26 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2012 1:02 PM by BruceMcF

    Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

      Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share something I came across today.

       

      There's a relatively new PDF reader called "ezPDF Reader" by Unidocs, Inc that's available for Android, and it seems to blow away anything else out there by miles, short of GoodReader on the iPad/iPhone. I haven't tried it myself, but there's a homemade demo of it on a rooted Nook Color on Youtube (search for "Nook Color ezPDF"), and it looks very, very impressive (this is coming from a long-time GoodReader user). As far as I know, the only thing ezPDF Reader can't seem to do is annotations, but there's no other PDF reader available for Android that can do annotations either.

       

      A few things that stand out from the Youtube video and my Googling:

       

      • it's really fast
      • it's really pretty (page flip animations, kinetic scroll bar, intuitive UI, etc.)
      • it seems to open the more esoteric compression types (e.g.; JPEG-2000). Note that on the Nook Color's stock PDF reader, all you get are big red X's when trying to view JPEG-2000/JBIG2-based PDFs
      • it opens very large (250+ MB) PDFs
      • it opens password-protected PDFs
      • it not only remembers the last-page-read of the last PDF you read, but all last-page-reads of multiple PDFs (not sure if there's a limit)
      • it keeps the current zoom level between page flips
      • it keeps hyperlinks intact
      • it has very cool and robust text search features
      • the developers seem to be very responsive to feedback

       

      Anyway, I know there are a lot of people who want/need far better PDF support than the Nook Color provides at the moment, so I thought if enough Nook Color owners became aware of ezPDF and lobbied Unidocs, Inc (the company behind it) to bring it to the B&N app store, the better the chance of it happening.

       

      For what it's worth, ezPDF Reader is only 99 cents in the Android Market, but I'd be willing to pay A LOT more for something like this on the Nook Color. Heck, I paid $15 for Adobe Reader on a Nokia phone without blinking. Anyway, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post links or email addresses here, so I won't. But if you Google, "ezpdf reader unidocs inc", you'll find direct links to their official Webpage (with contact info) and Twitter page.

        • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
          yoshipumkin

          I sign and send ESP vibes to B&N to sense our need and hop to it.

          • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

            I use ezPDF on my Archos 101 and it is the best I have used, and I have tried about half a dozen others (but mostly free ones). Frankly its not even a close call. Nothing else is in the same league.

             

            I would love to see a version of the iPad's iAnnotate for Android, but there doesn't seem to be any sign of it. I would also love to see Foxit get into the fray on Android. I use their reader as my primary reader on my PC. There seems to be interest with Foxit, but no sign of anything imminent.

              • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                The newest GoodReader also supports annotations (and it does it well), and like ezPDF, it supports every type of PDF you can throw at it. :smileyhappy: Unfortunately, I think you're right in that neither iAnnotate nor GoodReader will ever see the light of day on Android. They'd have to port Objective-C to Java (more likely, rewrite the entire codebase) and learn an entire new API, and it's probably not worth the effort.

                 

                I also agree with you on Foxit. I love it on the PC, but they don't seem all that committed to their mobile versions. I think ezPDF could be to Android what GoodReader is to the iOS and Foxit is to Windows though. :smileyhappy: I imagine it'll only get better as their fanbase grows. Like you said, nothing else for Android seems even close. I haven't been very interested in rooting my NC just because of the lack of Market, but apparently some insanely clever people have got it (the FULL version) working now, so I'm very tempted, just so I can get my hands on a worthwhile PDF reader. lol.

                  • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                    Once I was convinced I could root a Nook Color, I bought one. I am now running ezPDF on both my Archos 101 (10 inch tablet) and my Nook Color. It is the best, by far. I would really love annotations. Both GoodReader & iAnnotate on the iPad annotate pdfs. It just ISN'T FAIR that Android tablets don't have that capability (yet).:smileymad:

                     

                    There is just no comparison between the built in Nook Color pdf reader and ezPDF. It doesn't even pay to try to list the differences, there are too many. I really think that B&N could have a dynamite TABLET on their hands if they open it up to real Android applications, and not just a walled garden of applications specifically developed for the NC.

                     

                    By default, a rooted NC just puts extra apps in the Extras drawer. That doesn't greatly alter the ebook reader interface that B&N is selling. Yes, you can replace the Launcher app, as I have, and get a full Android tablet appearance, but that is up to the customer.

                     

                    The screen on the NC just blows away the screens on other tablets I have seen, except the iPad. The build quality also seems excellent. B&N has a window of opportunity in the next, maybe, six months to make a place for itself in this exploding market. Otherwise, I'm afraid it is only a matter of time before they are left too far behind and pushed out of the hardware business.

                • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                  I would really like a better pdf viewer as well.  You can't bookmark the page, you can't fit text width, you can change the font or font size.  All of these things are simple to do.  Best set of circumstances is opening up to android app store, second best, a better pdf viewer.  Please do!

                  • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                    Thank you for this information:

                     

                    • it seems to open the more esoteric compression types (e.g.; JPEG-2000). Note that on the Nook Color's stock PDF reader, all you get are big red X's when trying to view JPEG-2000/JBIG2-based PDFs

                    I was wondering what those red Xs were all about.

                     

                    If this is a petition, sign me up. If it's a suggestion for the first app to go on sale on next year's app store, consider this a pre-order.

                    • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                      We definitely need a better PDF reader! I work in IT for a university and really would like to read pdfs without the red X. There is so much potential for this devices…

                      • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                        Sign me up! The pros of the ezreader sound like it is what SHOULD have come WITH the NC PREINSTALLED... but since it wasn't, I will be emailing te dev's to ask them to make this option availablr for the NC. Thanks for the info everyone!
                        • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                          hi

                          I also would like a better pdf reader that lets you annotate. As a PhD student, more than books, I read a lot of journal articles (in pdf form); being able to annotate would help a lot. In addition, a word processor, power point presentation, and spreadsheet software that lets you edited the documents would be great.

                          This would open the market for nc to more students.

                            • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                              YES ANNOTATIONS. Thank you watchingDclock!!!

                               

                              The new version of the Repligo allows annotations IN THE PDF FILE. The first pdf reader on Android with annotation capablity. Repligo moves past ezPDF as my favorite PDF reader. Bring it on B&N. At least make it available in your app store.

                                • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                  Mark_OB1

                                   


                                  withfeeling wrote:

                                  YES ANNOTATIONS. Thank you watchingDclock!!!

                                   

                                  The new version of the Repligo allows annotations IN THE PDF FILE. The first pdf reader on Android with annotation capablity. Repligo moves past ezPDF as my favorite PDF reader. Bring it on B&N. At least make it available in your app store.


                                   

                                  I've never had an opportunity to check out the Repligo Reader for Android, though I'd like to.  It sounds very good.  However, you're making a big mistake in the section I bolded above. 

                                   

                                  B&N isn't going to be "bringing it on" with any apps from any developers.  With the possible exception of a very small handful of "launch partners" that they have been working with to get some basic apps on the NC, to get things started.  So while we might see B&N request/prod Quickoffice to fix some of the more blatent deficiencies in their PDF reader (of which there are many), B&N personally won't be bringing new apps to the NC.  That will be up to the developers themselves, and is the purpose of the still-in-its-infancy 3rd-Party Developer Program.

                                   

                                  In this case, if you really want to see Repligo Reader on the NC, you need to get in touch with Cerience Corp, and let them know.  By next month, B&N should have things in place so they could start testing Repligo on the NC, and doing any customization or tweaks that are necessary.  Then in April, we would be able to go to the just-opened B&N Nook App Store, and buy a copy for 8 bucks, or whatever.

                                   

                                  About all that clamoring for it (or anything else) here will do is equivalent to a tree falling in the forest... it may make a sound, but if no one (in a position to do anything about it) is there to hear it, it will make no difference.

                                   

                                  - Mark

                                   

                                  P.S.  In this case, the contact point to make such a request would be:

                                   

                                  cerience-dot-com/company/contact/support

                                   

                                    • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                                      Add me to the PDF list.  But if Nook-color does not have Adobe by 31 Jan, I'm going to put my NC on eBay and get a Galaxy.  Tired of not being able to bookmark and search PDFs.  This is the whole reason I purchased a NC.  

                                        • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                          Mark_OB1

                                           


                                          Talon132 wrote:

                                          ...if Nook-color does not have Adobe by 31 Jan, I'm going to put my NC on eBay and get a Galaxy.  Tired of not being able to bookmark and search PDFs.  This is the whole reason I purchased a NC.  


                                          Surprisingly, the NC already has Abobe built-in, so I guess your wish has been granted... sort of.  The problem is that Quickoffice is the default app to launch for PDF files.  However I found that attempting to launch password-protected PDFs causes QO to barf, then it gets passed on to the internal Adobe reader.

                                           

                                           

                                          The good news there is that it does remember your place when you close and reopen each doc, it does let you set bookmarks (and jump to them), it does remember your password for a doc (so you don't have to re-enter it over and over again). It also seems to auto-size the doc to trim off excessive white-space, to maximize the reading quality.  Oh, and it seems faster.

