file viewer
doctape viewer

After 25K Downloads On iOS, Doctape Brings Its Standalone File Viewer App To Android

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doctape Viewer, an app which competes with the likes of Documents by Readdle and GoodReader by letting mobiles users view file types not supported natively on their OS, has landed on Android as a paid app costing $2.49/€1.99.

That’s introductory pricing — the normal selling price will be around $5/€3.99, although the startup says a free version with optional ‘pro’ in-app purchasing will follow “soon”.

The German startup behind doctape Viewer (which also sells a cloud storage and file management service) — itself imaginatively called doctape – launched a freemium iPhone version of the file viewer app back in August (with two free conversions per day, and more offered via in-app purchase).

It has since added iPad support to that app, via a tweaked version of the UI, and continued to build out the list of supported file types. The startup said doctape Viewer for iOS had racked up some 25,000 downloads as of September. It’s not disclosing how many iOS users are paying for the pro version.

The relatively high pricing on Android (vs its freemium approach on iOS) is down to what doctape sees as a gap in the market on Google Play.

“When we analyzed existing apps on the Android Market places, we discovered that there is desperate need for a nice, general document Viewer, if not even higher than there was for iOS,” founder and CEO Sascha Reuter told TechCrunch via email. “There are some apps, but most of these are made to work for just one filetype, are expensive (Word Perfect — only viewer is $5.99, for instance), slow, include watermarks or don’t work at all.”

So there’s (apparently) a little life in paid apps, yet.

As with doctape’s iOS app, the Android version of doctape Viewer uses doctape’s cloud-based file conversion engine to support file imports from a variety of third-party sources — including the likes of Dropbox, Box, Picasa, Instagram, Github, Gmail, Google Drive — but does not require users to sign up for its full blown cloud storage and file management service just to view a file.

Supported file types on the Android viewer app include:

DOCUMENTS

• Adobe PDF files (PDF)
• Microsoft Office files (Word DOC/DOCX, Excel XLS/XLSX, Powerpoint PPT/PPTM/PPTX)
• Libre Office & Open Office files (ODT, ODS, SXW, STW)
• WordPerfect files (WPD)
• Text-files (RTF, TXT, CSV)

AUDIO & VIDEO FILES

• Audio files (MP3, M4A, WAV)
• Video files (MP4, 3GP)

IMAGES

• Image & vector files (JPG, PNG, TIF, BMP, AI)
• Adobe Photoshop files (PSD)
• Adobe Illustrator files (AI)
• Vector image files (EPS, PS)

Total supported file types on iOS are currently around 60, with around 50 on Android — but doctape’s cloud conversion engine can support 80+ file types, including a number of audio and video files not currently convertible via the standalone viewer apps.

To add the ability to convert more big media files, doctape will be adding integration with its cloud services to the viewer apps as a paid extra, which will then enable background conversions of file types it can’t currently tackle. And also open up another revenue stream by driving viewer app users to its paid cloud service offering.

Reuter said doctape is working on integrating its existing cloud-based service to both viewer apps by January. Users will then have the option to pay to add its Cloud Sync service, or carry on using the apps as standalone file viewers.

“This will be an optional feature, as we’ve seen that our release of doctape Viewer attracted a lot of new users who prefer a offline-first/standalone app over an cloud-first app,” he said, adding: “The integration of the doctape Cloud Sync will also replace our existing doctape Cloud client app for iOS. The integration into the Viewer will bring a background conversion for audio/video files, support for tags, public-shares and a cloud-powered full-text search.”

The full list of media files not currently supported by either viewer app — but which will be supported via cloud conversion come January — is:

.divx, .mpeg, .ogv, .webm, .flv, .mkv, .wmv, .asf, .m2ts, .dv, .flac,  .ogg, .wma, .ape