The PDF format has always been a bit of a pain for end users. PDFs have two dominate uses and apps are generally only tailored to one of the two. For some, PDFs are useful for business documents and forms and thus require a PDF app that can edit and fill out forms. However, a lot of people like keeping their books in PDF format and thus require a PDF app that acts like an eBook reader. It’s quite frustrating figuring out which PDF apps work best with which but we have this list below to help you find the PDF reader that you need. Let’s get started with the best PDF readers for Android.
First up is the preeminent option for PDF readers and that’s Adobe Reader. When it comes to features, Adobe has pretty much all of the standard features you’d expect in a PDF reader and a whole bunch more. Most of the features are geared toward business use so we recommend you use it for that purpose. It can handle PDF books but you’ll probably want something with more reader features than business features. It allows for limited annotation and if you want to edit the PDF, you can convert it to other formats to edit it in other apps should you need to.
AnDoc’s claim to fame is how simple it is. This app can open and view PDF and DJVU file formats and that’s about all it can do. This is useful for some very basic reading only as it doesn’t contain a lot of features for anything else. If you just need something to read PDFs (or DJVUs) then you’re in luck but if you have business needs, you’ll want to try something else on this list.
[Price: Free w/optional $49.99/yr subscription]
CamScanner is a little bit different of an app. It can’t import PDFs from your storage but what you can do is use your phone camera as a scanner to scan documents into your phone as a PDF. This can be monumentally useful when you need to email a form that you filled out by hand. Once the document is scanned into the app, you can annotate as needed and send it to wherever it needs to go. Thus, once you get the file into CamScanner, it’s a fairly good PDF app. You can even fax things to people. Nifty.
[Price: Free / $3.99]
ezPDF is much like Adobe Reader because it is geared toward business use. Unlike Adobe Reader, ezPDF does have some features for those who need it specifically as a reader. The most notable features include the FormFiller feature, ePub support, and multimedia PDF support. There is a free version which gives you some of the features while the $3.99 version gives you all of them. You can possibly get away with the free version depending on your needs but if you’re a frequent flier of the PDF format and this looks like your new favorite PDF app, it’s probably better just to toss down the few bucks.
[Price: Free / $9.99]
Foxit definitely strays to the reader side of things but does have a few features for business users as well. This includes the all important annotation feature and the ability to sign PDFs. It also has cloud support which is always good these days and focuses mostly on opening PDFs quickly and cleanly as well as smooth operating. It’s more polished than a lot of the options on this list and does offer at least the basic features required to make it onto this list. It is a little expensive at $9.99 so be sure to check out the free version first to make sure that’s an investment you want to make.
Kingsoft is technically an office app but it does contain a few features that specifically deal with PDFs. Namely, you can save documents in PDF format if you need to as well as open PDFs if you need to. From there you can print or read them as needed. It doesn’t have a lot of the features of others on this list but if you need something very basic then this could be your best option. It also contains a very highly rated and popular office suite so you could be killing two birds with one stone.
Unfortunately, it’s been quite a long time since the developer updated MuPDF but thankfully the last update was really good. This is a more basic offering but MuPDF seems to excel at the features it does have. It opens PDF files quickly and cleanly and gives you the basic options like filling out forms and annotation. It even supports Google Cloud Print. It’s totally free to use, so it’s hard to complain about the features it doesn’t have. If you need something simple then this is another great option.
As the app name implies, PDF Reader is a reader of PDFs. It has one of the longer feature lists of any of the apps on this list and includes mostly features for reading PDFs rather than business uses. This is a great app to check out if all you need to is read things like books in PDF format. It includes a lot of features like brightness, auto-scroll, dictionary support, TTS support, and others geared specifically for reading. If you need something that lets you annotate PDFs or fill out forms then you’ll have to look elsewhere.
[Price: Free / $2.89]
Radaee is another PDF app that is useful mostly for reading. It does have a few very, very basic editing features but nothing that some of these others don’t have. Radaee’s claim to fame is better-than-average language support and quick rendering which translates to good performance. It features a simple interface as well as some reader features like page turning animations should you want that. This is definitely more of a reader than a business PDF app so do keep that in mind. It’s free to download if you want to try it out.
RepliGo PDF Reader doesn’t have a lot of features but the features it does have are the most important ones. They include cloud support for services like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive (SkyDrive), form filling, annotation, text reflow, TTS, and there are even a few theming options. It has a lot of upside but unfortunately there isn’t a trial version or a free version to try first so you’ll have to figure out if this is the app for you within the refund time or just pray that your $2.99 wasn’t wasted on something you don’t want or need.
Last up is SmartQ and it’s also one of the more obscure on the list. It rocks a 4.5 rating in the Play Store and includes pretty much all of the features you’ve come to expect from apps on this list to have. This includes annotation, adding text notes, and drawing. All of which can be used to fill out forms on PDFs. It also includes some unusual features like syncing with Kingsoft service. It’s totally free to download and use so if you’re interested, check it out!
Which PDF reader is best for you really depends on your needs. Some people need them to read books while others need them to fill out forms. Unfortunately there is no best option that covers every use so your best bet is to figure out what you need it for and get the app that best fills that use. For instance, if you have a couple of novels in PDF format, you’ll probably do better with an app that has more reader functions. Also be sure to check out our best eReaders list which has a few options that allow for PDF reading. With so many options and so many different uses for PDFs, we very well may have missed an app or two. If so, let us know in the comments!