iOS private beta 1 (old)

Paperpile goes iOS. That’s all you need to know about the private beta.

How to take part in this beta

You can sign up for the beta here:

We will send out invites with instructions how to install the App via Apple’s TestFlight system. The list is long already and we can’t invite everyone right away. If you want to get an invite sooner, please send us a brief message via the in app messenger of the web-app and we will see what we can do.


We develop Android and iOS apps in parallel and instead of providing the full features app for one platform, we start with a limited features set on both platforms.

  • :heavy_check_mark:️ Browser your library and view PDFs (read only version)
  • :heavy_check_mark:️ Annotate PDFs
  • Organize your library (labels, folders…)
  • Add new references and PDFs (search from within the App and add via your browser)
  • Bring over all other relevant functions from the web application
  • Many additional mobile specific functions

Please note: UI and performance are not final and will improve considerably going forward.

Bug reports & feedback

Please post your feedback in this forum, use the Paperpile in-app messenger on the web or contact us at

We read everything but we might not be able to respond to all posts and emails immediately in the early phases of the beta.


I am trying to hold back from any feature requests for this, but I have three that I personally need to be able to use the app as a way to annotate PDFs (i.e. features that complement the current stage of the roadmap):

  1. A way to filter the PDF list to show all (and only) the PDFs which are available offline on my device.

  2. A way to export my annotations. Right now I have to: (1) open the file in another app, like GoodReader, then (2) email the annotations, then (3) copy-paste, then (4) paste in my note-taking app (currently Bear). It would be nice if I could just use the built-in iOS share extension to do this all in one step. (Share annotations directly to any app that supports it.)

  3. A cropped view mode that hides the PDF margins. (Both GoodReader and PDF Expert have this.)

Finally, I note on the list of annotations that appears in the pop-up list on the top-right of the screen. This is an awkward way to list annotations, especially if they are long. I think the UX on this needs work. Maybe abbreviate the annotations? Or have a full-screen view? Not sure what is best, but this doesn’t work for me.

Oh, one more thing… the first time user experience for those with large Paperpile accounts is not ideal as the initial sync is very slow and you can’t use your iPad for anything while it is loading. Not sure how to fix, but maybe load the starred PDFs first so that people can start using the app while the rest download in the background?

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Thanks for the feedback. We encourage all kind of unfiltered feedback at all stages. However, it’s a bit to early to discuss these issues in detail. For example, the PDF viewer is from a 3rd party provider and we just used the default implementation and settings. We did not start to customize it yet which is planned of course.

Installed on my iPhone now. Had to try three times before it synced without an error message. Possibly had problems with the iPhone going to sleep? (Kept the display from sleeping the third time, but maybe that was just a coincidence.)

(Noticed that I can’t click tags in item entries. Would be nice to jump to tag filter and folders by clicking on them in entries…)

I realized that searching for keywords doesn’t work, but in doing so I seem to have found a bug. Searching for #priority crashes the app on my iPhone every time. (Searching for another keyword, #done, does not.)

Nice catch. @carlos has already found and fixed the issue and it will be part of the next release.

We’ll investigate if sleep interferes with the network connection. We also hope to have better error handling so we can transparently keep syncing even if the network fails intermittently. That’s a huge challenge on mobile and we already did some tests with artificially flaky networks.

Installed the latest beta on my iPhone via TestFlight. My old data was there, but when I hit sync I got the following error message: “Value not convertible to a number”

We are aware of the issue, for now you can log out and then log back in, so that a full sync is done.

That fixes the one problem, but now I’m getting time out errors again (as discussed above)…

Just noticed that the PDF app switches to double-page view in landscape mode. I hope there will be a setting to turn that off so that landscape instead scales a single page to the wider screen margin. (Single page, fit to width.)

The time-out errors can be avoided by turning off auto-screen-lock.

The metapdf website does a nice job handling multi-column text when highlighting. The PDF annotator in the app does not.

The app does not render at native resolution on the new 10.5" iPads. This is quite sad for the PDF viewer in particular. Is there an ETA for this? It’s already scalable across iPhone sizes and 9.7 and 12.9" iPads.

When re-opening the app I’m wondering what the default behavior should be. I think if I was recently annotating a PDF (within the last 24 hours) it would be nice to open directly to where i left off. There should also be a “recent documents” view so I can easily find that file again if it sends me back to the list.

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I keep having an issue where the app does not want to sync. I have quit the app and restarted but have the same issue. Can you please advise? The message is Error.File sync did not finish

When that happens to me I have to log out and log back in again (restarting the app doesn’t help and isn’t necessary). But I’m really hoping they will push another version soon which addresses this issue, as each time you log out it has to re-sync ALL your entries again!

Yes that is what works for me too…hoping for a new version that fixes this.

We are rewriting the sync from scratch so this problem will be fixed by definitiion (if it occurs again it’s a different problem :smile:)

Sorry for the trouble and thanks for your patience. We added new staff to the mobile project and it’s very high on our priority list.


Is there going to be a beta 2 build before beta 1 expires on TestFlight in 6 days?