Apologies if there’s already a better thread for this, I’ll be thankful for any pointers!
I’m searching for an Android app for note taking directly on pdfs. The note taking app on the Onyx e-readers (I think it’s called Neo Reader) essentially does what I want, but unfortunately isn’t available outside their e-readers.
I sync my files between devices using syncthing and I mostly read/annotate on my Onyx reader, but occasionally I’d also like to work on my Fold 4 or my galaxy tab s6, so I’d like to make sure that my pdfs are always up to date on all devices.
- being able to open and write on pdfs (preferably with S-Pen support)
- any changes I make should be saved directly to the pdf, not in some app-internal copy that I’m then expected to export manually
- It would be great if I was able to still modify/remove annotations when opening the file in the future. The Neo Reader app can do this (possibly with restrictions of the app has been edited by other apps in the meanwhile, but that might be the other apps’ fault, somehow locking the file)
Nice to have:
- being able to write with the (s-pen) and deleting either with the finger (as squid does it) or by pressing the dedicated button (as most note taking apps do)
What I have tried:
- squid: love the app, but sadly not for annotation
- pressure sensitivity
- bought the pdf import feature and love the app for projecting (pdf) presentations in classroom
- only way to get annotations out is by manually exporting to pdf again (there’s a feature request for an automatic export setting, but I’m not too hopeful this will get implemented)
- ezPDF Reader: bought the app several years ago.
- it’s ok for reading and it seems to autosave changes to the pdf as required.
- It doesn’t allow subsequent modifications to annotations, i.e. I can’t even delete them in the same app after I’ve closed the pdf once.
- I don’t really like the annotation options (apparently only a black pen and for some reason they must have removed S-Pen support in a recent update, as I just read in the changelog.)
- Samsung Notes
- writing experience is nice
- only way to get out annotated files is by manually exporting
- Foxit pdf reader (Android)
- seems to actually save to pdf
- I believe that subsequent changes to annotations are possible (and I was able to delete an annotation made in ezpdf)
- don’t like being prompted to login when starting the app (though luckily it’s not mandatory)
- not a big fan of annotation style (though better than ezpdf)
- deleting stuff requires changing tools
- opening the toolbox menu is surprisingly difficult once displaying a pdf fullscreen
I haven’t tried OneNote yet, as I’m not eager to sign up for yet another thing, but might try it if people tell me it can do what I want. My impression so far was that it’s more like Samsung Notes in having some internal memory that goes to some “cloud”, so I assume I’d have to manually export to PDF again (if that’s even possible).
Any other options people are aware of that might fit the bill? (I also tried some random other options off the play store a while ago, but they didn’t do what I want and I forgot their names)
So far, Foxit seems to come closest in functionality, but feels somewhat inconvenient and the annotation rendering makes my handwriting look even less legible.