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iAnnotate PDF Mark Up Tool Comes to Chromebooks

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.

iAnnotate could be useful for educators and students

iAnnotate could prove useful for educators and students

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.

Pretty handy.

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).

iAnnotate on the Chrome Web Store

  • moe

    i wonder if chrome will draw any inspiration from the new Microsoft Spartan browser, you can write and annotate on the web page as you like and share it as well..

    • Will be interesting to see. A number of extensions offer similar features (Evernote clipper, being one iirc).=

  • Underdog

    Just installed iAnnotate on the CB. Can anyone tell me if you can go full screen, increase or decrease window size.

    • Felipe Diniz

      Ask the same

    • Rami Selin

      I believe there isn no way to make Android apps go full screen in Chrome. At least not yet.

      • Underdog

        Thanks man. Good to know.

    • I noticed the same thing. Installed it–can’t go full screen–uninstalled it 5 minutes later. Buh bye!

      • Underdog

        It is still a nice interface and will work well with my tablet for college work.

  • Michael Maune

    Notable PDF has offered annotation for awhile. It also integrates and autosaves to Google Drive. Premium now has Signatures, and Split/Merge is on its way. But I’ll take a look at iAnnotate.

  • Rick Stratton

    Not sure how I missed this article, but glad I finally came across it. I have been a big iAnnotate user on both iOS and now Android, and was hoping it would come to ChromeOS. So far, I like the interface, though wish it could go full screen, but as mentioned, that may be a ARC limitation. Also, whenever I scroll, everything blurs until I stop scrolling … not sure if that is an ARC rendering issue or an issue with the app… finally, I had to create an iAnnotate account because it didn’t seem to want to let me log in with my Google credentials. I put in my google username/password, was prompted for my 2 factor authentication code, and entered it, then was prompted to OK a bunch of permissions, which I did, but then it kicked me back out to the iAnnotate login page, with an error, saying I provided incorrect google login info… At any rate, I just created an iAnnotate account, and logged in with that, and I seem to have access to all my Google Drive docs… good thing, because now that I’m logged into the app, I don’t see any settings section to logout, etc.

  • John Crosskey

    Waiting for the next upgrade for Chromebook before I can try this. PDF annotation is very important for what I do. This looks interesting – I do want a native code solution

  • Grant Addison

    My students are having issues with work not saving from this app. I am very new to this app. Any suggestions as to what could be going wrong?

  • Vincent Huang

    Did I miss anything?
    There is no iAnnotate in Chrome Store???

    • Mikkle

      It’s gone. I recommend Kami as an alternative. It’s the best thing I can find right now. My Chromebook (and probably yours too) will be getting an update in the future to run Android apps. At that point, you can install any of the great pdf editors/readers from the Play Store to annotate.

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