I am looking for an iPad app (Android app references will also be considered useful) which allows reading PDF files and annotating them with a stylus, resembling the experience I would have with a pen and a piece of paper as closely as possible.

This requires:

  1. Not enforcing to go through button clicking, context menus or popups every time I want to write something. (i.e. add annotation, accept annotation). It completely breaks the reading experience.

    I don't even care if that kind of a step-based work-flow is better if you want to edit/delete the annotations. I would be happy even if deletion/edition was not allowed, a good old cross-out would be enough for me.

  2. The writing experience should be snappy and responsive. I don't want lines to follow my stylus-tip as I write, like laggy comets in orbit. A good example of good behaviour in this regard is Wacom's Bamboo Write App

Optionally it would be simply awesome if it was had handwritting calculator capabilities like MyScript Calculator. I am used to make calculations in the margins, when reading engineering or math-related books.

I have tried Goodreader and iAnnotate but neither of them comply with (1) or (2). Any suggestions?

3 Answers 3


I found it! Good notes does exactly (1) and (2)

You can write without accessing menus and browse the document at the same time by using two-finger gestures (to distinguish them from the writing itself). And writing is really snappy.

It also happens to have a great feedback system, so I added a suggestion to add a handwritting calculator.

The only missing features (for my taste) are margin cropping and automatic Dropbox synching.


You can do this with Adobe Reader by Adobe There is a version for Andriod too, and it is free as well.

  • No you can't, specially not (1). You need to click buttons in order to annotate and then save the annotations. Please read questions carefully before answering.
    – fons
    Feb 15, 2013 at 23:21
  • My bad. Sorry I am not perfect.
    – TheXed
    Feb 16, 2013 at 21:31

I use my iPad all the time at work and during meeting, it's important to import, make annotation and share my files with people. To do this I use Beesy, really nice app, I can read my pdf files on iPad easier, it's very good tool for profesional: http://www.beesapps.com/management-productivity/import-and-read-pdf-files-on-ipad/ I saw they are on Trunk Evernote so I think it's can be interesting.


  • 1
    I don't think it complies with (1).
    – fons
    Jan 13, 2014 at 23:48
  • I watched the demo, I couldn't see any annotation of PDF. Feb 21, 2014 at 19:47

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