Why should iBooks have all the fun? The US$9.99 HyperPDF app for OS X from developer NeoMobili lets you turn PDF pages nearly as beautifully. Use swipe gestures to move through pages in the app's easily accessible "reader mode."
That's not all you can do with HyperPDF. The app offers many of the same annotation features as Preview as well as a presentation mode (although you cannot as-of-yet combine PDFs or move around pages). In presentations, you can transform your PDFs into slides, using numerous built-in transitions to move from one screen to the next.
I gave the features a once-over and they all seemed to work as advertised. It's the reader mode here, however, that's the visual stand-out. The page turns offer a really nice way to browse books on your Mac. I was less impressed by the tedium involved in the presentation mode. Perhaps I missed the point, but adding separate transitions for each page left me cold.
Instead, I'd really like to see the app grow and focus more on the reader component. It needs to offer more built-in options as part of the reading presentation, rather than separating out the annotation aspect. For example, I'd love to be able to add bookmarks, highlights, and other annotations from within the reader.
Also, I wish search were integrated directly, as that's a big part of how I work with books on my Mac. And, unfortunately, you cannot highlight or copy text from that view. Put these together into a coherent single UI, and NeoMobili might have a winner on its hands.
HyperPDF shows great promise but as it stands, it lacks a little maturity that end-users might expect from a $10 App Store app, especially when compared to iBooks on iOS. I like the reading presentation a lot but I was left wishing for more.
The app developer tells me that he plans to port the app to iOS and to offer shared iCloud syncing between platforms. Other things on his to-do list include: "a find feature, outline and link support in reading mode, bookmarks support (with iCloud synch), zoom in reading mode, and notes in reading mode."
Thanks, Chris Roy