The New Mendeley for iPad and iPhone

[Editor’s Note–We thought you’d like to know: this 2013 post is out-of-date. Find info on Mendeley’s current abilities here, and details about the 2021 sunset of the mobile apps here.]

We’re very proud to announce the release of the all new Mendeley for iOS. We’ve rebuilt the app from the ground up to make it fast, fluid and easier to use than ever before. It’s available today for FREE on the app store.


It’s been a long time coming.  We’ve listened to your feedback, and have taken our time to ensure that we’ve crafted a great product, that makes your research workflow quicker and much more efficient.

  • Redesigned from the ground up to deliver the best possible mobile experience
  • Highlight important text and record your thoughts with sticky notes
  • Sync highlights and notes to Mendeley Desktop on Windows, Mac, or Linux
  • Sync wirelessly without interrupting your workflow
  • Easily tap-to-download full-text files
  • Fullscreen reading in any orientation
  • Explore papers related to the one you’re reading
  • Supports nested folders in your library and groups
  • Easily tag documents or add them to folders

Library Management


When you first login to the app, all your references, folders, and groups from Mendeley Desktop will be synced to your device automatically. You can also sync the changes you make at any time by tapping the sync button in the bottom left. The Library overview lists all your folders and groups, as well as the smart filters that you’re used to in Mendeley Desktop, including ‘Favorites’, ‘My Publications’, and ‘Recently Added’. This means that recently added documents will also appear on your iPhone or iPad. You can customise which smart filters are visible by tapping ‘Edit’ at the top of the library overview.


These days a lot of reading happens away from the computer screen, so Mendeley for iOS has been designed to give you the best possible reading experience wherever you are, on your iPad or iPhone. Full-text PDFs aren’t downloaded to the device by default, but we’ve streamlined the UI to let you easily download individual PDFs on demand.  Simply tap the download arrow on a document to download the PDF.  When the PDF has downloaded, a blue “Read” button will display instead.  Tap this to go directly to reading mode.  If you’d rather have all your PDFs stored on your device, you can enable this in ‘Settings’.


When reading a PDF, you can slide the document details out of your way, and single-tap on the PDF to enable true full-screen reading mode in landscape or portrait orientation.

Highlights & Annotations

The feature you’ve been requesting is finally here! All users will now be able to create and edit highlights and notes on their iPhone and iPad devices. Simply select a line of text to highlight it, or add a text note for reference later.  Long-press and release on an area where there’s no text (such as a margin, or an older scanned PDF) to add a note to that point.

More Coming Soon…

Though we managed to close an impressive 67% of the outstanding mobile feedback issues, a few really important things had to be stripped from this first release in order to get it out the door on time.  Updates will come faster and more regularly than before, and it’s important to us that we keep you posted about what we’re working on.

Things we’re working on next include:

  • Sort document lists by Author, Year, and Added date
  • Automatic metadata lookup
  • Sync speed improvements
  • Recently Read
  • Create and edit folders

You can always suggest new mobile features, or vote up other people’s suggestions at If you like what you see, please help spread the word by leaving a review in the app store, or tweet with the #MendeleyiOS hashtag. We really appreciate your support!

94 thoughts on “The New Mendeley for iPad and iPhone

  1. @Rob
    >Unfortunately, for many publication in my library I don’t see a download arrow, so I can’t read them. How to solve this problem?

    On you Mendeley Desktop client, select “All Documents” from your library toolbar. The Edit Settings button should be visible above your entries. Click this, and make sure all the correct folders have “Synchronize attached files” selected.

  2. It’s great that the app finally syncs. It would be a good idea if the search box did not move when scrolling. I was initially fooled and thought that there was no search capability.

  3. Itching it would better not to ‘hide’ the search box at the top of the left pane. It took me a while to realize the search function wasn’t actually missing!

  4. This is ridiculous. I can’t believe you’re still refusing to provide an Android app. That’s it for me. I’m gonna follow Mike and give Colwiz a try.

