FDX Reader, our app for reading Final Draft files on the iPad, is now a universal app with support for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

It’s available on the App Store today. It’s a free upgrade.

We developed the iPad version of FDX Reader first because the larger screen is such a natural fit for reading screenplays. We took inspiration from readers like iBooks and Kindle, flipping virtual pages. It’s been great to see it get such a positive response, both among screenwriters and the tech press.

But in some ways, I think the iPhone version serves a more crucial need.

Up until now, reading screenplays on the iPhone has been terrible, even with PDFs. The small screen simply isn’t friendly to 8.5 x 11 sheets of 12-pt Courier. You end up pinching and zooming and straining your eyes to see anything.

While it was technically possible to read a full script on the iPhone, you’d never want to.

Now, you just might.

Our design choices were driven by the smaller screen. The iPhone is nothing like a printed script, so we felt free to break from screenplay conventions. We sliced margins. We stopped flipping pages. We picked a font that worked great at smaller sizes.

The iPhone version of FDX Reader takes its inspiration from non-book apps like Instapaper and Reeder. We focused on the text, not the area around it.

We kept two of the best features of the iPad version. The page popover lets you skip right to a given page, scrolling the text as you go. The type button gives you five choices of size — since people hold iPhones closer, you may find yourself going much smaller than you think.

And to maximize screen real estate, we dismiss the header with a center tap.

FDX Reader was made by the same team of Nima Yousefi, Ryan Nelson and me. Many thanks to all our beta testers for their suggestions and bug reports.

As with the initial FDX Reader launch, I’m sure we’ll find some unexpected situations as we expand support to additional devices.1 If something’s not working, tell us. We’ve been able to iterate so quickly — five releases in seven weeks — because our users help us.

If you’re new to FDX Reader, check out the demos and videos on the site. If you’re already a user, the new version should show up in your Updates immediately.

  1. Previous issues that have come up: A4 paper, locations files, TV act breaks, non-Final Draft .fdx files.