Mendeley iOS app gets an update

Having access to your library on multiple platforms is a feature that we are quite proud to provide to our users. Windows, Mac and Linux users can easily organize their research libraries and keep these data accessible via the synchronization capabilities. This availability is not limited to computers but rather any device that can access a web browser. Furthermore, if you own an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone, there is an app for that too!

The latest update to our app transforms the iOS apps from strictly a reading tool into something a little more full-featured. You can now add documents to your library from the iOS app itself! There are also some minor bug fixes and user interface improvements.

Open with Mendeley prompt Mendeley among options to open PDFs

To see this new feature in action, you simply need to open a PDF on your device. Once the PDF is open, you should see an option toward the top of the screen providing options to “Open with…”. Once you press this option, you are presented with a list of all the applications you have that handle PDFs. Select Mendeley and you will be taken to the application.

Document details Edited Document title

The iOS app doesn’t do metadata extraction yet, but you can edit the document details or simply continue reading. Once you’re ready, you can synchronize the application (by clicking “sync”) and the PDF document will be accessible from your Mendeley Web account and your Mendeley Desktop application, where metadata extraction will take place and then be sync’d with your mobile device.

In summary, using the Mendeley app on your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone no longer just allows you to read papers but also add to your growing research library!

The much requested Android app is under development by several third-party developers and we’re hoping something will be available this summer.

19 thoughts on “Mendeley iOS app gets an update

  1. I am sure that a lot of people will appreciate this update and the much needed features, but I can’t. A shame that there is still no Android version even in the works.

  2. I should rephrase my statement of “in the works.” I meant that the Mendeley team has nothing in the works. These third party developers are volunteering their time. The projects that I have seen have only one developer on it (and progress is slow). I hope for the Android version too, but I imagine that we won’t see these Android versions anywhere as featured or polished within a year (and much less by summer as Mendeley speculates). Even in open source, there is nothing like a paid developer who can dedicate many more hours to a project.

  3. As an Android user myself, I’m just as sad as you are, Ken. However, remember that we’re still a small team ourselves, so we can’t do all the things we want. Furthermore, in keeping with our plans to create value as a research platform, we’d really like to leave some value on the table for third-parties to take advantage of. I’m not saying that Mendeley will never make an official Android app, but right now that’s just not something we are working on.

  4. It’s more than sad. You’re neglecting the world’s most popular smartphone platform, one which has a range of devices that many students and academics can actually afford. Whilst keeping throwing development time into iOS. It stinks a bit, to be honest.

  5. If you really are not working on an Android app, could you please remove the “Android version coming soon…” under the iPhone/iPad tab on the homepage? I was really disappointed to hear that an android app wasn’t even in the works because I had read that line when the iPhone app first came out. I don’t know if an Android app was in the works when that was first posted, but it seems like very false advertisement to leave it up if an official app inst even on the radar for the foreseeable future.

    In my opinion, one of the biggest strengths of Mendeley is its compatibility with many different platforms. The reason my research group chose to use Mendeley instead of a similar program is because everyone in the group, no matter if they had a Windows, Mac, or even Linux computer could use it. I am sad to see Mendeley is not continuing with this and choosing to ignore a large segment of it’s user base because they use a different mobile platform. I understand you have to set priorities since you have a limited staff, I just dont understand why you chose to make a mobile app for one major OS a priority and not the other major OS. By doing so you alienate a large segment of your user base and make it seem like you just don’t care about them.

  6. I agree. “Coming soon…” should be removed. We had the best of intentions at the time, when iOS was still the dominant platform and Android had not yet launched. Please understand that we’ve not abandoned Android as a platform & we want to continue to work on all platforms available. In fact, there are several third-parties working on apps, one of which should be launching in June. I’ll be the first to shout about it if it turns out as good as I expect.

  7. “… we can’t do all the things we want…”

    All due respect, but what about what your *users* want? An Android app is the 4th most requested feature on the Mendeley feedback forum, and no one from Mendeley will even update the status of that request. How are we supposed to infer anything EXCEPT that we’ve been abandonded? Maybe the iOS app could get a rest for a little while since it’s apparently quite functional. Third party apps are all well and good but what I’ve seen pretty well squares with what Ken says. And they’re never going to be as well supported or maintained as an in-house app. You just can’t equate Android support from Mendeley with some kind/entrepreneurial soul from outside trying to put something together.

    Companies had the same shortsighted view to the Android platform while it was a minority on phones; now Android phones outsell iPhones.

  8. This isn’t a case of us neglecting Android in favor if iOS. We have lots of improvements yet to be made on the core product (see most requested items #1 and #2, for example) before it’s where we want it to be. Should we work on item #3 before #1 and #2?

