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Adobe® Reader®: Better Alternatives Exist

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by modalblunder, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. modalblunder

    modalblunder Lurker
    Thread Starter
    Jun 10, 2010

    Jun 10, 2010
    Adobe Reader, Meh

    Rating: 2 / 5

    Developer Description
    Adobe Reader for Android offers multi-touch gestures, like pinch-and-zoom, as well as double-tap-zoom, flick-scrolling and panning. We've also added a "reflow" mode, which will take text-heavy documents with wide margins, and automatically wrap the content for easy viewing on smaller screens.

    • Perfect rendering of pdf files
    • Reflow mode is actually VERY useful for long reading stints

    • Official PDF App

    • Very slow to load my larger pdfs
    • No bookmarks
    • No quick navigation options
    • No form input

    There are better pdf reading apps on the market. The official Adobe Reader for Android has really only two things going for it; it renders pdfs accurately, and it has a nice reflow feature. All in all, though, the lack of real navigation features (for large documents), and the lack of bookmarks is a major deal killer for me.

    The Long Winded Proof
    There will not be much to say about this app because there really is not much here. But, let's give it a shot.

    Loading files
    Loading a file with Adobe Reader was not as intuitive as it should be. On a mobile platform, with "apps", a user expects to launch the app and have the ability to load supported documents. This is not readily available with Adobe Reader. I found that it does integrate nicely with the OS (when you use a file manager and try to launch a pdf file, you can choose to open it with Adobe Reader), but if a file is not currently opened, I could not find a way to load a pdf from within the app interface. Another issue noted was the very poor performance when loading pdf files. A large file took 4 seconds to open with a competing application, but almost 24 seconds with the Adobe Reader app. On a positive note, you do get access to "recently opened" listing of files.

    What Could Improve
    A nice thing about Android is the ability to access your file system. Many apps take advantage of this and they scan the sd card for supported files, depending on the context. This is very apparent with the Android music apps, as they tend to scour the sd card and preload a listing of available music. This seems like an obvious design choice for Adobe Reader, but the developer did not add this functionality. The ability to open a file, without already having launch another pdf, would be welcome as well.

    I admit that the rendering of the pdf file is spot on, even with a few files which have posed issues for me in the past. Multiouch zoom is a welcome addition, and the continuous flow from page to page is nice (this is a page view I tend to prefer even on the desktop version of this app). Unfortunately, there is not much more to do here. There is no bookmarking feature, and no quick way to skip large portions of a file. The reflow option is a nice addition, as it makes reading some texts much easier. This, I do admit, is a very nice addition. We are missing some extremely basic functions, though. Namely, page jump features are not present, and there is no ability to copy/select text.

    What Could Improve
    A simple option to bookmark and "jump to page" would do wonders here. An outline view of the document (maybe I missed it??) would add an extra dimension of polish.

    At the end of the day, the app is lacking in key features that are necessary for a document reading app. There is more missing than present, and that just makes for a mediocre app.


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