PDF Reader Pro App Review

PDF is the most common file format used to share and publish documents. That’s why people always look out for apps that can help them handle PDFs on the go.

PDF Reader Pro lets users download, edit and email PDFs right from their iOS devices. Although a little complicated at first, this tool really is indispensable if you need a reliable way to help you keep on top of your workload.

This app is optimized for use on the iPad but works just as well on the iPhone even if the buttons are a little small.  The file structure is well laid out, organized and easy to navigate. The search facility is fast and comprehensive – looking into all folders inside the app and not just the folder you are in at the time.

A screenshot of PDF Reader Pro for iPhone and iPad You are able to download single page, as well as full PDF documents, via the in-app browser. It has a scan facility that uses the iOS device’s camera to take pictures of text or pictures and convert them into PDFs. This scan mode is fast and the text is clear and crisp. It also has editing functions to change colors, sharpness, brightness etc. and is something that really adds to the usability of the app.

Once you have scanned or downloaded a PDF, you are able to use a freehand tool to highlight, annotate, mark or just add a personal touch. This is where the bigger screen of the iPad would really help as it can be tricky if you do on the small screen of the iPhone or iPod Touch.

PDF Reader Pro browser downloadThe zip function helps in condensing the size of file; therefore ensuring no extra space is used when saving the documents. Not just able to export, but the app can also import already taken photos from your Photo Albums. The private folder has the option of password protection to ensure security when you are carrying around sensitive information.

As I said PDF Reader Pro has a lot of features. However, the price of this app is slightly on the higher side set at USD 5.99. I think the developer should find a right strategy in terms of pricing to make this app even more successful.

All in all, PDF Reader Pro can help users one who needs quick, on the go, access to a reliable PDF reader, viewer and editor. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Are smartphone battery life improvements on the way?

We all want a little more power. Smartphone manufacturers have catered to this desire, as they’ve continually pumped out increasingly powerful devices.

This year we’re seeing many quad-core devices with 1.5GHz processors, powered by 4G LTE networks, and with vibrant high-resolution displays. Yet these high-powered devices are about to hit a wall if we don’t see some critical changes in battery efficiency. Without adequate battery life, even the most powerful smartphone is useless.

Thankfully, there are a few reasons to believe that we’ll see appropriate improvements in the near future. Here are three reasons why we will see smartphone battery life improve in the coming months and years. It will be a great boon to consumers, who will be able to use their phones heavily for longer.

1. Consumer disappointment

Earlier this year, Motorola made something of a bold move. In a world of thinning smartphones, it actually released, and heavily marketed, a smartphone that is considerably thicker than many of its other models.

This only worked, however, because with the increased thickness came greater battery life. By most reasonable tests, the Droid RAZR MAXX lasts nearly twice as long on a single battery charge than most of its competitors.

The rationale behind this marketing campaign was simple. People love their smartphones, but get frustrated when they can’t last on a single charge throughout a day. Again, a powerless smartphone is a useless smartphone.

You can stuff all the features in the world under the hood of a phone, but if people need to constantly recharge in order to use those features there’s not a lot to be gained. Improved battery life will simply become a necessity that manufacturers cannot ignore.

2. Changing energy trends

The way we consume energy is always changing. The recent technology revolution will change it yet again. Most of our modern computing devices employ DC power, but our wall sockets deliver AC power. That leads to a few inefficiencies, since the difference requires a converter of sorts, whether that’s in the device or in the power source itself. We might see that change in short order.

As Technology Review notes, there is a growing demand for DC current source. It is possible that we could see power companies start to deliver DC power to our outlets in the next few decades, which should make the whole charging and powering process more efficient. The lack of conversion could make that big a difference.

Yet, given our consume-driven culture, it probably won’t make as much of a difference as my next point.

3. Apple’s doing it

It seems that whatever Apple does, other companies copy. Apple has long been an iconic force in technology, and their iPad and iPhone empire has helped solidify its spot at the top.

What they do with the iPhone 5 could again change the smartphone industry. As GigaOM’s Kevin Tofel notes, Apple could focus on battery life with the new iPhone, rather than creating another thinner model. He cites the increased battery capacity of the new iPad, which seems reasonable enough.

Improving smartphone batteriesIf Apple does indeed create a thicker smartphone that focuses on battery life, others will be pressed to follow suit. Remember, Apple essentially tells consumers what they want. Perhaps they wanted it previously – and plenty of customers have demanded better battery life from smartphones – but Apple does have the definitive word.

It’s hard to explain, but it’s clearly the case based on how the smartphone industry has developed. If Apple goes for battery life, we can expect others to jump on the bandwagon too.

Battery life has become a pressing issue for the future of smartphones. Manufacturers have created devices that are as powerful as full-sized computers of recent memory. Now they need adequate power for them.

Since a powerless smartphone is a useless smartphone, expect companies to jump on the better-battery bandwagon soon enough. Apple could get things kick-started this year. Things will likely develop rapidly from there.

Apple and some bad press

This week I would just like to do a short follow up on Christopher’s article entitled Why do we stick by Google and Apple but not Microsoft?

I will start with a little story about my 6 year old boy. He loves making things and last week he made a laptop computer from cardboard. It has keys with letters on it, a mouse and a black screen with icons. When it was finished he showed it to me, pointing out the detail, and said “I am not going to put the apple here on the top though, because they don’t all have apples”.

This is the power of branding. In a few years when he wants a laptop of his own what will he want? The one with the apple?

My kind of branding

My kind of branding

Recently though here in the US I have met a few people that do not use Apple products in principle. The reason I think is the bad press that their working practices have received in US newspapers.

I am not in any way endorsing these reports, but I feel that they are worthy of analyzing in a bit of detail, both for their content and their political or ethical standpoint.

The New York Times ran an entire series in which it looked at the human costs of the iPad and apple revolution, and you can read it here (not too long).

The opening lines speak of an explosion in which 2 people were killed as they polished iPad cases. This is not the only reported explosion either, and there are plenty of cases of people being burnt as they use chemicals without proper safety procedures, excessively long days spent entirely stood up and child labour.

It is not just Apple though that use these manufacturing plants however, and the scale of the operations is incredible. One of the names often cited for criticism is Foxconn, and they do a lot of Apple’s assembly. They have 1.2 million employees in China, some plants have more than 100 000 workers, they operate 24 hours a day, can call upon their work force at any time and start production within minutes of receiving orders. This is what the technology of today requires and produces.

Apple do have a code of conduct within its supply chain, drawn up and expanded upon since 2005. Audits are conducted and violations unearthed and they say that this is a sign of their commitments to improvement, but some say that the fact that they problem is continuous points to a toleration of non compliance.

Last year they found 4 deaths and 77 injuries within their production system, and several suicides. Now one death or injury is too many, but with a workforce of well over a million accidents will happen, and some might even see this as a good record. Apple state that they train their workforce and explain their rights to them.

One thing is for sure, the stakes are high and there is a lot of money to be made but Apple is a demanding company. And they are not the only ones with dodgy working practices, but seem to be singled out for criticism.

Why might that be I wonder? Maybe it is because as Christopher hinted they inspire such loyalty amongst their users, and some circles do not like that.