iPad: The fact that I can't save PDF files from safari is a deal breaker

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
I learned the other day at the Apple store that I can't save PDF files from safari. My work requires the reading of PDF files (academic journals). Why does a tablet, which is perfect for reading text, not support the saving of PDf files? To be clear, I know I can read pdf files in safari, but I cannot save them to the home screen. The fact that I can save a link is moronic. Links to journals don't work. You have to save the file. What's wrong with apple? Why can't you save (at least certain) content using safari? Apple really screwed up on this one. No professional academic will buy an iPad without this feature (at least not for work).



For those of you who bought an iPad, enjoy your oversized iPhone.



I'll stick to my MacBook Pro.



Algol
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    There are several apps that do this. It would be nice, though,if you could do it directly from safari, especially with the (slightly) better handling of files in the iPad. I'm an academic, and that isn't my problem- the limitations on the iWork suite for iPad, in particular the loss of some parts of an original Mac iWork file are my main problem with using this thing for work.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    algolalgol Posts: 833member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    There are several apps that do this. It would be nice, though,if you could do it directly from safari, especially with the (slightly) better handling of files in the iPad. I'm an academic, and that isn't my problem- the limitations on the iWork suite for iPad, in particular the loss of some parts of an original Mac iWork file are my main problem with using this thing for work.



    I realize there are third party apps that allow me to view and save PDFs. This isn't sufficient. I want to be able to save the content from the web, without having to transfer them from my other computer. I want to be able to browse through databases on my iPad and download PDFs to read. The sad thing is that apple could add this functionality easily. I think it was just an oversight.



    I take it from your handle that you're a philosopher. I'm a graduate student in Philosophy. I'm currently working on my dissertation. So, you can see why reading pdf content is important to me.



    Sorry if my tone sounds harsh. I'm just so pissed at apple.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    ... in particular the loss of some parts of an original Mac iWork file are my main problem with using this thing for work.



    What parts? I haven't even figured how to get an iWork file onto the iPad. What am I missing?
  • Reply 4 of 53
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Algol - there are also apps that use the built in webkit to act as a browser and then let you save from within it. I haven't used them so I don't want to recommend any but you can find them with a search on the app store.



    Dr M - the big thing for me is that you lose presenter notes when you import keynote, but you also apparently lose some other things like footnotes in Pages. That doesn't affect me but others have been complaining about it. I can understand that the ipad versions don't do everything the full computer can do, but If it doesn't retain everything you put into it on the Mac, then you can't transfer back and forth.



    You can get iWork Mac docs into iWork iPad via iTunes. When the iPad is plugged in go to the apps tab and you can import from there. Or you could email them, etc.



    BTW, typing on this thing is SO much nicer than on an iPhone. Not as good as a regular keyboard to be sure, but pretty damn good. It really is the size rather than the virtual keyboard that is the issue when typing on the iPhone, IMO.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Algol View Post


    I learned the other day at the Apple store that I can't save PDF files from safari. My work requires the reading of PDF files (academic journals). Why does a tablet, which is perfect for reading text, not support the saving of PDf files? To be clear, I know I can read pdf files in safari, but I cannot save them to the home screen. The fact that I can save a link is moronic. Links to journals don't work. You have to save the file. What's wrong with apple? Why can't you save (at least certain) content using safari? Apple really screwed up on this one. No professional academic will buy an iPad without this feature (at least not for work).



    For those of you who bought an iPad, enjoy your oversized iPhone.



    I'll stick to my MacBook Pro.



    Algol



    Apple thinks file systems are too complex for the average person.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    I found the transfer method, in iTunes under the Apps tab, down at the bottom. I expected a separate tab. It works, but some improvement is needed here.



    I tried a couple of Pages documents and Keynote presentations. Both had formatting and font problems. I'd sure like to see some way to add fonts to the iPad.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,831moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    What parts? I haven't even figured how to get an iWork file onto the iPad. What am I missing?



    I would say a filesystem manager but I think we reached the conclusion only geeks wanted a filesystem manager to be allowed to sort out the issues with it and feel good about themselves. Instead what Apple seems to have provided is the Magical? File Transfer Solution:



    http://gizmodo.com/5508935/ipad-test...-your-computer



    No geeks required. Now is that easier or far more complicated than being able to put an SD card in the iMac, copy a file over, slot it into the adaptor on the iPad and import direct from it? Heck if it had a built-in SD slot, you could even work on the file without import/export/import all the time.



