Product: Papers for iPad
Rating: Strong Recommend
Continuing as we promised, we have reviewed the Papers app for the iPad. We previously tried the iPhone version and found it seriously lacking as a platform. But, the iPad app has exceeded our expectations and looks to make the whole process of reviewing articles significantly easier from here on out, and might even move us to stop printing articles for review. Check below for our full review.
Papers for iPad is one of those few pieces of software that have revolutionized the way we conduct research. Previously, we were much like your typical baby boomer academic. We printed everything out from a laser printer, bound the paper, and then proceeded to read an article. While a much improved process compared to what conducting academic research used to be, it still wasted time and paper. Frankly, toner and paper can be a financial burden that a poor student or professor might not want to contend with.
Papers for the iPad (it is a universal app optimized for either the iPhone or iPad) easily syncs through WiFi with the Papers OS X app allowing you to keep your collections in sync. We noticed the benefit of this when we travel as it allows us to focus on our reading instead of trying to contort ourselves to read from a laptop. In addition, the app is not just a simple reading platform for the iPad. It also allows you to search for articles and organize them in your saved collections of articles. Unfortunately searching for articles on the iPad has the same caveats as the OS X version. You must log into a VPN or be on a subscribing institutions network. That should not be viewed as a flaw, just a reality of using article repositories.
Some might hate the idea of giving up the ability to mark on the worn paper of a good article. Mekentosj thought of this and made sure that note taking abilities are included in the app. Even better, Papers is not hard bound to import PDF's from only one source and the app can cull articles from Dropbox and MobileMe. All of those features make is a solid way to work with your articles from a centrally managed repository on your desktop computer.
In our eyes ,Papers has come to represent the future of research for its ease and integration. While we are sure the software can use some tweaks, having it designed by guys who went through the hell of a dissertation makes me all the more confident in their design decisions. We suggest giving it a try if you like papers on OS X and want to get the full benefit of moving our articles out of the dark ages.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.