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The best PDF readers for Android
PDF reader apps have always been a pain in the neck. Generally speaking, there are two major use cases for PDF files. The first is for business, where you can create forms in PDF format and have people fill them out. The second is for reading e-books. The PDF is an easily accessible file that works well for reading. Usually, PDF reader apps only cater to one of two of these use cases and in this list, we’ve compiled a selection of the best PDF reader apps on Android for both. You can also check out the best PDF reader apps on other platforms by clicking here.
The best PDF reader apps for Android
A bit about PDF reader apps
There are two dominant types of PDF reader apps. The first is for business and professional use. These let you do things like open PDFs, fill it out if it’s a form, sign your name, annotate, and other similar features. They’re most useful for business professionals, students, or anyone who fills out forms and sends them back over email or otherwise online. Some typical examples of this include Adobe Acrobat Reader and DocuSign. Some apps, like CamScanner, add in things like document scanning and fax features for additional functionality and usability.
The other type of PDF reader is for recreational use. A lot of people format ebooks into PDF format. A proper PDF reader for books includes features like support for chapters, a reading mode, various scrolling modes, and other similar features. Apps on this list like that include Google Play Books, and Moon+ Reader. These apps almost always support other ebook types as well. This list has PDF reader apps for both types.
There is a third, less common type of PDF reader app as well. All-in-one style apps include PDF support along with other, non-PDF productivity features. For instance, CamScanner and Fast Scanner are actually document scanner apps with PDF reader functionality built-in. These apps are great for killing two birds with one stone and are also excellent for people who don’t want or need to carry around a bunch of apps when they can combine the functionality into a single app. We have a few of these types of apps on the list as well.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Price: Free / $12.99-$14.99 per month
Adobe Acrobat Reader is the default choice for a lot of people. Most of the time it just works. The app also has other features, including the ability to annotate and take notes on PDFs, fill out forms, some cloud storage support, and sign your signature. You also get a full Material Design experience and support for 18:9 displays along with other aspect ratios. This is obviously more for business or professional use than for reading PDF books or anything like that, so we only recommend it for that use case. There is a subscription cost that unlocks features along with Adobe’s Creative Cloud storage option. It’s not bad for your basic stuff.
Price: Free / $4.99-$6.99 per month / Additional in-app purchases
CamScanner is one of the most powerful PDF readers and creators. It can import PDFs. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It can also scan physical documents into PDF files on your phone. It has a variety of features to improve the scanning process which helps make some clean, crisp documents. You can annotate PDFs, share them with anyone, or even fax them for a nominal fee. The paid route brings additional features such as 10GB of cloud space, some editing features, and more. The free version should do well enough for simple stuff, though.
Price: Free / $10-$40 per month (three plans)
DocuSign is a PDF reader for business use. The app’s primary function is to open documents, allow you to fill them out, sign them, and send them where they need to go. That part of the app is free. There are also a few subscription plans. $10 per month gives you a few additional features. The $25- and $40-per-month subscriptions simply build on that. Frankly, you don’t really need to worry about subscriptions unless you do stuff like this professionally.
Price: Free / $2.99
Fast Scanner is another PDF scanner app, but it isn’t as heavy as CamScanner. This nifty, simple app will scan documents using your smartphone camera and turn them into either JPEG or PDF files for future use. It comes with a variety of features to help sharpen and clean the scan as much as possible before finalizing anything. You can then use any PDF reader app to view it yourself. Most of the features, and all of the important ones, are available in the free version. You can also get the premium version free with Google Play Pass.
Foxit PDF Reader
Price: Free / $0.99
Foxit is a lot like ezPDF. Both boast all-in-one solutions for PDF use. It features an organization system to keep your PDF files inline. You’ll also get ConnectedPDF support, the ability to fill out PDFs, and support for PDF files with certificates, passwords, and Microsoft’s RMS. It’s a good all-around option when you factor in the reading features as well. It’s mostly for business use whereas ezPDF is more for pleasure reading, but it works great for reading too. Foxit also has offers an app specifically for business use, which costs $15.99. This version only costs $0.99.
More useful apps here:
Google PDF Reader
Google PDF Reader is a plug-in for Google Drive. The plugin gives native PDF support for Google Drive users. This isn’t the most powerful PDF reader app. However, you can open and view PDFs as needed. You can also print, search, and copy from PDF files. This also works as a standalone application for those who need something very simple but don’t use Google Drive exclusively. There isn’t much else about it, honestly. It opens and lets you read through PDFs and that’s all it does. The app works perfectly for simple use cases.
