Papers 3 for iOS is now free. Good.

I recently wrote about how Papers 3 for Mac has been getting better and that now that they had ironed out many of the bugs, I was once again back using it. So far I haven’t been disappointed.

Some more good news to come out of the Papers 3 manufactory is that their iOS version is now offered for free. While it has dropbox syncing capability, I would stay away from that system and stick to the WIFI sync system if you want to keep your iPad/iPhone and mac based Papers 3 libraries in sync.

Why naming your PDFs consistently matters

I write on my MacBook Air and that is where my main Papers library resides. Each time I import a PDF into Papers, I get Papers to automatically rename the imported file from whatever it was to the following: Author Year Title . Since each PDF gets named the same way, this means that within my Mac, I can do a spotlight search on any of these elements and it is likely that I will be able to find the PDF I am looking for. Although I have many PDFs sitting in my Mac, I can usually remember enough of the detail to be able to quickly find it if I want. Having a consistent naming structure means that I have to spend less time worrying about how to find the original PDFs if I need to.

Syncing my Papers library with dropbox screws with this system. Dropbox needs to create a unique name for each PDF to keep everything straight in its database. Grrr.

The WIFI sync system, however, doesn’t rename your papers as can happen when you sync with Dropbox. This means my PDFs remain neatly filed away on my Mac. This makes me happy.

What’s Papers 3 on iOS like? I can’t wait to find out…

I haven’t used the new iOS version of Papers 3 yet. I have one of the first generation iPads and it is now so old and slow that it is basically unusable. I do hope to become more familiar the iOS version of Papers 3 in late November, however, as I intend to buy one of the new iPad Pro devices. Swoon.

The new iPad Pro will, I think, be awesome for my reading and writing workflows. I’m particularly looking forward to having a screen which is almost the same size as my MacBook Air and the ability to ‘split-screen’. Reading a paper on one side of the screen while having a browser open at the same time makes sense to me. I can search for related papers through my institutional library, check facts with Google or maybe check out the author’s online profile(s). Similarly, reading on one side of the screen while taking notes in, say Byword, on the other feels like it will be a great way to continue to do work when I’m out and about.

If you’ve got a perfectly good iPad and you are using Papers 3 for Mac already, now would be the time to try out their iOS version. At the price of free you’ve got nothing to lose, right?

If you do download it and try it out, I’d love to hear your reaction to it. Feel free to comment below, or tweet me @jasondowns.