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Best app for viewing Adobe pdf files

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by MB200, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. MB200

    MB200 Member
    Thread Starter

    What is the best app for viewing Adobe pdf files on an Android smallscreen smartphone?

    I searched the forums and other suggested threads and could not find that this has been directly addressed.

    Two subquestions:

    1) Has Adobe, the actual Adobe company, put out a "free reader" application for Android? (like they seem to do for every other computing platform I can think of)

    2) Whether Adobe has or not, what is the best app for viewing Adobe pdf files on an Android smallscreen smartphone? I need to quickly and efficiently be able to view pdf files, and importantly, certain parts of those files. For example, a couple of paragraphs or a graphic that, say, takes up half a "printed" page in a standard Adobe pdf file.

  2. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    I have the DataViz "Documents to Go" (paid) package. I've only used it on one PDF file, and it failed to open it. I've emailed DataViz support about it but haven't heard anything back yet. (The Adobe Reader LE application on my previous Windows Mobile phone had no problem with that file, BTW.) I'll be interested to read replies on this thread about the available alternatives.
  3. (G)

    (G) Android Expert

    Beam Reader is very good, except that the update that was just announced is suddenly only a 10-day trial, with the real version going for $5.
  4. I'm at a crossroad as well (http://androidforums.com/263536-post49.html). BeamReader has fared well with the few PDF I threw at it. But I'm wondering whether to shell out $5 for a PDF viewer versus $15 for a PDF/Doc viewer/editor...
  5. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    FWIW, my experience with DataViz so far has been less than stellar. I'm batting .500 on opening PDF files with it; I get a NullPointerException when I rotate to landscape mode while editing a spreadsheet cell; and the word processor turns newlines into underscores when I type with ShapeWriter (but only in the saved file -- the display is fine while I'm typing!).

    BeamReader was able to open the PDF file DataViz refused, but it was unusably slow doing so. By comparison, Reader LE on my previous phone (an HTC Fuze -- Windows Mobile from AT&T) opens the file in a couple of seconds and has no other problems with it, either.
  6. Lomallin

    Lomallin Member

    I have used QuickOffice for PDFs. You can get the free version and it does ok for my casual use for references. I do not have a job requirement to view PDFs, but you may want to take a look.
  7. Blio

    Blio Lurker

    I'm so happy that I did a backup of all my apps literally 2 days before they released the update :p
    All I had to do was revert to the backup and now I have an excellent pdf viewer that's apparently worth 5 bucks for free ^^
  8. MB200

    MB200 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks everyone for the input. Looks like QuickOffice may be the only free choice. The others require $$$ and then, apparently, fail to deliver with respect to decent pdf viewing performance.

    I did a search for "quickoffice" and "quick office" in Android Market. No luck in finding the application mentioned by Lomalin. Anyone know how to get a copy of Quick Office to try out? (I have a Motorola Cliq.)
  9. JustROLLIN

    JustROLLIN Well-Known Member

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the phone opens .PDF files right out of the box, right? My friend Elena was reading a newspaper from her home town of Madrid that came in .PDF format and my phone opened it right up.

    I have not downloaded any of the above mentioned apps.
  10. MB200

    MB200 Member
    Thread Starter

    So JustROLLIN, do you know how to open a pdf that has been transferred from my PC to the SD card on my smartphone via the USB cable?

    I can't find the "free app" you mention, and even if I could, I don't know how to point any application to the file system on my SD card.
  11. IIRC, "Google Experience" devices do not have any PDF readers built-in. Other devices (e.g. HTC, Acer, Motorola...) may have included one, through.
  12. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    I should update my comments on the DataViz Documents to Go application, as there's been some movement in the situation. The file I was trying to view was a modified version of the original; I had added some review comments to my copy, using a wonderful free PDF viewer for Windows called PDF-Xchange Viewer. For whatever reason, the file written by PDF-Xchange Viewer is incompatible with at least a couple of Android PDF viewers (although most other PDF viewers have no problem with it). The DataViz application is, however, capable of reading the original PDF file, which mostly meets my needs for on-the-go viewing.

