Files by Google App Gets a Built-in PDF Reader but Still Lacks Some Features

Files By Google PDF built in reader
In Short
  • Files By Google is going to add a new built-in PDF reader within the app.
  • This new PDF reader features arrow keys for navigation and probably a text annotate or comments tool.
  • It is available for limited users and might roll out to everyone in the upcoming future.

Files by Google is one of those apps that I rarely use, as there are better file manager apps available in the Play Store. Google appears to understand this sentiment, which is why it has been adding new features to the app to increase its utility. They added a text scan feature for documents just recently and now the app has received built-in PDF reader support.

Android researcher Assemble Debug shared about it in his Telegram post. According to the screenshots he shared, the new PDF reader will offer a basic interface. You get the arrow buttons to supposedly navigate through the document. Along with it, there is a message icon that might allow you to leave comments or annotate text.

PDF reader preview image in Files By Google
Image Courtesy: AssembleDebug

Until now, you had to use Google Drive’s PDF viewer to open a PDF file on your phone. It also offered a barebones experience with a few annotation and markup tools. Plus you had the option to upload the document to your drive or download it to your Android device. Either that or you could download any other PDF reader app for your Android phone.

While this new PDF reader in the Files by Google app doesn’t look like a major addition, it will be nice to have an option to view files locally instead of using Google Drive. The feature is available for some users already and might start rolling out for everyone in the coming future.

Hopefully, Google will add more options and features within the PDF reader to make it more useful. The Scan feature has already made me use the app more often than I ever did before. We could also see Gemini integration to summarize PDFs and other documents right from the Files app soon. That would make Files by Google my go-to utility option. But what are your thoughts about it? Do you like this new PDF reader integration in Files by Google? Do tell us in the comments below.

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