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Multitasking with an iPad and Paizo PDF's


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Here is my iPad with Pazio PDF's. THought I'd share to show how well the PDF's look on the iPad.

http://gallery.me.com/thenorthman#100156/Mutitasking

http://gallery.me.com/thenorthman#100156/Mutitasking

Ok can not get it to work....not sure how to do it....but if you cut and paste into your browser it should work.

Sean

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I see you're using GoodReader as your PDF viewer, and it drops the Capital A's from one of our header fonts. I heard rumblings that the iPad now had a built-in Apple-provided PDF viewer... is that not the case?

Taldor

I think I might have answered this in another thread, but older PDF files definitely drop or move the A. Newer ones behave a little differently but can be cleared up with a zoom in Readdle, although I don't know if it's their native reader or the iPad PDF reader that shows up best. Readdle has an option to switch between them and I could make a comparison.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
I see you're using GoodReader as your PDF viewer, and it drops the Capital A's from one of our header fonts. I heard rumblings that the iPad now had a built-in Apple-provided PDF viewer... is that not the case?

I have not seen it on the iPad. I thought there was as well a native PDF.

Unless I am just not seeing it.

As to the Zoom function, the whole reason I was purchasing this is so I do not have to zoom in and out. I can now have the entire page in portrait form like I would a book. That was my main purpose. Plus light library for entire Pazio collection.

Sean


No iPad myself yet, but...

Well, if you moved your PDF reader closer to your iWork Apps the switch time would be a bit faster.

Also you may still want to use chapter by chapter (and thank you Paizo crew for having those as an option) files on the larger books. Even my MacPro foams at the mouth sometimes when I ask it to keyword Search the PFRPG Core book.

....

As far as I know the only native reader is the underlying one the OS uses for viewing PDFs from Emails or off the Web, and that some developers use to power their readers iBook only handles ePub formats.

....

Who knows how 3rd-party multitasking support in the iPhone OS4 this fall will mean for App switching. Looks like a double tap of the home button will pull up recent apps. So hopefully it'll mean even faster returns to an already open rules document.

Taldor

Thanks for the video, it was really helpful to see the core book on it and see how it performs.

It was disappointing to see such slow page turns. I was using an iPad yesterday, checking out iBooks and I was able to flip through pages effortlessly, whipping my hand across the screen rapidly, the pages just fluttered by.

True, those are ePub files, and they are only text, I was just hoping that the technology was robust and optimized enough that it could perform that way with the Pathfinder Core Book also.


It will still be a few years before the technology is robust enough in mobile computing devices to handle Paizo PDFs in their current state, Mok.

Paizo PDFs are just too image heavy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Multi-tasking on the iPad should be much more of a reality when the 4.0 OS comes out for the iPhone/touch/pad devices.

Taldor

LazarX wrote:
Multi-tasking on the iPad should be much more of a reality when the 4.0 OS comes out for the iPhone/touch/pad devices.

I'm not sure if the multitasking is going to be all that helpful for pdf though.

From what I'm reading about what is being implemented for multitasking is that it is a limited kind of multitasking. Essentially they are releasing the APIs that Apple used to allow their core apps to be able to multitask, so now 3rd parties can likewise use that feature.

So you can, as an example, have Pandora play music while doing something else because it is using the same features that the core ipod music feature is using.

In the end there are something like seven different types of multitasking that will be available, covering all of the normal needs for users.

It doesn't sound like I'd be able to have multiple pdfs open at once, with a convenient tab like task area at the bottom (or somewhere) on the screen that I could just tap and be able to jump back and forth between the two (or more) pdfs with just a single tap, the way I can on my windows computer with the task bar at the bottom.


thenorthman wrote:

Here is my iPad with Pazio PDF's. THought I'd share to show how well the PDF's look on the iPad.

http://gallery.me.com/thenorthman#100156/Mutitasking

http://gallery.me.com/thenorthman#100156/Mutitasking

Ok can not get it to work....not sure how to do it....but if you cut and paste into your browser it should work.