Google Play Books
Google Play Books is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Kindle. You can buy a variety of books from the store and read them wherever. It can also read PDF files. There is no business use here — this is just for pleasure reading. You can also upload the PDF (and EPUB) files to the cloud to access across devices. The books become a part of your library like any other book. It’s a great way to consolidate a large collection behind a service that lets you buy more books. The app is free but you can spend money on the books in the store, obviously. Google has another PDF reader that works with its Google Drive suite called Google PDF Viewer. That’s not a bad one for super basic use cases.
Price: Free (with ads)
Librera is one of the more interesting PDF reader apps. It seems to change dramatically every time we update this list. These days, the app bills itself as an all-in-one e-book reader. It supports well over a dozen formats, including PDF, EPUB, EPUB3, MOBI, DJVU, ZIP, TXT, and others. It also features a modern design, a night and day mode for easier reading at night, and more. You can even listen to books using Text-To-Speech if you really want to. The app is a bit buggier than most others on this list, but it’s also completely free (with advertising). They also have another PDF reader in Google Play. It goes by the boring name PDF Reader and also works pretty well.
Price: Free / $6.99-$9.99 per month
Microsoft Word is one of the most powerful word processors on mobile or on desktop. The app also supports PDF files. You can create PDF files and save them as that file type or you can open PDFs and view them through the app. Of course, Word does a host of other things as well including word processing, stuff like resume building, and more. Additionally, it even has features for ebook reading and other such PDF use cases. It’s a decent all-in-one solution for those who need a PDF reader as well as a word processor.
MiXplorer Silver is an all-in-one file explorer. It does all of your usual file browser stuff. That includes browsing files, opening various types of files, dealing with archives, and support for most types of media sources. What makes this one special is that it supports all types of stuff via plugins. It has support for ebook formats along with PDF. A separate (free) plugin adds PDF reader support to MiXplorer Silver and a decent ebook reader experience with it. It’s not the most elegant solution for ebook reading, but it’s a good way to kill several birds with one stone. The main app is $4.49. The PDF add-on (and all of the other add-ons) are free.
Here are more Android app lists to check out:
Price: Free / $4.99 with in-app purchases
Moon+ Reader is one of the most popular e-book readers. It has a boatload of features like theming support, tons of visual options, auto-scroll, intelligent paragraphs, dual page mode (for landscape), and more. The app also supports a bunch of formats like EPUB, EPUB3, and, of course, PDF. It has the occasional rough edge, but it’s among the best options for those who read books in PDF format.
Price: Free / $29.99+
OfficeSuite is one of the most popular office apps on mobile. It can do a lot of things. There is support for documents (including from Microsoft Office), spreadsheets, presentations, and even PDF files. The PDF functionality is pretty much just business-focused. You can fill out forms, sign them, and add/access security features. This is a good option for those who need a traditional office app with PDF support. The premium version is fairly expensive, though.
PDF Viewer Pro
PDF Viewer is a simple, basic PDF reader app. It carries all of the basic features, including annotations, cloud support, zoom, bookmarks, and more. The pro version adds themes, multiple customization options, and document merging into a single PDF. You also get Material Design and a somewhat easy UI overall. We didn’t have any problems during our testing. However, some have reported the occasional performance bug. Thankfully, the free version is free, obviously, so you can try it without paying anything. It’s above average, but more powerful options are available.
Price: Free / $29.99 per year
WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office) is another all-in-one office solution. It’s mostly an office app and deals with various documents, spreadsheets, and the like, but also comes with PDF features. You can convert various documents to PDF and view PDF files natively. This is useful if you have a form or something that needs to be in a more official format. It’s not too heavy on PDF features, but if you need an office app and a PDF reader, this is a good way to kill two birds with one stone. The subscription adds a few additional, useful features and removes ads. It’s not wholly necessary, though.
Xodo PDF Reader
Xodo is probably the best completely free PDF reader. It boasts quick loading and smooth navigation. You can also fill out PDF forms, sign them, and save your signature for future use. It also has support for note-taking, bookmarking, cloud storage, file management, and more. You can even take notes on blank PDFs if you really want to. It has a surprisingly good number of features considering it’s free with no in-app purchases. We also like that it works for both business and recreational use. There doesn’t appear to be advertising either. Honestly, we can’t find a lot wrong with it. However, you can find more features for either business or ebook reading with a dedicated app.
If we missed any of the best PDF readers for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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