feature which allows the PDF to be read, but does not allow for editing etc. I requested and received a refund for this app because it offers absolutely no functionality that I cannot get elsewhere. I am going to focus my efforts on PDFpen for iOS. I have started a dialog with Smile Software and I believe there will be greater gains there as they have already started by making accessibility improvements in PDFpen for Mac.