                                           

                                          The bad news is that there is no landscape support, it screws up rendering on 2/3's of the pages (squashes things into a top corner), and, oh yeah, it's not possible to get access to on normal PDFs.  Minor little details. :smileywink:

                                           

                                          I'd say it's not quite ready for prime time, but it could be with a bit of effort.

                                           

                                          - Mark

                                           

                                            • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                              Mark_OB1

                                               

                                              I previously wrote:

                                              Surprisingly, the NC already has Abobe built-in, so I guess your wish has been granted... sort of.  The problem is that Quickoffice is the default app to launch for PDF files.  However I found that attempting to launch password-protected PDFs causes QO to barf, then it gets passed on to the internal Adobe reader.

                                               

                                              The good news there is that it does remember your place when you close and reopen each doc, it does let you set bookmarks (and jump to them), it does remember your password for a doc (so you don't have to re-enter it over and over again). It also seems to auto-size the doc to trim off excessive white-space, to maximize the reading quality.  Oh, and it seems faster.

                                               

                                              The bad news is that there is no landscape support, it screws up rendering on 2/3's of the pages (squashes things into a top corner), and, oh yeah, it's not possible to get access to on normal PDFs.  Minor little details. :smileywink:

                                               

                                              I'd say it's not quite ready for prime time, but it could be with a bit of effort.


                                               

                                              I did a bit more testing, and discovered that the reason it was squashing text into the corners was because I had the text-size set to minimum.  If I bumped it up one size, it looked good, with small margins.  Bumping it once more eliminated the margins (sized to fit the screen), and did reflow where it could.  Elements that couldn't be reflowed were rendered at their original size.

                                               

                                              So it really wasn't "screwing up rendering on 2/3's of the pages" after all.  Additionally, page turns are definitely faster, the TOC works, search works!, you can even tell where you're at (Page n of m, at the top), as well as the other advantages over Quickoffice already listed above.  You can even just drag a slider to get where you want, rather than typing in a page# as QO requires.  About all it lacks is pinch-to-zoom, and landscape support.

                                               

                                              Oh yeah, and any way to be able to use it for 95% of your PDFs... unless they happen to be password protected.  Bottom-line though, the default QO is inferior in basically every way.  :smileysad:

                                               

                                              Whoever at B&N made the decision to go with QO (for PDFs!) made a huge mistake, IMO.

                                               

                                              - Mark

                                               

                                          • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                                            Thank you Mark.

                                             

                                             

                                            Mark is correct that we shouldn't expect B&N to necessarily be proactive in bringing apps to the NC. However, I hope they are sensitive to all the "bad press" that the QuickOffice PDF reader has gotten here and elsewhere. I understand why they wouldn't want a Kindle app, but I would hope they would want "best of breed" apps in other places.

                                             

                                            For me, this is less important. I am running Repligo on my rooted NC. For the rest of you, especially if you have an interest in the best PDF reader for your NC, take a look and email Cerience. Since this is a paid app, they should have an interest bringing it to a market where the buyers are readers. Or email Unidocs Inc., who make ezPDF, another excellent PDF reader.

                                      • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                                        Please & Thank You!!!!

                                        I have been considering rooting my nc just to get this sort of functionality! I'm in wait and see mode on what kind of apps / updates B&N are going to come out with, but I am also very impatient.

                                        Based on past experiences with waiting for software updates to fix what's wrong, I'll probably end up having to root to get the functionality I need. I hope I'm wrong!!!

                                        • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                                          Yes, open NOOKcolor up to the ANDROID market. The NOOK has proved to be an outstanding ANDROID hardware platform.

                                           

                                          It's a shame that B&N should keep it hobbled with clunky software.

                                           

                                          I'm standing by with JAVA SDK, ANDROID SDK / AVD & ECLIPSE-HELIOS to try and workout a better file management app. But at the moment, I will not touch the NOOKcolor OS because I don't want to void the warranty.

                                           

                                          I'm looking forward when B&N turns rumor into reality and opens a much talked about "Android App Store"

                                            • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                                              It isn't just B&N's choice to open up to Android Marketplace, it's Google's too. Don't hold your breath.:smileytongue:

                                               

                                              Mark, good catch! Now, any suggestions for how folks can easily ADD a password to their PDFs so they can change PDF readers???? Is that a possibility?

                                                • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                                  Mark_OB1

                                                  withfeeling suggested:

                                                   

                                                  > Now, any suggestions for how folks can easily ADD a password to their PDFs so they can change PDF readers???? Is that a possibility? <

                                                   

                                                  I hadn't even though about that!  But I suppose so, if you've got Acrobat or Distiller, or anything that can do a Save As, with modified attributes.

