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Web to PDF on iOS

After experiencing the limitations of PDF usage with iBooks on iOS (“Weaknesses of iOS: Annotating in iBooks”), I tried to save a web page as PDF using other apps on iOS. This is what happened:

– I used the ‘Web to PDF’ action in iCab browser. The app chosen as destination was Goodreader, which couldn’t open the newly created file.
– On Safari, I tried using the ‘Save to Dropbox’ button in the Sharing menu, but the PDF created was not paginated and not well finished.
– On Safari again, I triggered the ‘Make PDF’ action extension from Workflow (available in its gallery) after tapping on the Run Workflow button in the Sharing menu. It ended up well, but was the slowest thing I ever did on the iPad.

We sometimes forget how young and green the mobile technology is.


Weaknesses of iOS: Annotating in iBooks

This is how the test goes:

– Take a page in Safari you want to keep and pass it through the ‘Save PDF to iBooks’ sharing action.
– You automatically get the new PDF opened in iBooks, but the only thing you can do in it is inserting a bookmark.
– Don’t try to highlight text, add an arrow or a square or write a comment; such actions aren’t possible.
– You cannot even send this document to the Preview folder in iCloud Drive.

The Sharing action in iBooks on iOS
The ‘Sharing’ action in iBooks on iOS doesn’t allow the user to send the document to the Preview folder in iCloud Drive.
Actions when selecting text on a PDF in iBooks
The actions provided by the app when selecting text on a PDF don’t include highlighting it.

Is that a weakness or a conspicuous failure?