Freshly Squeezed Reviews: They Always Make Me Smile [PDFPen for iPhone]

Oct 5, 2012 | Reviews | 1 comment

Product: PDFPen for iPhone

Author: Smile

Price: $4.99US @ AppStore

Requirements : iOS 5 or later; optimized for iPhone 5

Test Rig: iPhone 4S, 32GB

I’m sure that you most likely have the same workflow as myself. Ideas get posted to the iPhone, fleshed out on the iPad, then finally polished and published from my desktop. That’s why I always fall in love with applications that code the same app three separate times, one version that takes advantage of each specific devices feature set.
That’s why I love Smile. They now have completed the PDFPen troika with PDFPen for iPhone.
“Put your PDFs in iCloud and it doesn’t matter if it’s your Mac or your iPhone when you’re on the go: your PDFs are there! PDFpen for Mac, for iPhone and for iPad make an unbeatable combination!”
I’ve been using Smile products for years, in particular, Text Expander on all three of my devices. Now, can lightning strike twice with PDFPen for iPhone?


The usual “I Can Do This In My Sleep Experience” that is acquiring and installation of AppStore apps. You have the  choice of which cloud service you wish to use; Dropbox or iCloud. You set all of this up in the Settings Menu, along with your choice of font and size.
Your documents are laid out in a grid which is customizable. You have your toolbar along the top, just as in the other iterations of PDFPen, including annotation, highlighting, shorthand, and the ever-necessary signature feature.
You can import other .pdf documents into your library, naturally.


PDFPen for iPhone is every bit as robust as its siblings. You have all the same tools to produce professional results. (If you’re a user of PDFPen Pro, understand that certain things that you’re used to having automated, you may have to do manually). But there’s simple shortcuts that you’ll find to enhance your workflow.
Also in your Settings Menu, Text Expander coupling (sweet!), stylus selection plus settings, and choice of document transfer (Wi-Fi, Bonjour or Numerical URL). .
Smile has a solid support system. For example, there’s a six minute video tutorial created by David Sparks that provides you with a quick, yet thorough, primer to get you started In no time at all. And a manual that is astoundingly thorough.


I’m not employed by Smile.


As you may or may not know, I have health issues that require me to spend an inordinate amount of time filling out forms. Fortunately, more and more medical services have their forms in .pdf format so that I can fill them out before my appointment. Easier on me to fill them out and easier on the office personnel who have to read them.
Again, another indispensable road warrior tool courtesy of Smile.  Don’t leave home without it.

RATING: 10 out of 10

©2012 Frank Petrie /

1 Comment

  1. Tom Duffy

    Great review! As always, it’s clear, concise, and you never, ever burry the lead. The juice, pulp, and rind have an almost tactile quality that keeps the take away accessible and retrievable.
    I’m familiar with Smile (on my Mac) through their sponsorship of “The Mac Cast” and “The Typical Mac User” podcasts. I think they’d be a good fit for sponsorship of ympnow.
    I’m very happy to learn that the medical community is beginning to use technology to reduce the pain of paperwork and I can only hope that this trend continues to mature to a user experience that is less like pursuing an untamed ornithoid.
    Tom Duffy


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