The unavoidable iPad thread

  • Android version of Firefox does not support XUL, wich is used for defining user interfaces. (

    For this and many other reasons it is very unlikely that Zotero as a plugin for a mobile browser would work as well as native implementations (Zandy and ZotPad).
  • For anyone looking to create an iPad/Android Zotero app, I would highly recommend using the Appcelerator Titanium SDK at The main advantage of using Titanium is that when you write your mobile apps with Titanium they will run on iPad and Android—that is, write one app for both, rather than two separate apps. Also, it's a hell of a lot easier to write iPad/iPhone apps with Titanium than with XCode.

  • Well, Mikko and I have done the legwork already for native Android and iOS implementations, so I doubt anyone is likely to make another one using Appcelerator. Don't have experience with it, but certainly worth keeping in mind for future projects.
  • ZotPad is very close to release, so changing at this time does not make any sense.

    This is a bit off topic, but I do not think that appaccelerator is the way to go at all for complex or data heavy apps. The problem is that it produces cross-compiled code that is less efficient and harder to debug and profile than native code.

    Also, what comes to XCode, although the interface can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, after you getto know it a bit more, it is easy to like. In fact XCode, is currently my favorite IDE, and I have used a few.
  • ZotPad is now available in the App Store. You can read more about it here:
  • Congratulations on the release, Mikka!
  • I have started using both Mendeley and Zotero to see which one I will be using in the long term. I am more impressed with the Zotero app, especially how well it integrates with Firefox (even though the Mendeley storage space is bigger).

    The big thing however in Mendeley's favour, is that it has a FREE ipad app that can be used to read articles offline, as well as edit the metadata. It lacks an annotator in the reader however.

    I had a look at ZotPad, but it would be great if there could be a free Zotero ipad app that can do what the Mendeley one does, plus annotate.

    iPads are really taking off here where I am, and is becoming nearly as common as mobile phones. The same will become true for android tablets.
  • If you are in the research game for the long term, then factors like sustainability, support markets and community are probably more important than short-term pricing. The $6.00 price tag on ZotPad doesn't seem unreasonable; the developer who maintains it is not a member of the core Zotero team, but a technically adept user. Sales of the app give him an incentive to continue its development, and that's not a bad thing.
  • edited May 21, 2012
    ZotPad is a paid application for three reasons:

    1) It keeps me motivated
    2) It gives me an excuse to work on nights and weekends instead of spending time with my family. (Believe me, I do receive complaints about that from my wife regardless that she is a ZotPad user as well)
    3) The money from the sales is used to cover the expenses (Apple developer license and website) and to save for a PDF library. (More on the PDF library below)

    If you do not like ZotPad, you can start your own project and try to recruit someone to develop it for free. Or, you can get a Mac, spend 100$ on Apple developer license, and install ZotPad for free from the source code.

    In the long run, I would like ZotPad to implement annotations (See more here). PDF annotations are complex to implement and there are no free software libraries for doing this on the iPad. iAnnotate is the only library that I am aware of. But their starting fee is closer to 10 000$. The total sales of ZotPad are not nearly of this magnitude, and I am currently unwilling to take that kind of risk myself. I might set up a kickstarted project or some other fund raiser instead at some point. But the annotation support is currently primarily about money. If someone is willing to provide the 10k for the license and other expenses, I am happy to integrate it.

    I do not really understand why metadata editing would be an important feature. Editing notes is important, and it will be implemented in the 1.2 version. Editing tags will be implemented in 1.3 version. Adding items to Zotero with iPad will be handled by the upcoming bookmarklet, I believe. Other than that, I do not really see the use case for editing metadata. (For example I only edit the item fields after my manuscript is completed and I am checking the list of references for errors. I see no reason to do this on the iPad) I will probably implement metadata editing at some point, but it is not high on the priority list.

    The 1.1 version will provide read and write access to attachments, which is not provided by the Mendeley App. This will provide an annotation workflow where you open PDFs with ZotPad, send them to iAnnotate or other anotation software, and then send them back to ZotPad, which wills sync the changes on Zotero server. The 1.1 will hopefully be released in less than a month, but this depends on how much time I can put into the project and also on how difficult the existing bugs are to fix.

    But in anycase, if you do not like ZotPad, you can just ignore the project.
  • Since mronkko is too modest to say so, allow me to suggest to rarturo to check out the ratings and reviews on those iOS apps and get back to us.
  • Unfortunately Zandy (the Android app) does not support Zotero groups. I have not been able to get any information about if and when Zandy will support Zotero groups.

    Does anyone have more info?
  • I am posting here because followers of this thread might be interested: ZotPad 1.1 is now available. Check out the original thread:

    (Any follow up should go to the original thread.)
  • Mozilla has released a free Firefox for iPad.

    There is little information about plug-in extensions. I don't know if the engine that powers Firefox for iPad is based on the one that drives Safari or is sufficiently close to the Mozilla that allows extensions like Zotero.
  • It's just another WebKit-based browser like all of the other browsers on iOS. I don't see any discussion of extension frameworks, but given that they are deprecating the technologies Zotero uses even for desktop Firefox browsers, I'd imagine there is zero chance they are supported here.
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