Mobile PDFs – 4 Ways to Read PDFs on your BlackBerry – Page 2
From the Cloud Computing Blog.
If you haven’t already, you should read page 1 first.
BeamReader, formerly BeamBerry, is produced by SLG Mobile. BeamReader was originally created BeamBerry as a hosted service. It would translate the PDF on a server and stream the output to your device. SLG still offers a service like this (for PDFs and many other document types) and even offers a print service. The newer BeamReader provides a native PDF renderer and they claim to be “the first full fidelity native PDF reader for BlackBerry”.
Unfortunately, I had some major problems with BeamReader while trying to do this review. I admit that I was using a very large file, 3MB – 374 pages. I have several PDFs that are over 20MB. The other tools I used did not have the problems that I ran into with BeamReader.
BeamReader was incredibly slow when compared to PDF To Go and to Repligo. It was really unusable. I loaded the file and then left my blackberry sitting while I did other things to give it time to load the first page. When it finally rendered a page, it would either be unreadable or blank.
BeamReader does support bookmarks (which I think is an important feature). Oddly enough, even though it took a while to display, BeamReader was able to produce the bookmarks for my large document.
I decided to try with a smaller file and had more success. It performed better and produced readable documents.
BeamReader, like the other readers, supports various levels of zoom. BeamReader supports fewer though and I had a harder time finding a zoom level that I could read and that would fit the entire page on the screen. It seemed like the higher zoom levels would degrade the fidelity of the document.
Operationally, BeamReader works like most other software of this type. It comes with a file explorer. Pick the file from a list and it launches. The file manager of this tool (unlike others) will allow you to perform file manipulation such as renaming, deleting and even creating new files. You can also attach files to emails (with OS 4.5+).
BeamReader offers a 10 day trial and costs $17.99 per user. With the ability to create new files, you can create a new.doc file and open with the standard version of Documents To Go for editing. If you need to create new word documents on your BlackBerry, this can save you some money.
SLG claims that BeamReader is the fastest PDF viewing solution for BlackBerries. They may have some kind of benchmarks to make such a claim but that is not my experience.
Repligo Reader is produced by Cerience who also sell Repligo Professional and Repligo Server. Repligo Reader is very similar to PDF To Go in performance but offers several additional features.
Repligo rendered pages quickly and in general performed very well. It follows the same standard interface with the file manager and load screen.
Repligo supports bookmarks and multiple levels of zoom.
The rendering was fantastic. Full fidelity and it looked very crisp and clean.
I did run into some issues with rendering in what is called Reading View. For some reason, the graphics rendered OK but the text was mangled. Some pages were partially readable but others were completely unreadable.
A couple of final screen shots of the menu and the file properties screen.
Repligo reader supports search and email attachment support. It costs $19.95 which is significantly less that Docs To Go Premium and only slightly more than BeamReader. It offers features that are missing in BeamReader and PDF To Go and great performance.