Adobe Launches Free Adobe Reader for Android App

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-05-25

Adobe products may not be welcomed on Apple's iPhone or iPad, but the company is doing its best to cozy up to Google's Android mobile operating system.

Adobe May 21 released Adobe Reader for Android to the Android Market, capping a love fest at Google I/O, where Google's Android group pledged support for Adobe's Flash and Air technology.

Available for devices running Android 2.1 and later, the free Adobe Reader for Android app will let users access PDF files on their Android smartphones and eventually tablets.

The app leverages multitouch gestures Android 2.1 phone owners are accustomed to using on devices such as the Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One, and the new HTC Incredible, including pinch-and-zoom, double-tap-zoom, flick-scrolling and panning.

The software also supports landscape and portrait mode, allowing users to read documents horizontally or vertically based on what's appropriate for a particular document.

Steve Gottswall, group product manager for Adobe Reader, said his team also added a "reflow" mode to take text-heavy documents with wide margins and automatically adapt them to smaller screens.

Gottswall demonstrated Adobe Reader for Android on a Nexus One in this video, where he also showed such utilities as calling up an on-screen menu for zooming in and out.

Requirements for the app include devices with a 550 MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM and 4.3 MB of available disk space.

The app comes just a day after Adobe launched the public beta of Flash Player 10.1 on  Android 2.2-based smartphones, and said that Flash 10.1 would be supported for the forthcoming Android 2.1-based Google TV service.

eWEEK reviewed Flash running on and Android 2.2-based Nexus One here, finding it pretty but slow at times. See also related images here.

Adobe's support for Android runs deeper. The company May 20 also introduced its Adobe AIR for Android developer prerelease program, allowing any developer interested in building Android apps to access the beta SDK.

This same team, led by Adobe Air for Android Product Manager Michael Chou, demonstrated a tablet computer running Android at the Web 2.0 Expos earlier this month.

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