ezPDF Reader versus RepliGo Reader: The Battle of the Android PDF Editors (Revisited)

Early on in the creation of this blog I discussed two Android PDF editors, RepliGo Reader ($2.99) and ezPDF Reader Multimedia PRO ($3.99). I even had a “battle,” where I didn’t, but later did, declare a true winner. That wasn’t much of a battle, so I think it’s time for another “battle” of sorts, except this time I’m going to point out a couple of glaring differences that separate the two programs. Hopefully, I’ll also show you why I still rely on both apps for different processes.

Cloud computing and collaboration

Generally, ezPDF Reader is my go-to PDF reading app. For instance, I need to read and mark up a document I’ve downloaded, I usually turn to ezPDF. Except recently I discovered a huge, almost “kill this app now” problem with ezPDF Reader when we talk cloud services, particularly when you try to save files to the cloud. I’ve tried, miserably I preface, to explain how to use ezPDF Reader’s cloud link. It’s pathetic. I mean really pathetic, at least when compared to its competitor, RepliGo Reader.

ezPDF Reader uses some weird “file association” method to connect to “Web Docs.”

ezPDF web docs

 In theory, ezPDF Reader is supposed to connect directly to a web document, to Dropbox, or to Google Docs. I discovered that only the Dropbox connection works worth anything, and only then it’s precarious. Unfortunately, ezPDF Reader does not allow simple syncing of edited documents. Here’s what happened in our office, which convinces me to switch sides, at least partially.

An issue arrives

Our office has 2 attorneys and a secretary. We use Google Apps to handle email, calendaring, and a lot of other things. We’re also transitioning from Dropbox to Drive (right now it’s about half and half use) as our primary means of cloud storage and sharing. While preparing for an upcoming trial, we created a “trial notebook” in Drive, which we can use to collaborate outside of the office. One of our trial preparation tasks is to review the depositions of several witnesses and the parties. I like to review and comment the PDF copies, and I normally use ezPDF Reader.

On this occasion, I tried connecting ezPDF Reader with my Google Apps account. No dice, no connection. ezPDF Reader cant, or won’t, recognize the connection via the Web Docs tab. Usually this isn’t much of a problem, since many times I’ll open the file directly with ezPDF Reader using Android’s “Open with” prompt.

Unfortunately, after commenting on an entire 200 page deposition I discovered that this method saves the document to my tablet for uploading back to Drive. Normally, this process isn’t too much of an issue, except with 10 depositions and 3 people reviewing and commenting, this could get out of hand and screw up collaboration.

Thankfully, RepliGo Reader handles cloud connections much differently, and actually uses convenient folders to visually depict the files.

RepliGo Reader File Management

More importantly, when you download a file to your tablet, it’ll continue to sync and save the information. You won’t need to upload documents after you’ve edited them.

RepliGo Reader’s ability to sync documents without having to save and upload is critically important for collaboration. This is one reason I prefer RepliGo Reader over ezPDF Reader for collaboration.

For collaboration and cloud syncronization, RepliGo Reader wins.

Speed and performance

RepliGo Reader also speeds up PDF reading and viewing. The app turns pages a lot faster than ezPDF Reader and seems to load documents more quickly.

Document editing

Highlights, comments, and markups

ezPDF Reader has a light edge over RepliGo Reader when editing documents, particularly when highlighting or commenting on a document.

For instance, ezPDF has more commenting functions in the editing toolbar sitting at the top of the page.

ezPDF editing toolbar

While RepliGo Reader’s toolbar sits on the right (or left), and only has commenting options.

RepliGo Reader Tool Bar

 ezPDF Reader also has a continuous markup feature for highlighting, redlining, and underlining.

ezPDF ToolbarRepliGo Reader forces you to click the tool each time you want to use it, even if it’s the last one used. I wish that RepliGo Reader had a similar function.

Flattening annotations

Originally, I chose ezPDF Reader over RepliGo Reader because ezPDF Reader offered the ability to flatten annotations. Flattening is important because of the way that annotations sit on a PDF document. Unlike paper, which allows ink to bleed into the page, permanently setting the note, PDF document annotations(highlights, comments, drawings, etc.)  are picture images laid on top of another image, sort of like an onion — a similar function happens when OCR occurs.

PDF Layer Illustration

Flattening, compresses these images together into one single layer. Flattening also removes any ability to edit or change the annotations, which is difficult on a tablet or phone, but significantly easier using a PDF editing program like Adobe Acrobat. Flattening is important if you’re going to use your tablet to sign documents or send something to an opposing party. But if you’re collaborating, you probably don’t need to flatten the images. Thus, RepliGo Reader will probably serve your needs most of the time.

A word of caution on flattening: if you flatten an image with comments (usually in a bubble box) you won’t be able to see the comment text inside the bubble.

