Mendeley for Android – 3 month review

It’s been 3 months since we launched Mendeley for Android on Google Play.  The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with over one thousand 5-star reviews, and an average rating of 4.61.  Thank you all so much for helping to spread the word.

Screenshot 2015-09-17 16.11.18

In our launch announcement, we let you know what was coming up next, and now just wanted to quickly recap with the work we’ve done, the stuff we’re doing now, and where we’re going in future.

We’ve had 4 feature releases in 3 months, and we’re very happy with our ability to keep the pace up, respond to feedback, and give everyone the App we know they need. Here’s the major additions and changes from v1.0 to v1.4 (released today):

Recently Read (v1.4)

Earlier this year we rolled out a new Recently Read filter in Mendeley Desktop & iOS, to allow you to much more easily start reading on one device, and then continue reading directly where you left off on another device. This is now available on Android, and will be available in the web App in the next month or so.

The recently read list stores up to 20 recently read documents, including the page number and the position you last scrolled to in the document. It works offline too, just remember to press sync when you have an internet connection again.

SD Card storage (v1.4)

In Settings, you’ll find a new experimental setting to allow you to choose between storing downloaded PDFs on your device, or on external storage such as an SD card. We have limited devices here for testing (all Samsung), so please be aware that there may still be issues.

Note: Currently SD card storage is only available in Android KitKat and above, due to limitations in the older Android APIs.

Edit document notes (v1.3)

The Notes tab on a document will now let you tap in it and start typing straight away. Select words or phrases to add bold, italics, or underlines for emphasis. All your notes will be synced to the cloud automatically.

Sync all files setting (v1.2)

Overwhelmingly our top feature request after v1.0 was released. In Settings, you’ll find a new setting called Sync all files. When this is enabled, when you press sync the app will attempt to download all available PDF files that have not yet been downloaded. This has been asked for by a lot of you, but please be aware this could initially take a long time, use a lot of data, and take up a lot of storage space on your device. So please do this on a wifi connection if possible.

Jump to page (v1.1)

When scrolling a PDF you will now see an indicator in the bottom left telling you which page you’re on, and how many pages are in the document.

Tap on this indicator and type in the number of a page, to jump directly to it.


We’ve been keeping a careful eye on crashes, and fixing them as quickly as we can.  We have an internal target , which is to ensure that 98% of users in any given time period have not seen a crash.  This is really just our “warning sign” level though, and it’s quite a low bar. In reality, we’re trending at around 99.5%, and try to keep this as close to 100% as we can.

Stability graph

And more…

  • Remove from folder
  • Prompt to sign in again if password has been changed
  • Added tags to search index
  • A ton of bug fixes

The future

For the last couple of months we’ve been running an experiment in open roadmaps. We’ve created a public roadmap on Trello that you can check at any time, and see the status of the major features we’re working on now, what’s planned for the next release, and what’s planned for 1-3 months after that.  Subscribe to cards to see when they change status, comment, or vote.

It’s still an experiment, but we’re hoping everyone appreciates the transparency, and that it allows us to work together with the community to make better products.

In the sort term, we’re working on adding in folder management features, better filtering by tag, and metadata fetching improvements.


iOS 2.7 – It's all about search


We’ve been working on overhauling our search features in Mendeley for iOS for the last couple of month. With Mendeley 2.7 now available on the app store, you can get your hands on these improvements today! Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

Filter by tag

We’ve integrated tag filtering into the search interface.

  1. Start typing a search term into the search box.
  2. If that term matches the name of a tag, the matching tag will display as a suggestion above the search results
  3. Tap the suggested tag, and you’ll see a list of all documents with that tag

This works in folders or groups, and the filter will only show documents from the folder you’re in (and it’s subfolders) or the group you are in, just like regular search results.  Searching from the main screen searches “All documents”.  We are planning to add other suggested filters into this in the future, such as authors or publications.

Recent searches

Once you’ve searched a couple of times, you may notice that when you select the search box, it will display your last 4 recent search terms, or recent tag filters.  These are only saved on your device, so they’ll be cleared if you reset your database or switch to a new device.  Recent searches are only available on iOS 8 and above.

Search indexing improvements

In addition to the above, we also put a lot of effort into making the search indexing quicker and more efficient.  Previously, users with medium or large libraries may have noticed that search did not return any results after doing a first sync, or if you were unable to sync successfully for some reason.

We’ve completely overhauled the way we handle search (with some great tips from Apple at WWDC this year), and users that previously had these problems should find the search much better to use.

Let us know what you think!

Have a play with the new version, and leave us a rating or a review on the App store.  We love to hear what people think of the App, and it really does help spread the word about Mendeley.

You can look forward to more updates in the near future, thanks!

Introducing: Recently Read


We’re happy to announce the release of Recently Read, our newest feature to help you get the most out of Mendeley on any device.

The new ‘Recently Read’ feature saves your reading position for your 20 most recently read PDFs across your iOS and Desktop devices. If you start reading a paper on your Desktop, you can easily finish reading it on your tablet on the couch later, or even on your phone while you’re on the bus.

Even if you only use Mendeley on one device, it’s still a great way to pick up where you left off between sessions.

We are initially launching Recently Read on Win/Mac/Linux in Mendeley Desktop (v1.14), and iOS (v2.6) which are both available to download today. Mendeley for Android, and our Web Library will be implementing the feature in the coming months.

We hope you enjoy it, and would love to hear what you think in the comments below. Please help spread the word, and contact if you encounter any bugs or issues. Thanks a lot.

