Why Would I Install the Adobe Reader on an iPhone or iPad?

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As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Adobe Reader is now available for iPhone and iPad. But PDF files can already open natively on these devices, why install the Adobe Reader?

There are a few reasons but here’s three off the top of my head.

Third party PDF viewing tools typically cut corners when it comes to displaying PDF files specifically in areas around fonts, image types, transparency and output intent. Users of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and even Microsoft Word and PowerPoint may find that when PDF files are exported from these applications. They don’t render properly in anything other than Adobe Acrobat and Reader. The real problem is, as the recipient, you have no idea what the document should look like so you have no idea if what you’re seeing is wrong. Using the Adobe Reader is a way to ensure that you’re seeing what the author intended.

The second is around document security. Many organizations are protecting their IP using LiveCycle Rights Management. Only the Adobe Reader can open these files on mobile devices.

Last… but not least, the Adobe Reader can open PDF Portfolios and view the attached PDF files, though with out the Flash-Based UI. So far, I haven’t seen a 3rd party viewer that can do that on a mobile device.