Adobe Wants You To Pay $90 A Year To Make PDFs On Your iPad

Senior Contributor
08.07.13 5 Comments


Adobe has rolled out some new features for its iOS version of Reader. Now, you can use it to create PDFs out of Word documents, image files, and other content. For just $90! A year!

Yep, Adobe wants you to pay yearly to make PDFs on the go. It’s particularly frustrating because it seems like there are two Adobes. There’s Good Adobe that puts out actually useful software like Photoshop Touch that’s a joy to use and genuinely makes you more productive, and is reasonably priced for what you get. And then there’s Bad Adobe with the “big idea” of making people “subscribe” to Photoshop on their desktops, because soaking you for $1300 a pop on a semi-annual basis has lost its charm.

Even Bad Adobe would be more tolerable if it just weren’t so… backwards. Even the least tech-savvy consumer can find an app that thirty times cheaper and does the exact same thing as Adobe’s “subscription” offering for Reader with five seconds on Google. In fact, there are multiple options on iOS alone. It’s like they think it’s still the early ’90s.

And this is a quick Googling, downloading legitimate software that has been approved by the Apple Store. Adobe is perfectly capable of seeing what the market will bear, which admittedly is not very much, and it knows it can’t control PDF. So who, precisely, is this for? Granted, iPhones are popular and widely available, but anybody tech-savvy enough to make PDFs on a mobile device on even an occasional basis is going to know that Google exists, and that this can’t be the cheapest option.

It’s absolutely true that this is aimed squarely at “professional users”, namely people who get ordered by IT to only use this app for this reason. But that’s really not an improvement. Adobe should let this go. Or at least price it fairly.

UPDATE: Adobe passed along some clarifying comments:

“Although you can pay the $20/year fee to only have the ability to convert PDF to Office (the $90 fee covers both services). [Also] the fee is not limited to the Adobe Reader app, but also extends the same functionality to the desktop application.

I also wanted to clarify Adobe’s role with PDF as it is an ISO standard. Adobe doesn’t control PDF as it has been an open published ISO standard since 2008. Any developer can build and market their own PDF implementations based on the published specs, and contribute to the specifications development via the formal working groups. Adobe is a major contributor to all the ISO PDF standards.”

Around The Web