Adobe Reader app for Windows 8 touch devices released

If you want to check out PDF files in Windows 8 but also want to use the Adobe Reader app to do so, you were forced to go to the desktop and use that version of the company's software. That is, until this week. Adobe has now released a free Windows 8 Reader app that can be used inside the Modern UI.

The app, as listed on the Windows Store site, lets users read PDF files that are stored on their PC, as well as on the web and inside email attachments. Specific Windows 8 features include touching embedded links in the PDF document to bring up web pages as well as using the Share charm to send the document to other people.

The Adobe Reader Windows 8 app supports reading password protected PDF files, along with viewing any annotations or drawing markups that might have been put into the document. For files that have more than one page, the Adobe Reader app supports a Semantic Zoom to see all of the pages in the document.

Of course, Microsoft has put in support for reading PDF files with its own Reader app in Windows 8 but many users will likely appreciate the fact that Adobe now has their official Reader app available for the Modern user interface.

Source: Windows Store website | Image via Adobe

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The built in reader app can't read password protected PDFs so this is a plus. I do like it, it handles PDFs better, however the reader app has better navigation.

I just installed it and tested it with a 150+ pages document (both text and graphics).

When using the semantic zoom (to see all pages), it renders the mini-pages slightly
faster than the native one. But it stops there.

In fully rendered view, both one page and continuous, the Microsoft one is MUCH faster. Pages appear immediately rendered with the Microsoft one where Adobe pages appear fuzzy and then render within a very short delay.

Rapid scrolling through the document is lightning fast with the Microsoft one where the Adobe version stutters to render at some point and still displays fuzzy text.

As of now, no real good reason to get the Adobe product.

Side note: Tests were done on a Surface RT tablet.

TheCyberKnight said,
In fully rendered view, both one page and continuous, the Microsoft one is MUCH faster. Pages appear immediately rendered with the Microsoft one where Adobe pages appear fuzzy and then render within a very short delay.

That's very interesting. Microsoft is probably handing vectors down to the WinRT XAML stack, which is graphics-accelerated and optimized. The fact that Adobe shows visible incremental rendering suggests that they're doing it all in software, and just sending a bitmap to the XAML stack.

I mean, it's the same deal on Mac, isn't it? The built-in Preview application is faster than Adobe, because it just passes it through to the native OS X PDF display stack.

Still not great. Okay for basic, very basic viewing but want to open something from a link within the pdf, doesn't work. That is brick wall right there. Useless there and then.

I am happy with the reader app to open PDF files, the less Adobe programs I don't have to install/use the better imho

Weird thing is theres already a Reader app on Win 8/RT that comes with the OS. It does exactly the same thing as this Adobe version, so i don't see the point in this.