    I haven't tested it extensively yet, but the DataViz Documents to Go seems to handle the file quite capably, with acceptable speed and sufficient features (able to view and use a hierarchical bookmarks table of contents, for instance), which is pretty impressive for a 1200-page PDF like this. I'd like to get the incompatibility solved, but I'll update my original grade for the application from an F to a B+.
  13. In case anybody has missed them... BeamReader is doing a promotion till end-Feb for $2 and DataViz is doing a promotion till end-Jan for $15...

    Edit: Wow... Apparently DataViz has downed the price... Just $10 now...
  14. olilan

    olilan Newbie

    The Nexus One does - it comes with Quickoffice that works quite nicely.
  15. magnus

    magnus Well-Known Member

    My DROID came with Quick Office
  16. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    It does? Did I manage to delete it from my unit somehow? I don't see it in the menu.
  17. olilan

    olilan Newbie

    It's not in the launcher but pdf attachments open with it and and so do pdf files if you open them using a file manager app (e.g. Astro).
  18. magnus

    magnus Well-Known Member

    +1 on Droid
  19. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    Aha, so it does. Thanks, I didn't know that.
  20. That's good... But does Quickoffice does PDF...? The page has not mentioned that... (Quickoffice Quickoffice for Android)... Is it a specific version for Nexus One...?

    I dropped few bucks on DTG and tried out the PDF viewer, just tested with 1 file so it's not comprehensive...

    Loading speed: Both are more or less the same.
    Interface: BeamReader's better, more intuitive than DTG's.
    Readability: BeamReader's seems to downscale the content, when zoomed in, the text looked more blurry than DTG's.
    Speed: BeamReader's wins. When you drag the document, you don't have to wait. On DTG's, when you move around, the newly appeared areas are blank, have to wait for the program to load and display.
  21. les017

    les017 Newbie

    I done have any comprehensive test results to give you but Docs to Go has worked great for me. For the few bucks it had opened all off the Acrobat, Word, excel and Power Point that I have thrown at it do far
    Probably twenty five docs overall. That's just me, but I have found it top be a well spent $ 10
  22. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    I don't know why PDF is not mentioned on their web site. When I open a PDF file, though (either from ASTRO or as a Gmail attachment), both PDF to Go and Quickoffice are listed as options. The "About" command in the Quickoffice PDF viewer says, "Quickoffice 2.0.15 - GEP".

    The Quickoffice PDF viewer is a much more limited application than PDF to Go. It only has three commands: Fit page, Fit width, and Go to page. There's no support for bookmarks, and you only have those two zoom levels available. As a basic viewer, though, it seems to do okay.
  23. wmm

    wmm Android Enthusiast

    Ah, bummer -- I paid $15 a few days ago. Oh, well. Guess they weren't selling as many as they hoped at the higher price. It's a nice app, and I hope they're able to stay around and support it. My only serious beef with it so far is that it's incompatible with the ShapeWriter keyboard replacement, so I have to go back and use the native keyboard if I want to type anything.
  24. MB200

    MB200 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks wmm for coming back to the thread on 17 Jan and offering a review of your improved results with DataViz!

    BTW, I just looked it up this morning in the Android Market and DataViz "Documnets to Go Full Version Key" is back to $15. I want to look at a pdf from time to time but it's not worth $15 to me.

    I'll continue to monitor this thread to see what other, lower cost options have acceptable features.
  25. CTS

    CTS Newbie

    What is "File Viewer"? When I get a pdf via email I open it and the two options are DataViz (I have the free one) and the blandly named File Viewer.

    If I select DataViz, it tells me I need to upgrade to paid to read the pdf. File Viewer reads it just fine. Whatever it is! (I thought it was part of Astro.)

    It does not let me download the pdf, which I'd love to be able to do. Does DataViz let you download pdfs? If not, what app does?

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