Sean

There is an easy way around the whole PDF problem. You can convert it into Epub format and then use it directly in Ibooks. There are many ways to do this like using www.epub2go.com for instance (Only works on files of 30 mb or less though).

EDIT: The best solution would be if Paizo released their own application which would enable us to buy the books straight on the Ipad/Iphone (WINK WINK ;) )

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice video!

I'm looking forward to getting the iPad with the 3G soon. Hope to use it at PiazoCon and GenCon.

I certainly want to get all of my Paizo PDFs on the iPad for reading. I think that perhaps I will be tring to convert the pfsrd pdf for rule lookup. I think that might work quicker.

I have a suspicion that converting some pdfs to Epub might be problematic with tables.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm really disappointed that there seems to be so many problems with PDF - a staple of offline content distribution.

I guess there's hoping that Adobe will release an official reader app? Converting to another format to read a pdf, in this day and age, is ludicrous.


VagrantWhisper wrote:

I'm really disappointed that there seems to be so many problems with PDF - a staple of offline content distribution.

I guess there's hoping that Adobe will release an official reader app? Converting to another format to read a pdf, in this day and age, is ludicrous.

There are such apps available, but it's always nice to have a way to read your books without having to rely on other applications. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.

how many books do you carry to your game?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chef's Slaad wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.

how many books do you carry to your game?

Never more than 2 to 4.

Pathfinder is easy, cause there aren't very many books yet.

D&D v3.5 was a little trickier...at least until they released the Rules Compendium (the other Compendiums help my friends a lot too).

We tend to write stuff (like class abilities and spells) out on our character sheets, so we rarely ever need the books to reference anything more than general rules.

Is our efficiency the exception rather than the norm then?


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really just prefer having the physical book to look in, and lugging them up the stairs is pretty much the only exercise i get.

there's a 4e app that looks really good for managing your character, this is all i really want, character sheets/ character management apps for pathfinder and other games. If i can keep my play area free of paper in a game, I can deal with the risk of paper cuts for physically looking through a book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Chef's Slaad wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.

how many books do you carry to your game?

Never more than 2 to 4.

Pathfinder is easy, cause there aren't very many books yet.

D&D v3.5 was a little trickier...at least until they released the Rules Compendium (the other Compendiums help my friends a lot too).

We tend to write stuff (like class abilities and spells) out on our character sheets, so we rarely ever need the books to reference anything more than general rules.

Is our efficiency the exception rather than the norm then?

Could be. Most character sheets I've seen don't have the space to list more than the name of the ability. And then there's the players that do make spell lists but forget to update them when they gain a level.

I think the utility is mostly for gamemasters who, for example, lug the core book and bestiary with them, all the issues of an AP, a couple of back issues, companions and chronicles just in case.

And still find they're missing that one book they left at home because it didn't fit into their bag.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
Mok wrote:

I'm not sure if the multitasking is going to be all that helpful for pdf though.

From what I'm reading about what is being implemented for multitasking is that it is a limited kind of multitasking. Essentially they are releasing the APIs that Apple used to allow their core apps to be able to multitask, so now 3rd parties can likewise use that feature.

So you can, as an example, have Pandora play music while doing something else because it is using the same features that the core ipod music feature is using.

In the end there are something like seven different types of multitasking that will be available, covering all of the normal needs for users.

It doesn't sound like I'd be able to have multiple pdfs open at once, with a convenient tab like task area at the bottom (or somewhere) on the screen that I could just tap and be able to jump back and forth between the two (or more) pdfs with just a single tap, the way I can on my windows computer with the task bar at the bottom.

I'm wondering if this part of multitasking (multiple PDF files open at a time) can't just be handled within an app like GoodReader. "Multitasking" is really between apps. But having a single app open multiple files should be doable (but I don't know the guts of the iPhone OS, so I might be missing something).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ken Marable wrote:
But having a single app open multiple files should be doable (but I don't know the guts of the iPhone OS, so I might be missing something).

