The unavoidable iPad thread

  • As you suggest, the expanded API will provide a lot of opportunity to integrate Zotero data into other applications (and we're already working to make this happen). More important, any future improvements to the website will have both mobile and desktop browsers in mind, so we can expect to have more core Zotero functionality available even where Zotero can't be installed. We're not planning to do anything ourselves that's iPad-specific, but that doesn't mean that we're not looking to expand Zotero's reach to mobile platforms.
  • edited September 22, 2010
    Other manufacturers are available:
    Samsung have released / are releasing a tablet that runs android

    and fennec (that's firefox for android) is finally beta

    so my question: if fennec is a full port of firefox, would zotero just slot in? Does anybody know?
  • Well to sort of answer my own question:
    I only had a quick look at fennec on linux as I don't have an android phone.
    Adding this:

    <!-- Fennec -->

    to zotero's install.rdf was enough to get it to install. I could open and change preferences, but couldn't work out how to open the library, if it's at all possible. But then again, not all plugins are fully working on the linux desktop build. But for a five minute play, it looked promising. Another question is whether the UI would need tweaking - and whether this would be a job for the devs or a separate project.
  • I'm sorry if this is the wrong thread to comment or post since there are multiple threads on mobile or tablet zotero and I had trouble (=too lazy to look) finding the most recent one. I think even without posting discussing, we will end up with the option of a windows 7 tablet that will run firefox with the zotero plugin which would provide proper functionality for me. But my impression is that tablet functionality in general would be desired by many. I use zotero on my PC and laptop for traditional paper-writing-referencing but I dream of a tablet with perhaps only look-up read functionality of those same references. Zoteros features: tags and syncing would be great for that.

    I haven't bought any tablet yet and I find myself postponing the purchase of a 7" tablet (must fit white coats and lab coat pockets) until firefox/zotero functionality is achievable. I am a fan of android but expect that a tablet with windows would be the first option available. Or would the zotero stand-alone for android be first? I think either way, we're getting close!
  • Well, I just wanted to pitch in with my solution for using Zotero on the iPad.

    Hopefully, it is useful to someone.
  • My 2 cents: please don't divert resources to the iPad. App-specific files storage and no USB host support = "a bag of hurt." Meanwhile, the effort to get Zotero running under Android is already underway. I am hopeful it could succeed with a minimum of extra effort and support. The progress discussed in the thread below is truly exciting, if not actually kidney-worthy.

    FYI, RepliGo Reader for Android is equivalent to iAnnotate, as far as I can tell. It also integrates with EverNote, so they may be more open to accommodating Zotero than Aji has proven to be.
  • While I also prefer Android devices over anything made by Apple, it doesn't seem like a good idea to me for Zotero to exclude certain platforms for reasons that are not related to Zotero itself (such as the iPad not having USB and its app-specific file storage). Furthermore, Mendeley already has a neat app out there, and personally I would hate to see everybody who has bought an iOS device move to Mendeley (or any other commercial reference manager) because Zotero did not make its own iOS app.
  • The Zotero team isn't about to make an iOS app simply because it doesn't have the resources to write a new client for any additional platform. The website revamp will presumably have improved mobile support, but that's about all we can hope for for now from CHNM.

    The read and write API is full-featured and stable-- an interested third-party developer could make even make a commercial Zotero client for iOS and it would sell like hotcakes.
  • What ajlyon said. Zotero and the CHNM are basically in the innovation business. That their work generates more opportunities for third-party development and leveraged services than their lab can cover is a feature, not a fault.
  • It would absolutely sell like crazy. iOS & Android developers, take note!
  • I am working on a zotero plugin that eases the process of working with Zotero and a pdf reader app on a tablet computer. Building on my zotfile plugin, it pushes attachments to a folder that syncs with your pdf app (such as a dropbox folder), automatically checks whether these pdfs have been annotated and prompts the user whether s/he wants to pull them back into zotero. It also adds a tag to the attachments on the 'reader' so that these attachments can easily be listed through a saved search.

    This is only a temporary solution but it makes working with zotero and a tablet much easier. I would like to automatically get the annotation summary from the pdf reader app and add it as a note. But currently that is not possible. The different app developers I wrote have not been very responsive in adding a feature that would make it possible for me to do that.

    Frankly, I would prefer selling this for a very small amount simply because I already put a lot of work into zotfile and I am not really using this plugin myself. But I don't know how to easily do that. As an alternative, I would like to accept donations through mozilla but they keep rejecting my plugins in the full review process (currently, zotfile only had primary review), which is required to take donations.
  • edited July 14, 2011
    Take a Paypal account. It's pretty easy to manage donations that way. I would be the first to donate.

    The workflow you describe would be perfect. I've been using GoodReader on the iPad in sync with a Dropbox folder. Right now I just drag files from my Zotero library to that folder, sync GoodReader, read/annotate, and even sync them back with annotations. But the missing link has been a way to get the annotated files back in Zotero. The plugin you described would be that link.

    To get the annotations in a Zotero note, maybe you could consider the route of auto-extracting them from the PDF (rather than getting it from the pdf reader app). Auto-extraction of PDF annotations shouldn't be too difficult if there are even sites that offer it for free.
  • okay, here is an early version of my plugin, which streamlines the process to work with Zotero and your pdf reader applications on tablet computers (iPad, Android tablets etc):

    Please consider a donation because I already put a lot of work into zotfile and I am not really using this plugin myself:
  • Hello,

    What's the status on iPad and Zotero? I'm thinking of buying one but the Zotero incompatibility worries me some.

    I want to:
    1. Save good references onto Zotero on the iPad
    2. Have the autorecognition of proxy that Zotero provides

    Saving PDF etc is secondary for me.

  • Nothing of the kind currently exists. There are some 3rd party developers working on various mobile apps, but obviously it's impossible to say what and when will come out of this.
  • Are Android-based tablets better integrated with Zotero?
  • yes:
  • I (author of Zandy) haven't yet worked with any of Android's tablet functionality, and I probably won't do so unless Zandy brings in enough revenue to pay for such a device (because developing using the emulator is pretty painful). Still, Zandy will soon (maybe 1-2 weeks from now) be able to send attached PDFs to your PDF reader of choice, which is the main thing you're probably interested in.
  • Any signs of an iPad app for Zotero yet? (Any plans on porting Zandy?)
  • yes. My understanding is that it is due out very soon:
  • Thanks adamsmith. So ZotPad is the app for iPad.
  • well "the" app I don't know - neither Zandy nor ZotPad are written or maintained by Zotero, so it's not the official app. Nor is there any theoretical reason that there couldn't be a second ipad (or android) app - though I'd assume that it's probably not worth it to double up on mronkko's and ajlyon's effort.
  • Yes, thanks, that is what I meant. Sorry for being unclear.
  • I will be posting more info into that thread tonight including screenshots etc.
  • Thanks mronko. Could you please comment on this compared to using Firefox with Zotero on iPad? Is the latter possible at all?
  • "using Firefox with Zotero on iPad? Is the latter possible at all? "
  • Exactly what is not possible? Is not Firefox released for iPad now? Can't this Firefox run Zotero?
  • Both. There is no Firefox for ipad/iOS and if the Android version of FF is any indication even if there were it wouldn't work with Zotero (hence the need for Zandy).
  • Oh, I see. I saw something in App Store named Firefox (Home) and thought it was the web browser, but it is not I see now.

    I puzzled over that Zotero does not work with Firefox on Android. Is there something missing in Android for Zotero to work?
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