iPhone App Review: PDF Reader Pro

iPhone App Review: PDF Reader Pro

November 3rd, 2011 by

One thing the iPhone made harder, rather than easier, was the entire concept of managing documents on your mobile device. Since they tossed out the whole file/folder model of desktop computers in favor of the more restrictive (and of course, more secure) sandbox model (where each app gets its own secure area of memory in which to work), it’s been a bit harder to share documents between apps.

Apple has improved this a bit recently, but there’s still the issue of the lack of a central location to store and view your documents, whatever source may bring them into the device in the first place. PDF Reader Pro by YUYAO Mobile Software attempts to solve this problem by giving you a one-stop “My Documents”-style app that holds all of your important documents, even those in other formats besides PDF.

How It Works

PDF Reader Pro actually does a lot more than just read PDF files. You can not only view but annotate PDF files, fill out form-based PDFs, view major Office file formats within the app, convert other types of files into PDF, and even import and adjust pictures and then compile them into a PDF file. Files can be brought into the app through most major cloud services like Dropbox, Google, even custom-rolled WebDAV or FTP servers, and even upload the files out again to those destinations (or simply email them out too). You can even select multiple files from a list and compress them into a single ZIP archive before sending.

PDF Reader Pro also supports Apple’s “Open In…” feature, allowing you to open files from your email in PDF Reader Pro, or open files from PDF Reader Pro using another app. There is also a search function for finding that one file in a sea of hundreds (if that’s how you roll), a Private folder that can be password-protected or completely hidden, and even supports Airplay for streaming media over a network. You also of course have full viewing control over the files in your device: zoom in and out, lock orientation, jump to a certain page, AirPrint support, search the PDF text, even reflow the text on the page.

Pros And Cons

PDF Reader Pro really does everything right in terms of feature set and functionality. It’s not that you can’t get any of these features in other apps, but that I don’t know of another app that offers every single one of these features together. A leading competitor in the document-viewing space will let you annotate PDFs but not create one, while another “scanner” type app will let you create PDF files but not much else. PDF Reader Pro even has a built-in “browser download” feature that lets you browse to a website right within the app and fetch a download, plus a handy WiFi file transfer for direct file manipulation.

The app has so many features that it’s easy to get lost in the sea of capability, but it’s all fairly well-laid out (or at least as well laid-out as can be expected on the small screen). The only thing it’s really missing right now is iCloud access, but that is hopefully not too far along on the update path. I also encountered a strangely-worded memory error after futzing about with the app for several hours, but that could have been the app’s memory management causing an error or the app catching a low-memory situation on the device itself. Tough to say.


PDF Reader Pro is a great document-storage and viewing app that does so much more than its name implies. It’s not simply a PDF reader, but a PDF creator, annotator, and Swiss Army-style document handler. It’s even a universal app so you get two versions for the price of one!

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