The popular PDF markup tool iAnnotate is now available on Chrome OS, allowing users to open, read, annotate and save changes to PDF files.
The utility, which is made by software company Branchfire, arrives in the form of an ‘ARC’ app, so users of the recently revamped Android app will be familiar with the streamlined layout and toolset provided.
iAnnotate for Chrome: Features
iAnnotate is a previously premium app (it used to cost $9.99) turned free. Since undergoing a makeover on Android earlier this year the app has dropped not just the hefty price tag but the cluttered interface also. The app offers a clean space giving documents room to breath — and room for any on-page scribbles and comments to be made!
Multiple PDFs can be opened from Google Drive (there currently seems to be no support for opening documents stored locally using the file manager) for efficiency. This will certainly help people who switch between Chromebook and Android devices during the day.
A toolstrip on the side of the main interface houses shape, pen, highlighter, text and other tools to scrawl your thoughts and notes with.
The best feature for educators and students is that, according to the Web Store listing: “…annotations made in iAnnotate are integrated into the PDF and can be viewed and edited in other compliant PDF applications”. This includes industry heavyweight Adobe Acrobat.
More importantly iAnnotate fills a gap in the Chrome OS app offering, which has so far lacked an easy way to edit and annotate PDF files natively and save those changes back.
Google developers are also working on a Material redesign of Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer (available behind a flag in developer channels) but this is unlikely to incorporate advanced editing tools.
iAnnotate for Chrome OS is a free application available from the Chrome Web Store. It does require the Android Runtime for Chrome plugin to be installed (which, if you don’t already have it, will download automatically when you install an ARC application).