IBM recently rolled out a free mobile app for using IBM Redbooks. The app is available for Apple devices through the Apple App Store and Android devices through Google Play (search either store for “IBM Redbook”). Microsoft mobile devices are left out in the cold! Again.
I installed the IBM Redbook app on both my iPhone and my iPad. The smartphone version is probably best saved for quick reference work–the form factor works against the readability for long reading sessions. On the iPad, the usability factor raises dramatically. There is a good “favorites” feature and the search works well. You can download Redbook PDFs to your device for persistent storage or read the books online.
My go-to app for reading PDFs offline is GoodReader for Apple iPhones and iPads. This awesome little app alone makes my iPad worthwhile. It lets you annotate PDFs in a variety of ways, it works with DropBox and other cloud storage accounts, and provides a great folder system for organizing your PDF-based documents. GoodReader is so good that it has made PDF my preferred format for any ebook that I acquire. Nerdy types with Apple devices need to check out GoodReader. It is the best five bucks I’ve ever spent on a mobile app. I was disappointed that the Redbook mobile app doesn’t offer an “open in” feature that would let you pop a Redbook directly into GoodReader.
The IBM Redbook doesn’t replace GoodReader for me, but for those times when I need a quick answer, especially away from my desk, the Redbook mobile app is certainly worthwhile.