The people who programmed for the iPhone OS were working for a screen where such multi-tasking wasn't a feasible thing to worry about. I believe that given time, we'll see improvements in the handling of such apps. The product after all was barely released a couple of weeks ago. The first Mac had major problems handling MacWrite in it's first year.

Taldor

Ken Marable wrote:
I'm wondering if this part of multitasking (multiple PDF files open at a time) can't just be handled within an app like GoodReader. "Multitasking" is really between apps. But having a single app open multiple files should be doable (but I don't know the guts of the iPhone OS, so I might be missing something).

I'd hope that would be possible.

What I'd like to see is some more video of RPG game use of the iPad in action, or some kind of "face off speed trial."

Get to guys at opposite ends of a table, one has the ipad with loads of pathfinder pdfs on it, at the other end of the table a guy with a stack of books.

In the middle stands a referee, who announces an obscure rules reference and then says "Fight!" and starts a stop watch.

The two opponents race to find the reference among the digital or analog books and the times in which they are found by each player.

Digital vs Analog... FIGHT!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.

Can't change the font size on a book. Even with my glasses, sometimes it's a pain.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.

Until you've actually tried one out, or at least seen the Steve Jobs keynote, there's no way you can.

Taldor

I think on of the other major issues with pdf performance with big RPG books on the iPad is that it only has 256mb of RAM to play with.

I'm still kind of surprised at this low amount of RAM, it's the same amount that is on the iPhone. I can't remember how many years back I have to go to when I used a computer with only 256mb. Since the iPad is marketed as a non-power user device then I guess between optimization and perhaps a lower amount of power usage with the RAM that Apple saw this as the best way to go.

Hopefully v2 of the iPad will have more RAM on it, whether that is coming out in the fall or a year from now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Herald wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.
Can't change the font size on a book. Even with my glasses, sometimes it's a pain.

Didn't the guy in the video say you were forced to go with full page view, which makes the font exceptionally small?


LazarX wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.
Until you've actually tried one out, or at least seen the Steve Jobs keynote, there's no way you can.

I've used one...very cool. It has completely sold me on the idea that touch screen interfaces are the future. However, even after holding it, I'm not sure what I'd actually *do* with it that I wouldn't rather do on a laptop.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.
Until you've actually tried one out, or at least seen the Steve Jobs keynote, there's no way you can.

To be fair, Job's presentation also made it very clear that the iPad is a direct replacement for other full OS netbooks and other micro-laptops; which it is not, except in some distinct use cases.

Entire books have been written on the ability of Steve Jobs to perform compelling keynotes and presentations, so even after watching his marketing materials i'd suggest constantly evaluating your needs and requirements before diving in.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Herald wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I can find a rule in an actual book in about an 8th of the time. Still not seeing the appeal of the Ipad.
Can't change the font size on a book. Even with my glasses, sometimes it's a pain.
Didn't the guy in the video say you were forced to go with full page view, which makes the font exceptionally small?

Here is a video review with an I towards gaming. This should answer your questions and give others an idea of how they can use it.

Gnome stew review

Grand Lodge

YESSSSSSSSS

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I finally got mine because I wanted a 3G one. It's fantastic for gaming. However, I would ignore Steve Jobs and his hyperbole. I hate that he insists on calling it "magical".

I invested in GoodReader for iPad and have not had any issues with fonts, missing letters or anything. I can zoom in and move the page with my finger so my eyes don't feel much strain. It's awesome that with GoodReader I can download zip files and convert them to pdfs straight from the Paizo website (My Downloads). The app allows for a normal organized file structure. It works better, IMO, than the native pdf viewer as well.


Vic Wertz wrote:
I see you're using GoodReader as your PDF viewer, and it drops the Capital A's from one of our header fonts. I heard rumblings that the iPad now had a built-in Apple-provided PDF viewer... is that not the case?

