Six months ago, I reviewed an app called WPD Viewer from LawBox which allowed you to view WordPerfect files on the iPhone or iPad. Last week, Corel — the developer of WordPerfect – announced that it was releasing an app called WordPerfect Viewer that allows you to do the same thing. Corel sent me free review copies of the iPhone and iPad versions of the app. If you read my prior review, this app should look familliar; Corel confirmed to me that they purchased the rights to WPD Viewer from LawBox and were releasing it as their own app. Perhaps the only thing that you really need to know about this app is that, just as was the case six months ago, this is the only app that you can use to view WordPerfect files on an iPhone or iPad. If that is important to you, then you need this app.
The basic features of the app remain the same. This is only a viewer app and it does not allow you to directly edit WordPerfect files. If someone e-mails you a WordPerfect file, you can open the file in this app and then the app converts it into text, losing some of the formatting along the way. You can also use iTunes to transfer .wpd files to your iPhone or iPad. Just like before, you can e-mail the entire text of a document, you can add bookmarks to parts of a document and then jump to those bookmarks, and you can export an HTML version of the document to another app (such as Documents to Go, and from there you can edit the text and save it as a Word document). And you can still search for text within a document.
There have been only minor updates to the app since I reviewed it six months ago such as updates to maximize compatibility with iOS 4.2 and the ability to pinch to zoom in and out. One helpful addition is that there is now a scroll bar on the right side which makes it much faster to browse through the document or quickly jump to another part such as the middle or the end.
Although there is an iPad version of this app, it is not a universal app so you need to purchase separate apps for your iPhone and iPad. As you would expect, documents look much better on the large iPad screen. In portrait mode, the document fills the screen and because the screen is so much larger than the iPhone screen, the document replicates what you would expect to see on paper. In landscape mode, you view the document on the right and see a list of files on the left.
The iPad version also includes one feature not currently in the iPhone version, a button with the letter "z" on it that allows you change text size.
Although this is essentially the same app that I reviewed six months ago, WPD Viewer is technically a distinct app that is no longer available on the app store and now only WordPerfect Viewer is on the App Store. If you purchased the former app, I suspect that it will no longer be updated, so for future support you will need to buy the virtually identical Corel version of the app (although I have written an e-mail to Corel to confirm this). [UPDATE: Corel did confirm this for me. You need to buy the Corel version of the app to receive future app updates, even if you previously purchased the app when it was called WPD Viewer.] If you have both the old and new app installed at the same time, both apps are called WPD Viewer, resulting in confusing choices like this:
Hint: the icon for the old version says "ABC" in the magnifying glass; look for "WPD" to indicate the newer version.
If you purchased the previous WPD Viewer app, the new app is virtually the same so I would not purchase it again at this time. Instead, keep an eye out for updates to the WordPerfect Viewer app and whenever new features are added, then you can decide if there is a justification for spending more money. (I'll be sure to post here if and when I learn of any such updates.) But if you haven't purchased the app before and you use WordPerfect yourself or you anticipate working with other people who use WordPerfect to create documents, it is useful to keep this app on your iPhone or iPad so you are prepared whenever a WordPerfect .wpd file comes your way.