    Third-party apps also don’t have to be inferior to the “official” ones. Consider the example of Twitter and Tweetdeck. Twitter kept their basic functionality pared down to a bare minimum, despite all the well-considered and reasonable requests for additional features, to focus on making sure the core application worked well. This allowed them to overcome the early stability issues they dealt with. Because Twitter has a public API and the core product was solid, some developers just went and built a different interface on their own, which rapidly became the primary way about 80% of Twitter users used Twitter. Tweetdeck, despite being a third-party interface, wasn’t in any way inferior. Twitter recently responded to this by buying Tweetdeck. This wasn’t an anomaly, either. Seesmic and other clients were also well-designed and useful. To me, this story was a story of success for users, because they got the features they wanted, allowing Twitter itself to remain focused on improving the core product. If I was a skilled Android developer, I would see the rapid increase in requests for an Android client as a challenge and an opportunity. Who’s going to develop the Tweetdeck for Mendeley?

  9. I didn’t say drop 1 and 2 and start on 3; that would be stupid. But I clicked 5 pages deep and saw requests that were marked “started” or “under review” or “planned”, for whatever that’s worth. What I did say was that the status of the request hadn’t been updated, and IMO it ought to be (isn’t there a “not planned” button?).

    Most of those other requests were bugs or core features and I do take your point about developing the core app before the “frills”, and if that was actually the policy I’d respect it. But was an iOS app core functionality? Was the refresh a couple of weeks ago core functionality? Come on! Your impassioned argument in favor of 3rd party apps plays just as well on _ANY_ platform. Presumably instead of these new features for the iOS app someone could have been working on core functionality, or maybe even a basic Android app.

    So yes; Mendeley is giving priority to iOS over Android; It’s self-evident from the company’s actions, and other Mendeley staff have said as much (see e.g. Robert Knight’s comments here: If you don’t like the words “neglect” or “abandon” then fine; but you should at least acknowledge that a significant portion of your user base feels that way * with cause* given Mendeley’s attitude and actions to date regarding Android.

    The third party app argument is somewhat ancillary; if Twitter didn’t have an Android app I would say that’s unwise. If there wasn’t a viable third party app (as there isn’t for Mendeley) I would say that’s even worse and I would probably be pissed.

    I would have a lot more respect for a company that was willing to stand up and say we’ve made this decision, it’s a business decision and we feel like it’s the best choice for us. Or even admit that developing for one platform and ignoring the other was a mistake. But these inconsistent post-hoc rationalizations are just a small step above being ignored.

  10. No one’s being ignored, I promise. We have nothing against Android or WordPress or Dropbox or Evernote or any of the other great systems that a large percentage of our users like and use and that would be awesome if we integrated with. Simply put, we’re focusing on the core product now. Think about it this way – if you think we’re wrong about the magnitude of the need for a third-party integration, that’s your opportunity to prove us wrong by building it and getting people to sign up.

  11. I want to make it clear that at least I don’t feel ignored as a user. You guys have made a great application / platform. I would certainly feel stronger, but at least I can resort to the web interface which seems about as functional as the iOS app (BTW I recently tried the iOS app on a borrowed iPad and the new version is so much more usable just to be able to use an external reader so I can read sideways). For me though, because iOS lacks a filesystem, my custom android solution is better than the iOS app (I copy over my directory of pdf files to my device and I can access any pdf I want, even beyond 500 MB). I use the web side for search (which helps me know where to find the file). Still would be nice to have a good android app, but this isn’t a deal breaker for me. Besides, at least until I buy an android tablet, I will continue to do most of my reading on a desktop (a 27″ widescreen monitor rotated vertically makes reading pdf / web / email / code a complete pleasure).

  12. My point remains; you just can’t say that you aren’t favoring one platform over another when every available fact indicates otherwise. It is disingenuous and frankly a little insulting. The same goes for your core product argument since the iOS app has been under active development as recently as May. I just wish Mendeley as a whole would take ownership of the decision instead of trying to rationalize it away.

  13. Didn’t happen. Surprise surprise. Droideley is probably closest but it is still really early stages and (surprise again) the dev has had some delays. Not to fault him; he’s one guy (a grad student I think) but this is a huge drawback of the stated -if not actually followed-3rd party policy…

  14. Dear Android users,
    Rest assured that you are not missing anything, this app is so unstable that it crashes everytime when trying to open a collection. It is utterly useless. Please fix this, I’d happily pay for a well-functioning app.

    (Running iOS 4.3 on iPad2, Mendeley 1.3.1 (build 19).

  15. Bug report

    I am new to Mendeley, just used it for a week. On my iPod touch, when I adjusted zoom level to read a pdf file through screen touch, somehow the zooming view could not be freezed, it would be back to a normal view.

    Any way to adjust zoom level?


    Runding iOS 4.3.5 on iPod touch, Mendeley 1.3.1

  16. Hi there,

    Mendeley is such an awesome service, but the iPad app is a shame and really ruins your good reputation. It crashes every single time during sync. This is not only happening to me, but everyone.

    So please: Fix this asap (preferred!) or pull the app from the App Store to avoid more disappointed users like me.


  17. Hi Hendrik and everyone else,

    We have some fixes for the iOS app in the pipeline and hope to have them out in the next couple weeks.

  18. Oh – I concur, though, it is only good practice to note on the App store that it will crash consistently in iOS 5.

Comments are closed.