Available for beta testing: Zotero for Android

  • So impressed by this, the performance is wonderful on my Onyx Boox Note Air 2, can't believe how fast it synced with my (absurdly large) library and how well the files get pulled down from storage.

    UI also great, so even though it's not optimised for eInk devices it's still very usable. If optimising the eInk experience were to be pursued though it seems to me that the desiderata would be something like this:

    1) change/option the page turning to be less 'sticky': it snaps back unless the swipe action is quite large at the moment.
    2) page turning animation isn't preferable on eInk, even with relatively fast screen updates, would be nice if this could be turned off.
    3) would be nice to have a 'page down' scrolling option for lists of papers, again without animation for speedy/clear navigation on slow-refresh.
    4) would be nice to have the option of shading patterns mapped to colours for tags, highlights etc on b/w screens.

    Obviously there'd probably more things to do for a full 'eInk mode' option, and like I said it's already sooooooo much better than anything else we've ever had. Well worth the wait.

    One further thing that I'd love but seems (?) to be lacking at the moment: a full file/attachment sync option? would be great to be able to go fully offline with my whole library!
  • @dstillman

    Awesome. Thanks again.
  • after update, it hangs to open pdf and annotations, jfyi..
  • Great App, thanks a lot! Looking forward for an Android connector to be able to save sources in one click in my Zotero library, then life will be wonderful. I have recently seen on Google Play an App named S2Z that does it, does anyone know whether this App is safe re technology and privacy? Have a nice day.
  • Fantastic app, many thanks to the great team of developers! The only functionality I am currently missing, and would be tremendously useful to have, is the possibility to set the "linked attachment base directory", in order to be able to access linked attachments on a mobile device. Any plans to implement this feature in the near future?
  • Apparently, the beta can't be downloaded anymore (limit of users reached) : are there plans to increase it soon ?

    Thank you.
  • I would love to test this too, if there are more beta seats available.
  • I'm interested in testing this. Is there a way we can sign up or a waitlist for more seats to open up? It would be great to get an e-mail when it happens. Thank you!
  • We'll announce more testing slots here. If you click through any email notification from this thread, you'll get notified the next time there's a post.
  • +1 for integrating neo reader on boox devices.

    For two column papers, something like article mode on boox is needed, i.e. zooming in to a single column.
  • edited February 15, 2024
    Hello Zotero community and team,
    Really looking forward to using the android app on my new boox device. Fingers crossed more spots open up soon for us :) I am a long time fan of the app on my Mac. Without you my PhD and soon to be book would not be the same!
  • would love to echo the statements made here already. as a boox user and someone who has struggled to use zoo for zotero for a few years, would love to see:

    - the ability to download pdfs from webdav through zotero
    - highlight and make handwritten notes in boox's neoreader
    - adding pop up notes to pdfs
    - reupload into zotero

    would be an absolute phenomenal development.
  • I'm not sure the mail notification system works : I received a single mail for wmblyon message, but all the other new message didn't trigger any notification.

    I subscribed and bookmarked this sub, and have all mail notifications ON.

    Does anyone else have the same issue ?
  • @JorgePLK if you recieve a notification e-mail from the forums, you won't get any more notifications until you visit the particular discussion again. Only case you would get notified in this situation is, when you get mentioned like I did in the beginning of this post. (If you have chosen to do so in the settings, I guess it is default setting.)
    I'm sure developers would elaborate, but if you would like to get the next notification, you have to visit the particular discussion when you get notified. In forum guidelines, where this feature is explained, it mentions that you can subscribe via a feed reader. This would show you every comment without the need for visiting the thread, I guess.
    You can check the guidelines here: https://www.zotero.org/support/forum_guidelines#be_responsive
    (See "Be Responsive" section at the bottom)
  • Thank you, it's good to know, in order to not miss next beta slots.
  • Am very keen on getting my hands on this!

    Is anyone aware of the minimum specifications required to run Zotero for Android e.g. amount of RAM. Version of Android, Etc.


