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Mobile PDFs – 4 Ways to Read PDFs on your BlackBerry – Page 3

March 11th, 2009

From the Cloud Computing Blog.

If you haven’t already, you should read page 1 and page 2 first.

MobiPocket

The free MobiPocket ebook reader used to be produced by a German company but they are now an Amazon subsidiary. The Mobi format is what the Kindle uses as the default format for all of those ebooks. That means that for a Kindle, if you want to view PDFs, you need to convert them to Mobi format. Fortunately, Mobi provides that functionality.

I have been using mobi on my blackberry for a long time now. I mainly used it to read free science fiction books the Baen Free Library. Mobi has upgraded the viewer over the years and has a viewer for almost any platform, including most phones and desktops.

Mobi-loading Mobi-about

In addition to the reader, Mobi also offers a free Mobi Creator software. I have used the creator to create my own mobi docs in the past but for the most part, if you drag a PDF to the desktop reader, it will automatically convert it to Mobi format.

mobi_pdf_convert1

Regardless of how you create it, it looks good but does not maintain fidelity with the PDF. That means that you will end up with a different number of pages and the fonts will change but you will still have the basic order of the file and you will still have your graphics.

mobi_pdf_convert8

If you have the desktop reader open when connecting your blackberry, mobi will recognize the device and load it for you. Very easy.

mobi_pdf_convert7

Once you get the mobi file to your BlackBerry, reading it is much like viewing a PDF in one of the PDF viewers. You use a file explorer to load documents (call My Library). If your PDF has a table of contents, you will notice the lack of fidelity right away.

mobi-toc mobi-code-formatting

The internal links on the TOC still work, they are just formatted funky. You can see how the formatting was lost in the sample XML document. For me, in most instances, this is a very minor issue. Everything else in mobi works the way I need it to. You can navigate with a goto page menu:

mobi-menu mobi-navigate-menu

Viewing your documents is an excellent experience. Mobi is very readable and the pages load pretty much instantaneously on my Bold.

mobi-digram mobi-normal-font

mobi-larger-font mobi-larger-font2

Search also works well and is fairly fast.

mobi-search mobi-search-progress

mobi-search-match

Considering that the viewer and the ability to convert PDFs to mobi format are both free, you really can’t beat this product. Even if you do need document fidelity, this software is a keeper. Buy a PDF viewer and use mobi for those documents that you want to read, not reference. I’m in the process of converting all of my PDFs.

ShortCovers

ShortCovers is not a PDF viewer or converter. It is a social network, ebook reader and a catalog of ebooks that you can purchase. The only reason I am including it here is that for the less technically inclined, it may be an easier way to go. Basically, you read books and talk about them. You can read on blackBerry, iPhone or online and the software remembers where you were so that you can pick back up in the same place later.

I have browsed around and read some of the excepts but I have not purchased any full novels.

shortcovers-main

shortcovers-popular shortcovers-book-overview

Summary

For PDF viewing, I found that BeamReader has some shortcomings. While the cheapest of the the three readers, it doesn’t meet my needs. PDF To Go, as the most expensive (by a lot), has excellent performance and plenty of features. Repligo Reader, though at not much more than BeamReader, has all of those features and more. The performance is impressive. For my PDF needs, when I really need the fidelity that PDF provides, I have decided to purchase Repligo Reader. I think it will be a good purchase.

For those times when readability is more important than fidelity (such as novels or extended reading of reference material), I use, and will continue to use, MobiPocket reader for BlackBerry. It’s free and can convert PDFs (and other formats such as Word and TXT) to the Mobi format. MobiPocket reader is my first choice for reading on the BlackBerry, followed by Repligo.

I mention ShortCovers for its social networking features but everything it offers is also offered by MobiPocket. MobiPocket also has an online store for ebooks.

Continue reading: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

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  1. February 16th, 2012 at 09:10 | #1

    I have used mobipocket reader for more that 5years now. It is superb with text and graphics and manipulation of the way it displays text is good too. The most annoying thing with software is its inability to handle table(s). whoever owns it now should endeavour to work on that aspect of the program. i love and will continue to.

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