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Cloud integration, reader mode and more in PDFTron 6.9.0 for iOS

By James Borthwick | 2018 Nov 05

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We are happy to announce the latest release of PDFTron's iOS SDK, which includes built-in access to cloud files, a new iPhone-friendly reader mode via our reflow control, a new data-optimized method read to online PDFs, and more.

Cloud File Access

In iOS 11, Apple introduced the end-user Files App, and for us developers, the UIDocumentBrowserViewController (and an updated UIDocumentPickerViewController. The system provides a single familiar interface that grants convenient access to all of a user's device and cloud documents. In this version of the PDFTron SDK, we've updated our reader components (PTTabbedDocumentViewController and PTDocumentViewController) to easily open files from from the browser or picker, including coordinating file access with other apps.

The sample app "Complete Reader" (which is included with the .dmg download of the SDK) has been updated to use the UIDocumentBrowserViewController, as shown below.

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Reflow Control

Most PDFs are a digital replication of a physical page, often with dimensions of 8.5x11 or A4. This can make viewing a PDF on a small iPhone-sized device less than ideal, requiring zooming and panning. In the context of reading a document on a mobile device, precise or horizontal scrolling is not a UX that is appreciated by most users.

The new Reflow control will convert the PDF text to HTML, allowing the user to display the PDF's core content at any font size, and requiring only vertical scrolling. PDFTron's reflow control uses the same fonts as the source PDF, maintains text styling and even shows text annotations (such as highlights and underlines).

For those with accessibility needs, Reflow can make the difference between being able to read the PDF and not.

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Data-Optimized PDF Streaming

PDFTron has long supported PDF streaming, that is the ability to start viewing an online PDF before the entire PDF has been downloaded.

With this release, we add the ability to only download the parts of the PDF that the user is viewing. This allows for significant data savings when viewing PDFs over a cell/mobile phone connection, which is especially valuable when viewing large files such as complex construction documents, or textbooks.

To use the new data-saving option, see our guide on viewing online PDFs.

And More

This release also includes new annotation related notifications, the ability to easily disable all annotation permissions, and more.

Please see our change log for a list of all changes.

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James Borthwick

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