  5. Tobias, we are hoping to develop an Android app in the future, but please be patient. These things take time and effort. In the meantime, it would be useful if you could give us your feedback on this Android app survey.

  6. iPad application is awesome. Annotations sync feature is absolutely fabulous. Multiple highlight colour will be an added advantage. Also, please add iPad dictionary support.

  7. Great app, i am using it on iPad, Windows, Linux and Mac
    Please, add the “read” green indicator to iPad app, i got some PDFs in a directory and would like that helper to remember pending to read document. Sorting could also help.

  8. iPad application has a good potential. But… Sync option is very problematic. Quite often it stuck and I couldn’t update my library after doing some changes on iPad…

  9. Congrats! Loving mendeley app in my iPad. I’ll just suggest to include the same tools that you have in the desktop version for editing i.e. Rotation of the page, highlight by blocks of information, etc. this is because old versions of PDF are scanned copies and it is silly that I can just do something in my man and not my my iPad…. Still, thanks for a great app!

  10. Wonderful iphone/ipad app!! Thanks for making it universal and free. It’s simple, elegant, fast easy to navigate. There may be a few sync issues, but sync is totally nonfunctional for Papers3 at the moment (iOS) The only must-have feature that is edging me toward Papers3 is the ability to connect with external databases and import directly into library (in desktop version too).

    • @Shannon, thanks a lot. We’re working on improving import to the app in a variety of ways, including better web importer support, options to search within the app, and better methods of metadata lookup when adding PDFs from other apps. We’d be interested in how useful you find our Literature Search feature in Mendeley Desktop, as that will be the logical starting point for external search within the iOS app.

  11. Hello,
    You guys rock for making such an amazing product! I just wanted to make a quick suggestion though for mendeley on the iPad – could it be possible to make a dedicated icon/cursor for highlighting so if I’m using a stylus I can highlight without having to hold down and then expand to highlight a selection? If this is possible while still being able to use my fingers to zoom,scroll without highlighting the whole page up and down – this would be even more amazing!
    -> also a pen option? but not as important as highlighting a bit easier!

    Thanks again!

  12. layout is good, sync on ipad is way too slow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I have been using Papers but am unhappy about their new version and am thinking of switching to Mendeley, I am checking it out and downloaded the app for iPad. It looks good but it seems that you can order the list by first authors but you cannot search by author (e.g. if the author you are looking for is not the first author might be difficult to find). Is that correct?

  14. I’ve just downloaded the app and have to say it’s great to have the all new version on the iphone. I had a few teething problems with synching but resolved them via a quick internet search.. It would be great in the future if this was also available for non apple devices. Thanks!

  15. It’s really great to see the app in full screen mode and not an app for the iphone which when used on the ipad has that 2x feature. I have finally found a reason to justify the price of my ipad.

  16. It would be great if there was a button for highlighting rather than to do an long hold and then select what you want to highlight. Also, in the notes sections, it would be useful if there were buttons to make font bold, italicized, different colors etc., to keep track of better notes.

    Otherwise, great useful app.

    • We’ll be improving the UI for highlighting when we’re able to support more note types, coloured notes, etc. Rich text in notes is a slightly longer-term thing but I hope we’ll get there eventually.

  17. I cannot open word files in mendely on my ipad mini. It would nice to do this. Sometimes I just wanna lay down and write while resting my back.

    • Opening word files is not on the current roadmap for this year. Certainly not writing. Microsoft is bringing the Office suite to iPad soon though, so you should be able to use that when it’s released.

  18. is there a highlight function in iPad where you can leave it on?

    When I read research papers, I like to highlight. I would like to be able to leave highlight on, so I can use a stylus and use an iPad like apiece of paper and the stylus as a marker.

  19. Hi Kevin,

    The good news: We’re working on it!

    We definitely want to offer that feature because we think it would be awesome to use a stylus to highlight. It’s on our schedule for a future iteration of Mendeley, but unfortunately we don’t have that functionality yet.

    We’ll get there soon hopefully. Thanks for using Mendeley!


    Education Program Manager

Comments are closed.