                                                   

                                                  NitroDFP Pro is something I bought a while back for 40 bucks or so (MSRP $99), that claims to have that capability.  I should dig it out and give it a try.  There may be other options out there, though I don't know if any of the free ones have that capability.

                                                   

                                                  - Mark

                                                   

                                                  • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                                    BruceMcF

                                                    withfeeling wrote:

                                                    It isn't just B&N's choice to open up to Android Marketplace, it's Google's too. Don't hold your breath.:smileytongue:


                                                    Yeah, I think the deal would be for there to be a $2.99 GetJar app at the B&N store, where B&N did a thumbs up or thumbs down on apps from getjar's selection, but no special Nook Color application development kit. The problem that B&N has is that they have actual STORES where Amazon doesn't, so nobody drops by the Amazon Store expecting help with some random app they downloaded off the Amazon app store.

                                                     

                                                    The GetJar app approach would allow B&N to say "we support apps you get directly from the B&N store, we can help if you are having trouble with your GetJar app, but whatever you download from them is their responsibility."

                                                • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                                  zenaxe

                                                  FWIW, I wouldn't be surprised if B&N considered it to be in their own long term best interest to have the Nook be a killer PDF reader. You want it to be just good enough it's usable, but not so good, that people are going to prefer it ove the proprietary ebook format.

                                                   

                                                  Also, to whoever said it's up to google to open the android market: I think you're mistaken. Google does not prevent the nook from accessing the Android market, B&N had to make a conscious decision to remove market access from their android build. This all about B&N trying to position the product as a special purpose ebook reader and making decisions that they think will give them the most profit in the long run and really, I don't think that's an unreasonable approach for a business trying to position themselves in a competitive market and recoup their R&D costs at the same time.

                                                   

                                                  As an end user, I think the nook has way more utility to me run wide open as an Android tablet with access to B&N's services, but that's MY preference... not everyone is a power user. I'm thankful it's rooted. I would have bought a different product, otherwise. As it is, it's exceeded my expectations in its rooted form and I can recommend it to many more kinds of prospective buyers as a result.

                                                   

                                                  It's a great product and I'm really enjoying using ezPDF with it, hopefully ezPDF will be allowed into the B&N version of the "nook market" so more people can benefit from it.

                                                   

                                                    • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color

                                                      I'm sorry, but you are mistaken. Google must authorize distribution of Android Marketplace access software on devices. You may have a theory for why B&N wouldn't want access, but why would the general-purpose tablet manufacturers, like Archos, also "refuse" to distribute Marketplace access? That is also why there is so much "confederate" Marketplace access software out there. I have some on my rooted NC.

                                                       

                                                      I believe that to this point only the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has both 3G and GPS, and is from a phone partner, has been sold WITH marketplace access. Maybe there are others by now, but I don't know of them.

                                                       

                                                      Google has repeatedly stated that Android is not yet ready for Tablets. So far, the fact that many tablets are starting to sell like hotcakes has not changed their position.

                                                      • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                                        Mark_OB1

                                                        zenaxe commented:

                                                         

                                                        > FWIW, I wouldn't be surprised if B&N considered it to be in their own long term best interest to have the Nook be a killer PDF reader.  You want it to be just good enough it's usable, but not so good, that people are going to prefer it over the proprietary ebook format. <

                                                         

                                                        Did you mean to say, NOT be a killer PDF reader?

                                                         

                                                        That might help explain why one reader, that was completely uniform, and consistent with the user experience of their ePUB reader (same page flipping, bookmarks, contents, page slider, etc.) would be removed, and replaced with one totally different, inconsistent, and limited in multiple ways.

                                                         

                                                        - Mark

                                                         

                                                          • Re: Petition to bring best (Android) PDF reader to Nook Color
                                                            zenaxe

                                                             


                                                             

                                                            Did you mean to say, NOT be a killer PDF reader?

                                                             

                                                            That might help explain why one reader, that was completely uniform, and consistent with the user experience of their ePUB reader (same page flipping, bookmarks, contents, page slider, etc.) would be removed, and replaced with one totally different, inconsistent, and limited in multiple ways.

                                                             

                                                            - Mark

                                                             


                                                            Yes, exactly. As a manufacturer you want to be able to say "oh yes we support side loaded epubs and pdfs" when the user is considering the device for purchase but once the sale has been made and that user is looking for new content, you absolutely want the B&N bookstore to be the first choice. That's where the money is. $10 for one or two megabytes of data.