The state of PDF apps?

Since the topic of Adobe being subpar on Android came up, it got me thinking about PDF apps and what they do. My needs are not complex, so I’d love to learn more about what’s out there from folks who do more with PDFs.

Right now, OneNote is my primary PDF annotator, and other apps I use are primarily used to quickly view a download or fill out a short form. I use google play books to keep PDFs for reading. I have experimented some with Samsung Notes, but don’t really use it.

I have Drawboard and Xodo on windows, but mostly just open it in Edge and print into OneNote from there. When I download a PDF on Android, I have a ridiculous number of ways I can open it. The current list of things that can open PDFs is stupidly long: OneDrive PDF viewer, Samsung Note PDF reader, Samsung Notes, Adobe Acrobat, Canva, Google Drive PDF viewer, Dropbox PDF viewer, Kindle, MobileSheets, Noteshelf, Notewise, Office, SmallPDF, Termux(?!), Word, Xodo Docs. How on earth did I end up with so many? I think it was partly an attempt to find something that could shrink some of my ridiculously big ones into something that could fit in google drive. I notice several apps have a lot of PDF manipulation type stuff under a paid tier and I’m cheap.

What do you use? What do you do with PDFs? What are you must haves? What do you wish an app could do?

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I’d love to know the answer to this too.
Sometimes I just need to fill out a document, and would crave a good lightweight PDF annotator to get the job done.
Currently I’ve been using Samsung Notes because mechanically, it does what I need. But I wish the drawing tools in it fit me better. I can’t decide whether I like the fountain pen or pencil match my handwriting better. But the pressure sensitivity in either one doesnt give me that smug EMR satisfaction I get with PC tablet apps like OneNote.

I have simple needs. I just open them in Files on my iPad which takes care of everything. Pencil has pressure sensitivity, tilt, sufficient tools; I can print it out from there (AirPrint to my laser printer), or email it, text it, or share it to whatever app takes PDFs. Sharing it with iBooks makes it read like an ebook and it’s still just as annotatable. Can’t think of anything that I need that it doesn’t do. No muss no fuss. Pretty much everything else has been Sherlocked for basic needs.


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I like Samsung notes quite a bit and use it on my S22 along the companion windows app on my Surface Pro.

I also use OneNote on my S22 though it’s not my favorite on Android as it feels a bit clunky and is prone to crashing with graphics heavy documents though it seems to handle text only docs without issue.

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I use Readera Pro for reading PDFs, and OneDrive for organising them. Galaxy Notes is best for markups.

For some reason, when opening them from an email, it’s easier to open them with something else (I use Adobe PDF Reader from the Galaxy Store) and to then send it to OneDrive. Opening it with OneDrive directly is a bit of a faff as it assumes where I want it saved.

This has been super helpful. I mark up a lot of PDF documents (mostly text only). I had been using Drawboard on my Surface Go, but switched to a Galaxy Tab and been trying to figure out the best app.