Forms and signatures

If you tend to fill in a lot of pre-formatted PDF forms, or you want to create digital signatures, ezPDF Reader wins this argument.

ezPDF form filling digital signing

Unfortunately, I can’t really show you the process.

ezPDF Reader has a built-in function that allows you to set and secure a digital signature for use on PDF forms. You can simply send your file after you’ve signed and saved the document.

You’ll be stuck flipping between two coins

Ultimately, if you use your tablet to markup document and send them to opposing sides, you’ll want to use ezPDF Reader. Also, if you want a little more control over the annotations, ezPDF Reader is your choice. However, if you’re like 95% of attorneys that I know, you occasionally use your tablet to review and annotate PDF documents. Moreover, most of your annotations are either highlights or small comments, and you probably won’t mind a little extra hassle having to constantly click the annotation. If that’s the case, then RepliGo Reader will handle all of your tasks, and will offer the best (and easiest) cloud and collaboration integration.

Once again there’s no clear winner in this battle, unless ezPDF Reader wants to fix its pathetic cloud integration system.

RepliGo Reader

Cerience, the maker of RepliGo Reader discontinued support for this app on June 30, 2014. You can download and sideload the app from this link. Warning: you will not receive any updates to this application.

ezPDF Reader Multimedia PRO

Get this app on Google Play

24 Responses to ezPDF Reader versus RepliGo Reader: The Battle of the Android PDF Editors (Revisited)

  1. Thank you. It’s great to have things laid out like this. But one killer feature missing from RepliGo is crop. It makes so much difference to be able to take out the white space in order to read on a smaller screen. Zoom can do this but it is more complicated and messier.

    • A bit of late fyi, Repligo has the only credible “text reflow” feature I’ve seen in a mobile reader. It preserves the original base font and pictures but allows for re-sizing of the text without changing the zoom on the page. I think reflow is what’ you’re looking for in place of crop.

  2. It appears that you can no longer get repligo. Any ideas where it has gone or what to use that communicates well with cloud storage

                • A year onward, all the links Lawyer Jeff Taylor has provided here lead to nowhere. One of the sites even tried to virus my PC.
                  I still use (and really like) Replgo PDF Mobilizer, but the last time this application was attended to (ie improved, upgraded etc) was 2004, more than a decade ago. That company (Cerience) seemed to have just given up upon seeing the threat of competition. (Methinks it really had none, and should have persisted to become the No.1 company for these kinds of apps.)
                  Cerience and their Repligo had a short and illustrious life; they’re both now quite dead, their demise giving me one more reason to ‘defect’ to the MacOS camp, where there’s Branchfire’s iAnnotate (though I think it’s only for the iPad & Android devices, which is annoying because, well, why can’t it work on a MacBook for a seamless experience?).
                  It seems that there’s one big gap in the market for an individual or small business to cash in on.

  3. Hi Jeff.

    Do you have any idea about this strange decision taken from Cerience?

    It seems that nobody is interested on the professional use of tablets.

    • I don’t know what the deal is. I’m actually shocked, since RepliGo is a great product. I’m really beginning to believe that nobody wants to do PDF for Android. I like RepliGo because of its easy integration with cloud programs. It actually saves back to the cloud without having to worry about sending the PDF document back to the cloud.

  4. text reflow feature in repligo is superb,even official pdf version by adobe is not comparable with this.i have tried many pdf apps to find an accurate wrap to screen text option and i only find it out in repligo reader.

  5. RepliGo reflow opccions are the best. (highlighting even in reflowed text, dictionary, underline, etc. ) but I want to export or share this highlights. I’m looking for something like this. I found moon reader, but you can not HIGHLIGHT REFLOWED TEXT. WTF? ANY ONE ELSE KNOWS WHICH PROGRAM DOES THIS? I am almost sure repligo is the best. Ezpdf reader also can not highlight relowed text, it’s a crap.

  6. With the exception of RepliGo Reader, no Android PDF reader shows reflowed text correctly formatted not does it offer the capability of highlighting reflowed text. On smart phones and small tablets, viewing non reflowed PDF documents is useless – they are too hard to read. This feature alone makes RepliGo the only game in town. Still.

  7. great comparison. I’m having the exact same difficulties you mentioned with ezPDF. Just changed from Dropbox to Google Drive and it seems that I can’t a decent sync function. I don’t need the collaboration part, but since I need to annotate and mark for my graduate classes I just can’t risk losing all that work with a faulty service. Just contacted ezPDF about it to see what they say.
    It would be a pity if I had to change, since I’m kind of used to ezPDF already.

  8. I found that using Dropsync improves the reliability of dropbox connection. There is also a similar app for Drive, so it shouldn’t be a difficult task to do the testing.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.