I ran across this app earlier this week and although my expectations were low, and many of the reviews were dismal, I decided to take the plunge and pay the $2.49 (there is a free version with limited functionality) to find out if it was as good as the developer claimed it was. A while back I purchased an app with similar claims, and let’s just say it was a bust. I am happy to report that this time it was money well spent. Let’s get into it.
PDF Reader Pro give you the ability to open and read; PDF. XPS and CBZ (Comic Book Zip – had to look that one up) files. Finally, a way to open an XPS file – a Microsoft format, on a Windows Phone. That would have been enough for me, but there’s more. You can open files from; SkyDrive, SD Card or email attachments. Any file opened is saved locally on your device. Once on your phone you can transfer a file from one phone to another via Bluetooth (provided the other WP device also has PDF Reader installed), or to a PC/Tablet with BT enabled. Or you can email it as an attachment. You can also share a file via SkyDrive. File links can be pinned to the Start screen. And you also have the ability to open password protected files. Once a file is open, you can easily navigate by jumping to any page, zooming in and out via pinch, or flipping through pages in portrait or landscape modes. You can also search text within your document. And how about this; you can open a file’s content and tap on a specific page or chapter to jump right to that part of the document. Navigating the app is is super easy. Tap the top of the screen to show the top and bottom menus, tap the lower left to go back a page, or lower right to move right. Of course, you can also swipe if you prefer.
From the developer:
Read PDF, XPS and CBZ files (password protected also) on your Windows Phone 8 device, open them from SD card, SkyDrive, internet, etc. Share them by email, Bluetooth and SkyDrive. With this app you will be able to:
• Search for text
• Pin documents to start screen
• Read password protected PDF files
• Send by email or Bluetooth
• Open files from SD card
• Share files via SkyDrive
• Invert document’s colors
• Integrate with SkyDrive for fast and easy access to your clouded files
• Really quickly opens PDF, XPS and CBZ files
• Easily zoom in text or images for closer comfortable view
• Open files received as email attachments, downloaded from internet or open them from Office hub
• Navigate via file’s content
• Jump to desired pages
After playing with the app for a couple days, I can elaborate a little more on some of the above bullets.
Email – Because of API limitations, you can’t send a file directly from the app to another email address. So you need to provide the app with an email address/password that will be used to send the file to your recipient. Not sure, but I suspect like other apps, this attachment will pass through the developer’s server on its way to the final destination. So if the info is extra sensitive, you might want to use a different method.
Bluetooth – I was easily able to pair my L1020 and L520. Once I tapped on a file to share, it moved the PDF from one phone to the other and opened PDF Reader Pro on the receiving device. To transfer a file to a PC or tablet, first pair the two devices. Then, on your Win 8 PC/Tablet, tap the BT icon on the Taskbar and select, “Receive a File”. Next, select your file in PDF Reader Pro, tap Share and select the device you want to send the file to. Done.
SD Card – On devices with expandable storage, you can copy a bunch of files to the SD card from your PC (the developer recommends limiting file sizes to 20MB max) and PDF Reader will see the SD as another pivot on the apps main screen. These files are read only, so you can’t rename them for example. Btw, when your phone is connected to a PC, you can move Office, PDF or XPS files to the phone’s Documents folder, where they can be accessed from the Office hub.
You can do some of these things with the free Adobe Reader, but we all know the limitations. At least for my needs, this app is well worth the $2.49 price. If you work with a lots of PDF and XPS files, check out PDF Reader Pro.