  • @PeterJMorris and others interested in androind versions: I am running a relatively old phone (release date 2019) with android 12, 6 GB RAM and my larger library with 10 000 plus items runs super smoothly.
    I also run it on an onyx boox max 3 which runs android 9, a snapdragon 625 chip and 4GB RAM and this also runs super fine, except minor issues with scrolling, which are related to e-ink technology, not android or processing power.
    So obviously these are not minimum requirements, but it seems to indicate that any phone or e-reader released in the last 5 years or so should work fine.
  • I also would love to test the beta when more slots are available!
    Do you have a changelog page to track updates to this app? I'm especially interested in seeing the WebDAV file syncing implemented!
  • Humbly requesting local library support in Android.

    For those of us who are happy to have complete copy of our libraries on each device.

    Just the ability for the app to work like the desktop version and read a locally stored database directly.

    Any chance you might add this?

    The ability to open files in an external reader would be nice as well, but I'd be happy to just have a local library view.
  • @streezy: I'm not sure what you mean by that. The app syncs and then stores data locally, and it should work perfectly fine offline. It doesn't yet have an equivalent of the "download at sync time" file-sync option, but that will be available later. For now, files you've previously opened will remain available.
  • @dstillman sorry if I was unclear.

    I use Zotero on desktop fully locally, with no account or cloud syncing. I would like the same functionality on Android -- just for the app to directly read a locally stored Zotero database, which I would take care of keeping synced between my devices.

    Ideally l would like to be able to use the app both as a library (with the benefit of the collections, tags, links, notes, etc.) and as a launcher to open articles in my reader of choice.

    Super extra ideally I would like a (nearly) full-featured version of the desktop client for Android -- fully local and standalone.
  • @streezy: No, those things won't be happening:

    1) The desktop database has absolutely nothing in common with Android app database — it's not something you can just copy across. The apps are based on totally different technologies.

    2) The mobile apps are designed to sync annotations with the desktop app seamlessly and efficiently using DB-based annotations, so we have no plans to support opening of PDFs externally beyond exporting. We'll be continuing to add features to the built-in reader in parallel with the desktop reader.

    3) The mobile apps are intended primarily as companion apps to the desktop apps, which is why they require syncing. They're never going to have anywhere close to the full functionality of the desktop app, and due to platform restrictions that wouldn't even be possible.
  • @dstillman Fair enough.

    I can see why getting advanced local/offline functionality would be difficult and is counter to how you have planned and built the Android app.

    I see that webdav support is planned. Would it be possible to forego the Zotero account requirement when using that? Or is the bottom line that you have to log in to use the app?

    The goal for me would be to just be able to browse a tagged, linked, and organized Zotero library offline on an Android device, without connecting it to an account.

    Maybe the best solution for me is to create a simple Android app which reads the database of Zotero deaktop. I'm sure it's reasonably well documented.
  • My dream of using an e-ink tablet for academic reading is one step closer to reality!
  • I see that webdav support is planned. Would it be possible to forego the Zotero account requirement when using that?
    @streezy: No, WebDAV is only for file syncing. Data syncing is much more complicated and requires Zotero servers.
  • Eagerly awaiting any updates on more beta testing slots opening up: This project will be enormously helpful for me, having just started a phd. You people are amazing!
  • +1 on more beta testing slots
  • @dstillman thanks for all the info on this. in your response to @streezy you note that "have no plans to support opening of PDFs externally beyond exporting," does this mean there's unlikely to be a way to annotate in another PDF reader and have those recognized in Zotero (even if by the "Import annotations" feature)?
  • have no plans to support opening of PDFs externally beyond exporting," does this mean there's unlikely to be a way to annotate in another PDF reader and have those recognized in Zotero
    This is specifically about the mobile apps. Zotero Desktop already recognizes (and will keep recognizing and allowing import of) annotations made with 3rd party PDF readers using standard PDF annotations.
    What isn't going to be possible is to use a third party PDF reader on a mobile device to annotate a PDF using either of the Zotero mobile apps. In other words, if you want to use a 3rd party PDF reader on mobile, the Zotero mobile apps won't do much for you.
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