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Top Apps For Reading Voice Over
Copy On iPhone, iPad & Android

By Dave Courvoiser
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor

Tablet computers are showing up in voice over studios everywhere.

I’ve blogged extensively about the use of an iPad or Android-powered tablet as a mobile recording device, but perhaps its most useful role is that of a reader - replacing sheets of paper or a book.

Paper is centuries-old tradition, so not everyone will be an overnight fan, but a tablet can be held in just about any position that a piece of paper can, and you can do away with the printer in your office.


Other advantages of the tablet computers for voice over:
  • Silence: no shuffling of papers
  • Green: no trees sacrificed
  • Immediately adjustable font-size with the flip of two fingers
  • Downloads and displays docs and PDFs from "the cloud” effortlessly
  • Allows annotations, mark-ups, underscores, arrows, etc. to highlight the copy
  • Replenishable: use over and over
  • It has a certain "cool” factor (not that that matters, right?)

If you’re just jumping onboard the tablet wagon, or haven’t had the time to research the best apps for using the device in your studio, look no further.

I’ve been sussing it out and humbly offer you my Top 10 Tablet VO Apps for the iPad / iPhone and Android.


1. GoodReader. Opens just about any kind of doc or PDF, downloaded from almost all the popular cloud services, allows annotation, and is intuitive to use.

2. QuickOffice. Much like GoodReader. The pro version is a little pricier, but this one handles .docs better, also letting you generate new .docs, presentations, and spreadsheets; and connects to about every concievable cloud service.

3. ReaddleDocs. Slick interface, opens .docs and PDFs. Connects to all the usual suspect cloud services and email accounts. Has a quick search function. Annotation functions are easy but rudimentary compared to some of the others.

4. iAnnotatePDF. Seems to be the fave of audiobook narrators. Rich annotation feature-set, search functions, and other key tools. Highly configurable. I find the interface to be confusing, but after a while you get used to it. Only plays in PDF-land, not .docs. Downloads from cloud services.

5. PDF ReaderPro. An iAnnotate clone with it’s own style (more intuitive interface, I think). Allows annotation, cloud downloads, bookmarking, printing, and a host of other handy features, like sharing, that make it tops on my list. Again, only PDF.

6. PDF Expert. Still another top-notch PDF reader. Allows annotation, downloading from the cloud, free-hand mark-ups, highlighting with different colors, printing, saving - the works. The PDF Expert and iAnnotate, as well as PDF ReaderPro, are amazing in the array of things it can do. You’ll wonder why you use a desktop or laptop computer.

7. Honorable Mention - File Sharing: iFiles, Box (, DropBox, Air Sharing, and Filer.


8. qPDFNotes. Does everything the big boys above can do, and just as sweetly. Has rich annotation, and mark-up features, and connects to all the cloud services you could ask for.

9. ezPDFReader. Ditto. Allows for magnification, split layouts, lots of annotation tools, plus has a nifty function for quickly scanning through the pages of a book. Plenty to like here.

10. Quick Office. Appears under this OS as another strong contender with all the features of its Apple cousin - plays well with docs and PDFs, and allows for annotation, as well as generation of new docs from scratch. Cloud connections.

Honorable Mention: Documents to Go. Allows for plenty of manipulation of existing docs, plus lets you generate .docs, .ppt (Power Point), and MX Excel files, as well as PDFs. Pretty nifty and more features than you’ll ever use.


It’s hard to stop here, actually.  There are so many handy apps for file handling and reading - and more being issued every day - that you can find just the right one for you with a little searching through the AppStore or Marketplace.

What’s YOUR favorite?  What have I missed? (Let us know in COMMENTS below.)


Dave Courvoisier ("pronounced just like the fine cognac, only no relation”) is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He's become the voice over industry's social media tech guru, and writes Voice Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of adventures and observations in a style that’s true to his friendly Midwestern farm roots.

TV bio: KLAS-TV bio link

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Comments (2)
Duane Hamilton
1/13/2012 at 9:23 PM
I like Speech Prompter for the iPad. Import and edit your copy and then scroll just like in a TV studio. Very cool!
Jay Webb
11/1/2011 at 7:21 AM
Thank you for the information Dave! We can always count on you for timely contributions like this.

Personally, I've been away from paper for nearly 2 years, only using it occasionally. I have a silent laptop in my booth that I can position almost anywhere in relation to the mic. Of course, just about any file format can be used with it. Unfortunately, I haven't made the jump to a tablet because I haven't done any research. I HAVE been thinking for some time that they might be a viable option. So you've uncovered the mystery for me. Now I have no excuse (except $$$ LOL!).

Thanks Dave! Great article.
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