iPod Touch as a PDA
October 2, 2008 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Can I save files (specifically pdfs) on an ipod touch?

I'm thinking about buying an ipod touch to use as a PDA - I love the display and it has all the medical programs that I want - but I want to be able to save files to it in order to access them later: papers, my own notes, and so on. Is there a way to do this without jailbreaking, or without just emailing everything to myself?

Bonus points: Does it have a good pdf reader?
posted by deliquescent to Technology (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
There is a great app store program called Air Sharing that lets you mount your iPod or iPhone on your computer as a drive and drag files to it, including PDFs. You can then unmount the ipod and view the PDFs locally whenever you want. It works very well.
posted by neustile at 3:39 PM on October 2, 2008

Airsharing will do what you're asking. It's only $5. If you want a free one, but with not as great an interface, you can use DiskAid.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 3:41 PM on October 2, 2008

Yes. You can use Airsharing. Or you can do what I did before the app store opened up: email yourself the pdf; using the ipod's mail app, get your email, and download and open the pdf. Now it will be available for viewing even if you're not on a wireless connection.

I also use Stanza, which is awesome, but it's not always great at preserving the formatting of pdfs.
posted by rtha at 4:00 PM on October 2, 2008

Whoops. Missed the no-emailing-to-self part. Sorry. Airsharing does work a treat - pdfs, jpegs, excel sheets, etc. Very cool.
posted by rtha at 4:01 PM on October 2, 2008

Air Sharing is actually $6.99 now, but was free for the first 1 or 2 weeks, when I downloaded it.
posted by jaimev at 4:04 PM on October 2, 2008

Access them later means viewing them on the iPhone? If so, then no, you can't save PDFs for viewing, only viewing through e-mail or the web browser.

If you are talking about using the iPhone as mass storage, to keep PDFs to read on a computer, then yes, you can use Airshare as suggested.
posted by wongcorgi at 4:21 PM on October 2, 2008

Response by poster: Hmm - yeah, I did want to access them on the ipod. My goal was to have references that I could review in the hospital if necessary, where I won't have internet access. I was hoping to be able to have them organized in some sort of file system.

Not that I have really strong convictions against the emailing to myself idea, it just seemed like a bulky and ungraceful solution.
posted by deliquescent at 4:27 PM on October 2, 2008

I just got something called sugarsync that is supposed to do that. Haven't tried it yet.
posted by Gregamell at 4:34 PM on October 2, 2008

There's also MobileFinder (iTunes store link) for only $1.99. I believe it lets you view PDFs and docs (dont' have the device in front of me).
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:00 PM on October 2, 2008

Best answer: wongcorgi, deliquescent: Air Sharing lets you view PDFs offline after copying them, on the device. It does just what you want. You copy files to the iPod from your computer and then you can read them on the device whenever you want.
posted by neustile at 6:00 AM on October 3, 2008

What neustile said: Yes, yes you can keep pdfs for viewing, on the iphone/ipod touch, without a wireless connection. I'm looking at one right now on my touch. Airsharing lets you do this.
posted by rtha at 6:14 AM on October 3, 2008

rtha, how are you getting Stanza to read pdfs? I was under the impression that you could only download things from the online repositories it accesses, but I'd love it if I were wrong.
posted by averyoldworld at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2008

Oh, heck no, averyworld. Oh, but...Stanza has a desktop app that may be Mac-only at this point (not sure about that). So, with the desktop app, I can open a pdf or a word doc in Stanza, and Stanza converts it - sometimes losing all formatting, sometimes only losing bolds/itals (it seems to do better w/ Word docs, but I've had n trouble with some pdfs). Then, with the converted stanza version open, and both my laptop and ipod touch on the same wifi network, I go to Stanza on the touch, select shared books, and voila, it syncs with the Stanza version on my laptop.
posted by rtha at 2:10 PM on October 3, 2008

Response by poster: OK, just as a follow up - airsharing does exactly what I want it to do. If I could edit my word files etc it would be even better, but for right now its great. Thanks for all the tips!
posted by deliquescent at 10:09 AM on November 11, 2008

Deli; Are you using an iPod touch or Iphone? 1st gen or 2nd gen? I am thinking of using an itouch as a PDA as well, I would like the organizational/syncing capabilities, without getting a smartphone that requires an expensive dataplan. Any follow up as to how it is going for you would be great to hear. See my recent post: Verizon PDA/Cell with no dataplan?
posted by retro88 at 9:06 AM on December 18, 2008

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