    The filesystem manager would let you save PDFs too. Not a full-blown Finder of course, just something like the photo app for documents that aren't images, music, movies etc. and it would list them like the iPod part lists songs, sort by name, type, size etc.



    Finder Mini or iFinder.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    algolalgol Posts: 833member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I would say a filesystem manager but I think we reached the conclusion only geeks wanted a filesystem manager to be allowed to sort out the issues with it and feel good about themselves. Instead what Apple seems to have provided is the Magical? File Transfer Solution:



    http://gizmodo.com/5508935/ipad-test...-your-computer



    No geeks required. Now is that easier or far more complicated than being able to put an SD card in the iMac, copy a file over, slot it into the adaptor on the iPad and import direct from it? Heck if it had a built-in SD slot, you could even work on the file without import/export/import all the time.



    The filesystem manager would let you save PDFs too. Not a full-blown Finder of course, just something like the photo app for documents that aren't images, music, movies etc. and it would list them like the iPod part lists songs, sort by name, type, size etc.



    Finder Mini or iFinder.



    You make a good point Marvin. My girlfriend asked an Apple store employee whether she could attach her flash drive to the iPad. When the employee said she had to connect it to the computer to transfer content, she said "that sounds really complicated." Folks, there is a reason why most Operating Systems have filesystem management. It makes life easier.



    The iPad is a content viewing devise. If you cannot manage your content you can't (practically speaking) view it. Therefore, the iPad needs a filesystem manager.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I would say a filesystem manager but I think we reached the conclusion only geeks wanted a filesystem manager to be allowed to sort out the issues with it and feel good about themselves. Instead what Apple seems to have provided is the Magical? File Transfer Solution:



    http://gizmodo.com/5508935/ipad-test...-your-computer



    No geeks required. Now is that easier or far more complicated than being able to put an SD card in the iMac, copy a file over, slot it into the adaptor on the iPad and import direct from it? Heck if it had a built-in SD slot, you could even work on the file without import/export/import all the time.



    The filesystem manager would let you save PDFs too. Not a full-blown Finder of course, just something like the photo app for documents that aren't images, music, movies etc. and it would list them like the iPod part lists songs, sort by name, type, size etc.



    Finder Mini or iFinder.



    Who uses an SD card for file transfer?



    It's pretty obvious that they need better file management. I'd like to be able to just dump whatever files I want onto the iPad - wired or wirelessly - and then let the ipad sort out which apps can read which files. I think that where things are going, even it's not there yet.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    Who uses an SD card for file transfer?



    It's pretty obvious that they need better file management. I'd like to be able to just dump whatever files I want onto the iPad - wired or wirelessly - and then let the ipad sort out which apps can read which files. I think that where things are going, even it's not there yet.



    I agree. I suspect this process will be improved with 4.0. Many of us have apparently forgotten the relative primitiveness of iPhone 1.0.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Algol View Post


    I learned the other day at the Apple store that I can't save PDF files from safari. My work requires the reading of PDF files (academic journals). Why does a tablet, which is perfect for reading text, not support the saving of PDf files? To be clear, I know I can read pdf files in safari, but I cannot save them to the home screen. The fact that I can save a link is moronic. Links to journals don't work. You have to save the file. What's wrong with apple? Why can't you save (at least certain) content using safari? Apple really screwed up on this one. No professional academic will buy an iPad without this feature (at least not for work).



    For those of you who bought an iPad, enjoy your oversized iPhone.



    I'll stick to my MacBook Pro.



    Algol





    I require to use a lot of PDF file for scientific journals and I was thinking of using the iPad for it. I wasnt sure it could be done until I saw a video in youtube about an app that lets you view pdf files. I'm still not certain if pdf files can be saved tho.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwij_hmg4_c
  • Reply 12 of 53
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,831moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    Who uses an SD card for file transfer?



    Photographers. Images are files too essentially. Flash drives are most common but iPad already has an SD connector kit and USB SD readers are common and sometimes come in packs with SD cards.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    It's pretty obvious that they need better file management. I'd like to be able to just dump whatever files I want onto the iPad - wired or wirelessly - and then let the ipad sort out which apps can read which files. I think that where things are going, even it's not there yet.



    Dump the files into what though? They have to go somewhere on the iPad in one of two locations: either an application dependent or independent space. If it's specific to one app then it's hard to open one file in multiple apps. If the files are shared, the files alone should be managed so you can free up space without using a computer.



    Plus, it would be better if you could send the files from the iPad (wireless preferred as you mention) rather than using the computer for both sending and receiving.