Hi Vic !

I also noticed the problem on my Mac when I open your pdfs with either Apple's built-in viewer or Safari, but it doesn't happen when I use the genuine Acrobat Reader (v 9.3.2). So I guess it's related with Apple's internal rendering of pdfs, and some sort of unusal feature of the font.

I noticed it does it only on the capital A of paragraph titles, not the main titles: for example, in the file PathfinderRPGCharacterTraits.pdf, p2, the main title "PATHFINDER CHARACTER TRAITS" will be ok, whereas the paragraph title at the top left of the page will be garbled and will read: "CH R CTER TR ITS". Another funny thing: if you copy and paste both titles in plain text such as this post, here's what you get for the first title: "Pathfinder CharaCter traits", and this is the second one: "CharaCTer TraiTs". Notice the capital letters in the middle: why ? And maybe a workaround would be to write those titles directly with capitalized letters instead of using a capitalisation style to have them display in capitals ?

I use Mac OS 10.6.3, but can't tell you if it worked on previous versions or not (I'm new to Pathfinder :-) ). I can try it on an older version of Mac OS I have at home (10.4.x) and/or send you some screenshots if you wish.

Thanks for the good work,
Moonbird

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Moonbird wrote:
I also noticed the problem on my Mac when I open your pdfs with either Apple's built-in viewer or Safari, but it doesn't happen when I use the genuine Acrobat Reader (v 9.3.2). So I guess it's related with Apple's internal rendering of pdfs, and some sort of unusal feature of the font.

Yes. It only happens with Apple's Preview app under OS X 10.6 and higher. The bug has been reported to them by several people—since before 10.6 was even released to the public—but they haven't fixed it yet. (The specific issue is that it doesn't correctly render fonts that use CID 0—that's Character ID—and one of our fonts uses 0 for the capital A.)

Moonbird wrote:
I noticed it does it only on the capital A of paragraph titles, not the main titles: for example, in the file PathfinderRPGCharacterTraits.pdf, p2, the main title "PATHFINDER CHARACTER TRAITS" will be ok, whereas the paragraph title at the top left of the page will be garbled and will read: "CH R CTER TR ITS". Another funny thing: if you copy and paste both titles in plain text such as this post, here's what you get for the first title: "Pathfinder CharaCter traits", and this is the second one: "CharaCTer TraiTs". Notice the capital letters in the middle: why ? And maybe a workaround would be to write those titles directly with capitalized letters instead of using a capitalisation style to have them display in capitals ?

The capitalization thing is actually is a broader issue relating to the way that the PDF format works. Essentially, when a PDF is created, characters in the original document get converted to "glyphs" in the PDF, and glyphs are not always one-to-one equivalent to characters. For example, if a font in the original document uses small caps, the PDF may contain the instruction that it's supposed to display the small cap "A" glyph, but it doesn't actually know whether that glyph is standing in for an uppercase "A" or a lowercase "a"—that bit of information is forever lost during the PDF creation process.

So when you go to select text out if it, the PDF viewer you're using has to try to reverse-engineer which characters each glyph actually represents, and some applications are better at that than others. So copying the small-caps word "APPLE" in different PDF viewers could result in you getting "Apple", "APPLE", "apple", or even something like "aPpLe".

Similar mistranslations also often occur where ligatures are used—that is, single glyphs that stand in for connected letters, like "fi", "fl", or "ffl". Thus, you might get an extra space when you copy a "fi" out of one PDF reader, or another app might completely drop both characters, or another app might do it perfectly.

Sadly, Adobe views the PDF format as a destination medium rather than an intermediate medium, so they don't really much care that you can't easily take out what you put in.


Vic Wertz wrote:


Yes. It only happens with Apple's Preview app under OS X 10.6 and higher. The bug has been reported to them by several people—since before 10.6 was even released to the public—but they haven't fixed it yet.

Thanks a lot for your answer and your clear explanations. I hope Apple corrects this soon...

