Adobe and Dropbox have finally given Android users parity with iOS users. 

When the two companies signed an integration deal last October, Adobe added a drag-and-drop Workflow Designer, enhanced electronic signatures and Enterprise Mobility Management and Signature Capture to its Document Cloud.

In November, Adobe announced that iOS devices could open PDF files from Dropbox, a move that greatly enhanced iOS users to initiate document-driven work processes from their iOS devices.

Last night, the same functionality was extended to Android users.

Dropbox PDF’s On Android

No one is saying what took so long. 

But with end-to-end document workflows becoming increasingly mobile — or at least with more and more mobile workers demanding that document processes be mobile-enabled — PDF’s are playing an increasingly important role in the workplace.

According to Dropbox, more than 300 million users have downloaded the Dropbox app on their Android devices to data. Now they have the ability to access and manipulate some 18 billion PDF’s that they've stored in Dropbox once they download Acrobat Reader onto their Android device and connect it to their Dropbox Basic, Pro or Business account. 

They will also be able annotate, highlight and add comments to PDF files in Acrobat Reader and the changes will be saved back into Dropbox.

More importantly, and probably the most useful of all the new capabilities, is that users will be able to e-sign PDF documents from their Android device and save them back into Dropbox, where they can be added to electronic document-driven processes.

“Since the announcement of the Document Cloud and Dropbox integration in October and the iOS availability announcement in November, both Adobe and Dropbox teams have been planning for, and working toward, Android integration,” a spokesman for Adobe told CMSWire.

“This is the realization of that commitment. Now even more people will be able to work the way they want with PDF documents from any Android device, any time.”

Leaving aside the obvious advantages of being able to open and sign PDF documents on an Android device, it also enables the transfer of documents from one Android device user to another.

In  a market that is increasingly fragmented and where Microsoft no longer provides the only productivity apps in the workplace, PDF’s that can be opened by numerous different applications is invaluable to enterprises that have several different productivity suites.

Microsoft’s Upgrades

All this probably explains why Microsoft has also been busy improving the way its apps can access and use PDFs.

Microsoft upgraded Word, PowerPoint and Excel, enabling those applications to export to PDF

The upgrades also include the ability to insert photographs into documents on mobile devices as well as the ability to open RTF documents.

Microsoft didn’t make announcement as such, but the new capabilities appeared this week in the listing blurb about the apps in the Google store.

Title image "Xiaomi Mi 5" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by TechStage