qPDF Notes Gets A New Star In Mobile Digital Signature Solutions

Written by  Ritu Saxena | 20 April 2012
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qpdfI recently read about the latest release of Qoppa Software’s qPDF Notes a PDF Viewer, MarkUp and interactive form filter solution for Android devices. The latest release provides its users ability to validate and apply true digital signatures to PDF documents.

The key features of this release are:

  • Options to choose the digital signing certification to use i.e create self signed certificates, or import digital certificates issued by a certificate authority such as Verisign or Thawte.
  • Provides flexibility to customize the appearance of digital signature by adding a handwritten signature (through a finger gesture) and/or overlaying an image such as a company logo.
  • Improved editing of annotations properties, and additional user interface improvements.

With the limited cryptographic and computational capabilities of the first generation mobile devices generation of advanced digital signatures was next to impossible, but as time progressed there are a plethora of solutions to choose from. Let’s have a walkthrough of the solutions.

Initially digital signature technologies were based on SIM cards like SMS, SAT-USAT, WIM and USAT-I came into picture. All these solutions have the common characteristic of achieving the signature process inside the SIM card of the mobile device, through its own cryptographic processor.

Then came the OS provided solutions by Windows Mobile, Symbian and Java ME wherein the digital signatures are performed inside the mobile device in a similar way as in a personal computer.

Then hybrid technologies started coming up. This involved collaboration between the SIM card and the mobile devices for performing the different tasks of the electronic signature process such as script technologies like WMLScript and XHTMLScript, and the SATSA specification of Java ME.

Then was the turn of high level services that are independent of the mobile device’s specific signature technology, and always from the point of view of the application provider. This concept encloses server-based signatures and the mobile signature service published by the ETSI. Some of the web based solutions available today are DocuSign, TurboSignature, Silanis etc

And now we have standalone applications that you can download on your mobile devices and digitally sign on-the-go without being connected to the network. Some applications are free, some licensed and some both depending upon the features they provide to the user. There are solutions available such as Zosh for IPad, Iphone. Zosh works with PDF, Word, Excel, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP and TIFF documents. SignNow for Apple and Android devices, JotNot for Apple devices, Viafirma’s electronic signing applications are published for free in the existing applications markets: Apple Store, Android Market, Windows MarketPlace, etc. Xyzmo’s SIGNificant Signature capture app for iPad and Android.

Qoppa Software is promoting qPDF Notes 2.2 as the only Android PDF solution available, and in those terms it is unique. I would say it is worth going for if you really want a PDF viewer and editor based solution otherwise there are plenty of digital signature applications available for mobile devices, choose the one that meets your requirements and suits your  pocket.

Ritu Saxena

Ritu Saxena

Ritu is the technical brain behind the website and comes from a strong development background across Web and Mobile platforms. She is our senior editor primarily responsible for Product Reviews and in future will be leading Start-Ups, Mobile and Quality areas.

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