Moonbird

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Moonbird wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:


Yes. It only happens with Apple's Preview app under OS X 10.6 and higher. The bug has been reported to them by several people—since before 10.6 was even released to the public—but they haven't fixed it yet.

Thanks a lot for your answer and your clear explanations. I hope Apple corrects this soon...

Moonbird

I keep hoping every time I update the OS. However it's been a long time waiting so far. I'm pretty much used to it, although the only part that bothers me is when I print and the "A"s are still missing - even if I print from Adobe Reader which displays correctly.


The missing A thing is happening in the latest version of iBooks for iPad. I think this is how the majority of people will be looking at pdf's on the iPad now that it supports it.

As far as I can tell, there's no real "multi-tasking" in the iBooks app either.


There isn't any multitasking in iBooks for the iPad yet. iPads are still using iOS3.2 and won't get the iOS4 until sometime this fall or winter. I'm trying iBooks on my iPod Touch 3rd Gen running iOS4 now. I mainly because I have GoodReader and Aji Annnotate.

So far I'm not super impressed. The load times on the pages seems much slower then GoodReader, and slower then quick response I get from Aji. GoodReader doesn't like to switch pages quickly either but at least it renders faster the iBooks, its one thing I like about Aji (if it would ever get more support) it will respond and let you switch pages faster (even if they haven't been loaded into memory yet).

Ya defiantly not impressed with iBooks on the iPod Touch. There are still better 3rd party PDF readers that do a much better job. Although it does support multitasking in the iOS4 version. It will keep at the same page and location when you quick switch to another app.

Lantern Lodge

iPad owners should take a look at their PDFs. It seems 4.2 fixed the built in PDF viewer so the paizo PDFs no longer drop A's. This also works for good reader. So I will stop giving Vic a hard time.

Osirion

Paizo Superscriber
Galnörag wrote:
iPad owners should take a look at their PDFs. It seems 4.2 fixed the built in PDF viewer so the paizo PDFs no longer drop A's. This also works for good reader. So I will stop giving Vic a hard time.

I'm chomping at the bit for 4.2, but it isn't out in a form I can use yet (blog.iphone-dev.org.)

I just read thru this thread, that I missed when it came out in April. I've got comments, since I bought an iPad a month after they came out for PDF books.

Goodreader was the best at the time, but once Apple's iBooks could read PDF I began using it. iBooks is significantly faster (nearly an order of magnitude) than good reader. It also allows you to scan an area of the book using thumbnail pictures of pages. The search feature is better (but still slow to the point of being unusable.)

But I'm probably a little out of the ranch, since every book I have passed thru pstill then a custom filter to collect all images that are identical and tie all the references to a single one then thru pdfshrink. It makes image heavy complex pdf's a lot easier to view (in terms of cpu and memory requirements.)

Even without the image processing, iBooks handles the books well. In terms of solving the "how do I take my books with me" problem, there isn't a better solution that money can buy right now. So I'd strongly recommend an iPad to anyone needing to solve this problem.

Lantern Lodge

James Risner wrote:


But I'm probably a little out of the ranch, since every book I have passed thru pstill then a custom filter to collect all images that are identical and tie all the references to a single one then thru pdfshrink. It makes image heavy complex pdf's a lot easier to view (in terms of cpu and memory requirements.)

Could you link out to pstill and pdfshrink, google is failing me


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps Subscriber
Galnörag wrote:
iPad owners should take a look at their PDFs. It seems 4.2 fixed the built in PDF viewer so the paizo PDFs no longer drop A's. This also works for good reader. So I will stop giving Vic a hard time.

Just double checked my iPod Touch. GoodReader is rendering the 'A's properly too (I updated to OS4.2 last night)

Osirion

Paizo Superscriber
Galnörag wrote:
Could you link out to pstill and pdfshrink, google is failing me

http://www.stone.com/PStill/PStill.html

http://www.apagoinc.com/prod_home.php?prod_id=36

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