ZotDroid - A Zotero Client for Android

  • Hi Ben,

    Thank you for getting back to this. You asked what pdf software people use for alterations. I find Xodo to be excellent for this.

    I have tried setting the download directory to the sd card, but I get an error message anytime I try to open a document. The error says to check my webdav or download directory. The webdav test works and I could open documents before trying to switch to the sd card. I tried a directory of /sdcard/Zotdroid, and documents open but they actually download to internal storage. ES File tells me the sd card is under /storage/0000-0000/Zotdroid but this is the one that brings up the error. I do have Zotdroid file in the sd card. Any recommendations?
  • Hello @Pettigrew

    Thanks for getting in touch. I've got PDF uploading and ordering as things to do next. The latter is mostly a UX issue, but PDF uploading is a bit more serious. At least the required data is now being recorded.

    Hmmm, if you have total commander or similar please make sure the directory exists. ZotDroid won't make the directory (at least not yet). That's the first thing. Also, I've still not managed to get my head around SD card storage, and it seems neither have google as the notion of 'external' storage has sort of disappeared, now that you can use an SDCard as part of your expanded 'internal' memory. It's very confusing and I don't know the answer - I've not had a straight one yet despite looking.

    What I might do is remove that option or at least simplify it. I believe the path is something more like /storage/emulated/0/Documents/ZotDroid

    It depends if the card has been setup as a USB style drive or an 'expansion' to your system memory I believe :S
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks so much for creating this software.

    I recently got a Boox Max2 with the idea of reading PDFs on it, but need a reference management system, so was happy to find Zotdroid. This device runs Android 6.

    So far I can sync without a problem, even shared libraries.

    Each time I restart the device, though, it can't find the DB, and I have to reset and sync again. The attachments that I explicitly downloaded remain.
    The DB path used is the default.

    Thank you for any ideas on this!
  • Hello all.
    Quick update - I've just released version 1.2.3. This makes a couple of changes to the database, which means a short upgrade step on your next sync. This adds a few more features to attachments such as proper MD5 sums in order to get ready for two way PDF syncing.

    Quick question - what programs are folks using to edit their pdfs on Android?

  • Question for the Zotero developers.

    I'm close to getting sync working but I've hit a snag. What happens if we are using personal webdav? I'm wondering about this because I can't find where this lives in the API documentary?

    I suspect the answer is to zip up the attachment, upload with webdav then increment the version number by 1. Is that about right?

  • Actually, I notice there is a .prop file as well. Presumably we need to read this in order to get the version number, then increment this by one and write it back?
  • Hey

    Just found this android app. This is brilliant. Just wondering if full text indexing(searching) is possible?
  • Hello @Markt2017 Search needs a bit of an overhaul really. At the moment it's a bit slow, non-interactive and only searches titles and authors. I'd like to do more but next on the list is syncing back modified PDFs. Once I've done that (almost there I think), then search is getting an overhaul and I'll see about searching more fields.
    Not sure if it's possible to search file attachments though. I mean, I can't write a parser for every filetype but it might be possible to do basic PDF and HTML searching in the near future.
    Thanks for the kind words!
  • Hello folks!
    Quick update for you all. I've started work on a beta branch of zotdroid. I was looking over the sourcecode and it's pretty clear there is a lot of cruft in there. It needs a damn good clean!

    Because I added lots of extra features quickly, it needs a good old refactor to iron out the bugs, produce better error messages, fix the UX etc. So I'll be spending time on that.

    I'm on the top of an international move at the moment so progress has been slow but it is ongoing. I've *almost* got PDF syncing from devices working. This has been the number one requested item for a while now and I'm keen to get it sorted.

    What I'll be doing is sending out a beta link for folks who are willing to test the new version. Doing a two way sync is potentially dangerous so it needs a lot of testing before I release it properly. I'd like to get feedback from you all while I develop it so I can get things right.

    For now though, please sit tight for a bit and I'll let you know when the next version is out.

  • Has anyone tried ZotEz? It works for android.
  • this one? https://zotez2.ezbio.net/

    Looks pretty good! :) If it does more than ZotDroid then maybe thats the one to use?
  • Yup, that's the one I was referring to but haven't used extensively in order to provide full review yet.
  • It looks like it does a bit more than ZotDroid but relies on a third party thing maybe? Not sure. I'll take a closer look but it seems that two-way sync is the real killer functionality we need.
  • Hey ! How can I use your app.without Google account ? Is there a.free software library where your app is ?

