Document delivery on the iPhone with GoodReader

I love my iPhone, but its core functionality doesn't always provide the tools necessary for me to function as a mobile librarian. Faculty requests for articles are an almost daily occurrence for me, and I'm not always in my office when I get them. Yesterday, for example, I was in a lunch presentation when I got an email from a colleague with an urgent request. I didn't have my laptop with me, so I used my iPhone to track down the article. JSTOR had the document I needed, but when I displayed the PDF file in Mobile Safari, there wasn't much I could do with it except read it. I certainly couldn't save a copy or attach it to an email:

So even though I'd found the requested article, I couldn't send it to the person who needed it it until I got back to my office an hour later.

I knew there had to be a way to get a PDF out of my browser and into an email. Josh Brauer tipped me off to an app called GoodReader. It's not free, but at 99 cents it's hardly expensive. GoodReader is a PDF/TXT reader and file storage application, and because it has its own web browser one can access PDFs on the web and save them.

 

Once the file downloads, it resides in the app's file library. From there, select it and choose the email option, which drops the file into a new email as a file attachment.

 

There's also a method for saving documents to GoodReader directly from within Mobile Safari, but I find it easier to use the app's browser since I'll have to switch to GoodReader to email the file anyway.

I've only described a small fraction of GoodReader's functionality here, but this document delivery feature alone makes it worth 99 cents. There's also a free version of the application that limits storage to only five documents.