Adobe’s Acrobat format became a standard on desktop computers because it offered a free viewer application for different operating systems. Acrobat PDFs have rich formatting but always appear essentially the same, no matter what platform they are being used on. Now Cerience is making a play to do the same thing for handhelds. It is now offering a free application that can view documents in its RepliGo format for a variety of mobile operating systems, including both Palm OS and Pocket PC.
This will allow companies and publishers to create relatively small — but still graphically rich — documents that can be emailed or beamed to almost any handheld user with the assurance that the receiver will be able to view it. Wireless handhelds can even install the viewer app directly from the company’s website.
“RepliGo is the only solution that maintains the original appearance of virtually any document type whether it is viewed on a PDA, Smart Phone or PC,” explains Lynn Formanek, president of Cerience. “Couple this with the fact that RepliGo documents are highly compressed and you have a recipe for wireless document delivery across a variety of platforms.”
Of course, Cerience isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart. The RepliGo viewer may be free but the application necessary to create the documents is priced between $24.95 and $29.95.
RepliGo files are created on a desktop computer. The application functions as a print driver, so any document, spreadsheet, CAD drawing, etc. that can be printed can be converted into RepliGo format. However, the files are not editable on the handheld.
There are versions of the free viewer for Palm OS, Pocket PC, Microsoft Smartphone, Nokia Series 60 (3650/7650), Sony Ericsson P800, and Windows-based desktop PC. the Palm OS app is 182 KB, while the Pocket PC installation package is 187 KB.