With all the talk about Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR for Google Android, I almost didn’t notice that Adobe Reader for Android also launched last week. The PDF viewer is available as a free download from the Android Market.

Adobe Reader for Android supports multitouch gestures including pinch to zoom, double-tap to zoom, and flick-scrolling. There’s also a reflow mode that will wrap text in large documents to fit the size of your screen.

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In order to run Adobe Reader for Android you’ll need Android 2.1 or newer and a phone with a 550MHz or faster processor and at least 256MB of RAM. Basically, the Motorola Droid/Milestone and Google Nexus One are currently supported, although some other phones may be able to handle the app.

It really seems silly that you need a brand-spanking-new phone in order to read PDF files, something that you’ve been able to do on Windows Mobile and Palm phones for the better part of a decade. But to be honest, the app even feels a bit sluggish on my Nexus One with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, especially when opening large documents.

One thing that seems very strange is that there’s no “open” dialog on the main page of Adobe Reader for Android. When you first launch the app you’re greeted with a screen that says “recent documents,” with no documents listed. In order to open a doc, I used a third party file browser to locate a PDF I had copied to my storage card, and clicked on it to open the document in Adobe Reader.

Once a document is open, you can hit the settings menu to bring up an “open” dialog — which takes you to the recent documents menu. If you haven’t previously opened a document manually, there’s no way to open a new document from Adobe Reader. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future release.

You can find a few more screenshots after the break.

via Kevin Tofel

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...