    Thx a lot for.your work :)
  • I use your app Zotero in my Android phone. But this app only suppots the webdav server start by "https" . What should I do if I want to use the webdav server of "http"?
  • Does your WebDAV server support https? If so, you absolutely should use it. It’s much safer.
  • Several folks have asked me to support http. This is something I won't do as it's a massive security hole. Given that letsencrypt exists, everyone can now get a valid certificate for free, and even paid ones are about $5 a year.

    I'd suggest talking to whoever supplies your webdav and ask them nicely to support https. Point them to https://letsencrypt.org/ and they can get started
  • @heurrevex not yet. If you know of a good store that isn't google, please let me know and I'll look into it.
  • F-droid is the biggest open-source store for android app, but I don t think you have a payment option. What a lot of open-source software do is to put a free version of there app on f-droid and a non-free on the play store. F-droid work on donations and people who use it are aware of the need to pay the work of the development team :)
  • @heurrevex thanks! I'll look into it - not sure how that will work for me but we'll see.

    At the moment I'm looking into adding more features and removing the bugs - making the UX different. I've started a beta branch I'll run past people who are interested in these features. Hopefully I can make it look a little nicer and work a bit better, more like ZotEZ2.
  • @heurrevex, ZotEZ2 is now available on the Amazon App Shop if you want:

    Do you think it is a good platform?
    It is available even in China where Google Play Store is blocked.
  • edited June 22, 2019
    @diyoyo Amazon is on of the Gafam, so no, I don t think it s a good platform jajaja

    @OniDaito Thx for your work. If.you could.provide a donation method.it could.be nice
  • @OniDaito I really appreciate you taking the time to develop this app.
    At the moment I am trying to get personal webdav working.
    Running into problems with Auth
    FWIW http is perfectly safe if "Require local"
    Your app does not seem to recognize user authorised certs or if a CA Cert has been installed
    I noticed that zandy included a ssl checking override in its preferences
  • Hi @OniDaito, I recently learned about your work to add 2-way PDF syncing in ZotDroid. Thanks for developing this. One question: are you implementing it to work with PDFs stored/synced in the user's Zotero Storage, or just for PDFs that are stored/synced via WebDAV or other 3rd-party cloud storage solutions?
  • @arnen yes, I suppose if you are using some sort of local DB and not doing anything with Zotero itself then I guess you don't communicate with the outside world at all. It's not a use-case I've ever come across really. It's unlikely I'll be adding this anytime soon as I'm trying to focus on the pressing issue of search, UX and the like.

    @heurrevex yes, I have looked at F-Droid. I'll keep you posted but it's definitely something I am considering.

    @DrCamTurner hopefully I will get both! :) I believe they are mostly similar anyway but it requires a lot of testing as it can really mess with people's libraries if I get it wrong. Likely, I'll release a beta version for people and they can mess with it at their own risk to begin with and once everything is ironed out I'll publish a version to the main branch.

    At the moment I'm in the middle of an international move! :S It's been pretty stressful! I've managed to get some coding time in however :) Lots to do.

  • Hi, I just bought Zotdroid V1.2.3. Using my own personal webdav storage, I can access my library, download papers, the pdf files look downloaded correctly (they are not zipped, I can access them with any pdf reader on the SD card), and still I get "error: no program available to open this attachment". Any idea ?
  • edited September 20, 2019
    Hello @Fred_A . My first thought would be that PDFs might not be associated with a program but android would probably ask you the first time you try. I'll take a look at it, see if I can reproduce that error.

    I'm still working away on the beta version - I've managed to add a proper tree view for collections and fixed a lot of the errors in regard to searching, ordering and similar. It's slow progress but I'm getting there. I'll have more soon!

  • Hello all,

    So it's been a while since I've posted here. The tl;dr version - I've stopped working on ZotDroid as Zoo-tero does a very good job and has added the features I was working on. So I figure it's time to move on.

    Longer version - I started a PhD and I've not had a lot of time to spend on ZotDroid. I added webdav upload for changed attachments and I was working on the search, the bugs and the personal webdav upload but it was taking a little too long.

    I've placed the code here:


    So if folks ever want inspiration, or wish to use it, it's there.

    I'd like to say thank-you to everyone here. It's been a wonderful community and I hope I've helped a few researchers in some small way.


  • @OniDaito thx a lot for your work :D
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