PDF’s not displaying on your iPhone or iPad?

Do you have PDF’s not displaying on your iPhone or iPad? I did, and here is the solution.

When you try to view these PDFS the application tells you that the PDF can’t be displayed. They are just fine when viewed on a Mac or Windows PC. It turns out that Adobe doesn’t want to change this behavior.

PDF's not displaying on your iPhone or iPad?If you download and try iOS PDF viewers to view these files nothing works. It will tell you on some of them that the file type is dynamic and can’t be viewed. Research shows that even 5 years ago, iOS pdf companies promised support but it still doesn’t exist 7 years later.

I did say there is a solution. It is not a great solution for an individual, but works for companies. You can buy Adobe Livecycle server and that will convert the file to a normal PDF. However this means that the special things that make that file dynamic no longer work. So if it is a form you can’t fill it out, and if it is a video or anything else, that won’t work. Not a real solution in my opinion.

For the average person using a remote access tool like LogMeIn is a better solution. Connecting to your laptop or desktop and using a supported program (Adobe Reader DC)  I think is the way to view these files. Not everyone has that option, so using a regular desktop is probably the best bet.

Apple makes proprietary decisions and it isn’t in the users best interests. In this case, Apples control of the iPhone and applications that can run on it force Adobe to make decisions like this. Also it doesn’t help that Adobe had not supported this configuration. It is hard to sell PDF everywhere when it isn’t true.

So what will happen to the PDF format? Things like this will cause people to go to other formats. I think that these decisions make it harder for people to trust PDF, so they move to databases. Well databases are the future. Welcome future!

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Why Flash died-Proprietary doesn’t work

I’ve been thinking about why Flash died, and it isn’t the technical reasons that most people think it is. I believe it died because proprietary solutions don’t work.

proprietary
A common sight if you work in IT

Yes Flash had issues with being reliable, safe, and draining batteries. However those were side effects of not being supported as an open solution that no one owns. We have seen over time that when companies try to do proprietary technologies they mostly don’t get market support. Things like Firewire, Apple 30 pin iPhone connection, Apple lightning adapter, Apple Thunderbolt, BeOS, NEXT, many varieties of Unix, Dr. Dos, WordPerfect, Betamax, ect.

There are so many other examples of propriety solutions that had a brief life and then people moved on. Yes there are some proprietary solutions like Microsoft Office, Avery labels, HP printers that are very popular and seem too popular to die. However I believe that in time, those products just like many others before them will become commodities and eventually die. Already things like Google Docs are digging into Microsoft’s Office dominance, and with the rise of PDF and websites/databases, office format is becoming less critical than it once was. I would be surprised if Office survives another 10 years frankly. I see people who have moved to PDF as their preferred workflow and it makes lots of sense for many companies.

The problem with technology from the standpoint of proprietary technologies is that there is always a competitor trying to take away the market share of the popular leader. Even the PDF format which is increasingly becoming more important than Office formats has its competition. Now many companies want their information and things for employees on a webpage for many reasons. It makes sense. Why struggle with trying to find a document in a big directory when you can have things indexed and presented to you more easily?

The web is going to continue to dig at proprietary formats until they die. Then I think the competition will be between CMS like WordPress and Joomla and how easy it is to manage data on a larger level. You see the rise of small/mid-sized businesses and the lack of IT qualified people enhances this self-serve model of document management. It is going to be interesting that IT people will move from managing the desktop to managing a cluster of information points, and one that I welcome.

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