Support for mobile devices

As of now, it is not possible to access the application from a phone or tablet. It is also not possible to access it from mobile google doc app.


To add to this, it would be extremely helpful to have an “add to paperpile” button on the mobile browser.


BTW, I’m not sure how useful it would be to have reference editing abilities on mobile google docs as I never see myself actually edit google docs on a cell phone.

I agree, it’s hard to edit on a cellphone, but how about tablets?

+1 for tablet

Perhaps a poll can be set up for this feature request?

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I believe there are long term plans for a native mobile app, but there needs to be an intermediate solution. I would be happy with a feature restricted version that worked in mobile safari, something like the feature restricted version that shows up in Gmail on older browsers or slow connections. At least I wouldn’t be completely cut off from my data when on an ipad.


I can imagine the ongoing convergence of Android and desktop versions of Chrome will help Paperpile-Android users. It would be good to have a similar Paperpile home screen even if only ‘Open PDF’ features worked; it’s more streamlined than searching in Google Drive.

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Actually we are experimenting with such a web-based mobile read-only version. It’s tricky though, e.g. we planned just to open the PDF in Google Drive from our web-app. It turns out you need at least three taps every time because the Google Drive App does not remember a default PDF viewer and your default Google account if you have multiple. So it always will ask you which is very annoying.

So even the simplest thing on Android showing a list of papers and open it is a bad experience. Also compared to a native app the UI feels a bit slow (although suprisingly usable).

I understand that even that might be better than nothing, but we are a bit reluctant spending too much time in this project which ultimately only gives a mediocre experience at best.


Every browser allows to share a link via e-mail so this functionality would come for free with this feature: Email to paperpile

Stefan, I think you are on point. No sense in deploying unpolished features. I think mobile functionality is partly a fad, driven by desires to work from a cafe. Adobe released mobile version of graphic design software but no serious commercial designer actually uses these. The real work is still done on the desktop. I think the smart approach is to develop features for mobile that enhance and supplement the experience of the core desktop app, rather than trying to duplicate or replace it.

I don’t know if this post should be in this string or the one Stefan refers to in the post above.

I agree that it makes little sense in applying resources to developing an app. However, the one area where I do see some mobile device functionality is in capturing citations and emailing them into Paperpile. For instance Easybib has a mobile app which allows you to scan an ISBN number, recognize it and email the citation. Although this app is built for easybib, you can email the meta data where ever you want, you don’t need an easybib account. There would seem to be a number of apps like this, though I have only checked the easybib one.

If we could email citations along with pdf files into Paperpile, we could have that added functionality I outline above, without Paperpile itself having to develop any apps.

I guess it comes down to the argument you often hear that tables are “consumption” devices and not “creation” devices. I think it’s true in our case even though there will be scientists who write their papers on their iPad at some point. But I don’t think that will be mainstream any time soon.

But reading and discovering papers on a tablet seems to be already extremely common and we need to address this need. So mobile apps are central to our long term plans with Paperpile.


I’m glad to hear this. Over time the amount of work me, my colleagues, and my graduate students do on an iPad as opposed to the desktop has increased. At first it was just reading PDFs, but now we find ourselves doing a lot more. It is at the point about now where several of us have gotten rid of our laptops. Sure, we still do “serious” academic writing on a desktop computer, but when we go to a conference or on a short trip, an iPad (sometimes with a bluetooth keyboard) is “good enough.” I expect this trend to continue, even accelerate.

The lack of a mobile interface or app is the main reason my colleagues have been unwilling to try Paperpile, even though I have been encouraging everyone to do so. That also means that the current Paperpile users are probably already self-selected from people for whom mobile is not that important. In my experience this is a rapidly shrinking user base.

I would also like to add that I think that there are many mobile usage scenarios beyond just reading and discovering that people use right now. It is common for academics to want to share and discuss papers via email and social media, or even in person, over coffee, and it is frustrating in those situations not to be able to quickly look up a citation that you have already carefully catalogued in Paperpile. For this reason, a read-only version with basic sharing features would be most welcome, (even though I understand your reluctance).


Also, although I know the API for iDevices is easier to design for (fewer devices to optimize), please don’t make the assumption that Mobile = ipad. Not all academics (despite what mac wants us to believe) work in the iVerse. Android needs to be on the plate too.


Since tablets are great reading devices for papers, I find myself often in the situation that I want to add new papers to my Paperpile collection but there is no way to do this from a tablet. This could become a major limitation for many users since reading papers is naturally the best way to find new ones and usually we want to organize them at the same time. As for not being able to use Google Docs along with Paperpile (writing process) on a tablet, I agree that this is less important until the mobile version of Goolge Docs becomes more feature-rich.


Thumbs up for reading on tablets. Agreed as everyone has said that composing is less important. It would be nice after compiling all these papers and organizing them that they would be available to read on a tablet.

So far I have simply starred papers I want to read in order to make them easily findable from the Drive app and then read them that way but a way to browse tags/folders would be greaat.


Hi there,

My need for mobile support with Paperpile is also related to the “consumption” experience, not the “production”. I read papers on my phone/tablet. And I don’t mind being able to add new papers while on mobile.

What I really want is basically MetaPDF on mobile! I want to be able to read and make annotations to what I read, and have those annotations synchronise with GoogleDrive. I tried and MetaPDF seems to work, but once the pdf is loaded nothing appears. I assume it was not made to work on Chrome mobile.

So my question is: are there plans to bring what your team has learnt during the development of MetaPDF, to mobile platforms (maybe simply by making MetaPDF work on Chrome mobile?)

Cheers, thanks for all the work!


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+1 on reading on tablet or phone, that would be very handy! That’s a recurring feature request on Zotero (which I used to use) too, and a gap that is half-filled ad-hocly by ZedLite so far.
A purely read-only solution would be perfect!

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If google docs implemented “suggesting” mode for mobile, I might be more inclined to do this …

I always want to check email on my phone, and go through ToC’s that are emailed to me. Problem is, whenever I find an article that I need to add to my manager, it’s somewhat of a pain (Mendeley kind of does this, but it loses its ability to auto-fill all the info, and it’s a little clunky). If I could Add to Paperpile, I would be extremely pleased.