    Most people are familiar with the concept of what a document is. When you open the iPod app or a photo browser, you are already using a file manager (perhaps filesystem manager is less accurate in this case as grouping doesn't have to be included). What I'm suggesting is the same type of manager but for non-media files.



    If you want to save a file from a website, it goes there. If you want to drop Word files or Excel spreadsheets, they go there too. Even if the external source has a filesystem, it doesn't need to show it. It can display a flat list of files like Spotlight would. It's really just a 2 column app and move files left or right. Copying to the destination would go into a standard directory such as iPad/PDF/file1.pdf and could be read/copied in itunes if preferred.
  • Reply 13 of 53
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    This free online service will convert web pages (and other things) to PDF and email a download link to you.



    http://www.expresspdf.com/





    Sure there are others.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    The location and functionality of the file transfer stuff in iTunes, combined with the iPad's timing vis-a-vis OS4, makes me think that a far more robust solution will be provided.



    For my part, I think mobileme's iDisk is going to get a major overhaul, and become tightly linked to the iPad's ecosystem so it'll serve as the defacto file system. Apple may have to make the hooks into such a system widely available via API so that competing solutions (dropbox, etc.) can effectively compete....we'll see.



    On the whole my issue is not getting docs onto the iPad or into the iWork apps, it's getting documents back out, and into a decent file repository. Not a fan of the giant flat file for all docs.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Download "downloader", open app, download PDF.



    Not that tough.
  • Reply 16 of 53
    I can understand the frustration with saving from Safari on the iPad. I'm an academic that needs access to PDFs, but I've found a reasonable solution. A little app called Goodreader solved my problems (only $0.99). It accesses dropbox, google docs, and has a nice PDF reader. The integration with Safari is deceptively easy. Get to the PDF page and just insert a "g" before the "http" and it downloads the PDF and you can easily upload it to a networked computer or the cloud. Today I've downloaded many files from PubMed and NIH Commons with no problems on my iPad. I'm sure there are other solutions out there as well, but this little app moves my iPad much closer to an everyday mobile replacement for hauling around my MacBook. I have no affiliation with the Goodreader company, just a very satisfied user.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    I think this link may be a solution to saving PDFs found in iPad safari.



    http://www.gilsmethod.com/how-to-sav...b-on-your-ipad
  • Reply 18 of 53
    Here is another goodreader technique



    How do I save a file from Safari to GoodReader?

    If you browse the Web with Safari, and open a file that is interesting to you, there is a way of saving this file into GoodReader's internal local storage, so you will be able to view this file with GoodReader without loading it from the Internet every time (like it happens in Safari).



    To save a file from Safari to GoodReader:



    open the file of interest in Safari

    tap Safari's address bar (the keyboard will appear)

    go to the very beginning of the file's URL address, where the http:// or https:// part is

    add a single letter g in front of the address, so you'll have ghttp:// or ghttps:// instead of http:// or https://

    press Go on the keyboard (this will close Safari and start GoodReader)

    the file will start to download into GoodReader automatically (check Web Downloads section to find it)

    if for some reason adding g doesn't work, try to add gr or giw, so you'll have grhttp://, grhttps://, giwhttp:// or giwhttps://

    Please note, that this technique doesn't always work with secure servers. If it doesn't, then try browsing for this file in GoodReader's built-in web-browser, rather than in Safari.
  • Reply 19 of 53
    sennensennen Posts: 1,470member
    ^^ great app, good reader!
  • Reply 20 of 53
    You guys just don't seem to get it. It is NEITHER that Apple can not put a file system manager into iPad NOR Apple can NOT put some interfaces such as SD card reader to make your life less complicated. It is about money!



    Apple intentionally disabled these functions. So you have to use iTune. So you have to PAY MONEY to Apple for contents. Why Apple does NOT support Flash on iPad? So you can NOT watch a clip free via a browser. If you want to watch a movie, you must pay for it! This is their business model.



    BTW, did you ever wonder why you could not change battery on your iPhone or iPod yourself? Did Apple think you were that stupid, not even capable of changing a simple battery? No, Apple did this because they want to sell you a new piece of hardware every two years! Just about the time your battery run out of juice, you would found that it is way too expensive to keep running your old hardware than getting the new hardware.



    So is this model working? It worked extremely well for Apple! Apple made tons. Is this model wasting resources? Absolutely! Just think about all the hardware you had to throw away! And just think about all the environment problems related to manufacturing your next GREAT Apple CREATION!



    I eat apple, not use one.
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