Zen Viewer HD for iOS review

With its clean, well-designed interface Zen Viewer HD for the iPad has potential, but it lacks a few vital elements and needs to iron out some bugs.

The app enables you to read, view or play a wide range of documents and file formats, including PDF, .rtf, .txt, .doc, .xls, .ppt, and Pages documents, .jpeg, .gif, and .png, images, m4a, WAV, AIFF, and AAC audio, and .mov, .mp4, and .m4v videos.

You can import and export files via iTunes, Dropbox, MobileMe, Box.net, and Google Docs, or via WiFi from a local Mac or PC.

Apart from viewing and organising files, there’s not much else you can do with your documents though. Some types of files allow you to select and copy text, but you can’t mark up files or attach sticky notes, as you can do with rival apps such as GoodReader.

Zen Viewer has a clean and efficient interface with a variety of options for importing files

The app can be unreliable. PDF documents displayed inconsistently, with pages occasionally appearing blank. A similar problem occurred with JPG images sometimes appearing blank when viewed in the app’s slideshow mode. Zen Viewer HD sometimes failed to connect to Google Docs and Dropbox. It doesn’t recognise Google Docs folders, either, and only allows you to view the document list in reverse chronological order.

OUR VERDICT

Zen Viewer HD does a good job of displaying standard Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Pages files. However, it’s not quite reliable enough to perform as your primary file viewer, and there are apps that cost a little more and allow you to annotate and alter documents too.

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