These releases also bring a few new features and fixes for each platform that you’re sure to enjoy too:

Mendeley Desktop 1.14
– DOI lookups are now better quality than they’ve ever been.
– Tabs are displayed in full-screen on MacOS
– and more…

Mendeley iOS 2.6
– New users can create a free account directly in the app
– Profile cards for authors of notes/highlights in private groups
– Top crashes resolved
– Misc fixes for issues with sync, tags, and folders

The Mendeley you love – Now on Android

You’ve been asking for it for a long time, and it’s finally here. Starting today you can download Mendeley for Android from Google Play for your tablet or phone.

Over the last year, we’ve been working with a small internal team alongside users from our passionate Android community to bring you a great experience for reading, annotating, and managing your research wherever you are.

Features include:

  • Read & annotate PDFs
  • Sync annotations & documents across all your devices
  • Save PDFs to your Mendeley library from other apps or your web browser
  • Use Mendeley offline during your commute, and sync when you have connection
  • Search your library for keywords in the Title, Authors, Publication or Abstract
  • Edit document details (Title, Authors, Publication details, etc…)
  • Download or remove PDFs on demand, to easily manage device storage space
  • All features are available on your Tablet or Phone
  • Free!



Highlights & notes

The biggest failing of the third party Mendeley apps available previously, was the lack of synced annotations with Mendeley Desktop.  Addressing this was our top priority when starting the project.


Creating highlights or notes is currently done via text selection.

  1. Tap-and-hold on a PDF to select the text you want to annotate.
  2. Adjust the selection to your liking.
  3. Tap the “Add note” or “Add highlight” buttons that appear in the top toolbar to start annotating.  Adding a note will also highlight the selected text at the same time.
  4. If you’ve added notes or highlights while offline, remember to sync them next time you’re connected to see them on Mendeley Desktop.

We will be improving on and adding more flexible ways to create annotations, including better stylus support, and more efficient interfaces for adding multiple annotations quickly.


 Add documents to your library

We know there’s a very slight possibility that not everyone you collaborate with uses Mendeley yet, so maybe from time-to-time, you might get a PDF emailed to you instead of shared in a Mendeley Private group.  No problem! You can add PDFs from email clients, browsers, or other apps to your Mendeley library


  1. Tap on a PDF in your downloads folder, or a link to a PDF in your browser
  2. Select Open with Mendeley
  3. Mendeley will download it and attempt to find matching details for the document
    1. If details are found, it will prompt you to check them, before saving the document to your library.
    2. If no details are found, you’ll be prompted to enter the details manually.
  4. Tap the ‘Done’ icon in the top left to save.

You can also add references manually from the home screen by tapping the action overflow icon (3 dots) in the top right and selecting Add Document.  The menu button is the equivalent if you’re on a Samsung device.

Tip: Select ‘Recently Added’ from the library overview to easily find any documents you’ve added in the last 2 weeks.


What’s next?

We’re very proud of what the team has been able to produce in the last year, but this is only the beginning. There’s a lot left to build, and a lot to tweak based on your usage and valuable feedback.  We had to drop some valuable features from scope in order to make our release date (folder management, as one example), but we are aiming to iterate quickly and be as transparent as possible about what we’re working on as we add these features.

We’ll be taking a few weeks to react to any major issues found during the launch, and then we’ll be working on the following things:

  • Remember previous page position for PDFs
  • Folder management
  • Editable document notes
  • Sync all files setting
  • ‘Recently Read’ filter
  • Improvements to fetching details
  • Much more!

We’ve carved out the first few weeks just for reacting to critical issues, sync errors, crashes etc, so if you experience anything, please report the error to our support team using the feedback mechanisms in the app (Settings > Support).  You can also go there to suggest or vote on upcoming features.

So please, spread the word, let us know what you think, and rate the app on the Google Play store.


Elsevier Guide for Authors

Last week, in collaboration with Elsevier’s Guide for Authors team, we quietly rolled out a small, but worthwhile improvement for authors who use Mendeley, and who are submitting to Elsevier journals.

When viewing the ‘Guide for Authors’ page on an Elsevier journal site, the section on how to format your references now contains a link that will install the correct citation style for that journal in Mendeley Desktop, in a single click!

This is available today for 1673 Elsevier Journals.  You can see an example on the European Journal of Radiology, or try it for yourself directly: Use APA 6th in Mendeley.

Even for journals where authors are free to use any reference style at submission (and Elsevier will then ensure the correct style is used in the published article), if it is easy enough for authors to use the right style at submission, many authors will just do that. The one click reference style incorporation into Mendeley as described above achieves that ease of use.

Creating these links

While we’ve rolled this out with Elsevier Journals initially, anyone who gets submissions of papers with certain reference style guidelines can create and distribute one-click citation style install links for Mendeley.

Currently, the links only works with styles from the project (see the repository of styles on GitHub). To create one of these links, you first need a citation style’s unique ID.  The style repository contains the list of available citation styles, some are in the main folder, and many are in the ‘dependent’ folder.

Click on the filename of the style you want to link to. The unique ID is the part that is highlighted in blue below.


Simply construct the Mendeley link using the following format:[unique-id-of-style]

So for the above example, the final link would look like:

That’s it 🙂 Test it yourself first to check that it works before distributing the links, but feel free to use these links on your journal or departmental webpages.


Mendeley for Android – Launching in June!


It’s finally happening.  This June (three short months from now) we will be launching the first version of Mendeley for Android! We’ve done everything we can to ensure that we’ve built an app that sets a new standard for quality in the world of Android reference management apps.


  • Read, highlight & annotate PDFs from anywhere
  • Sync annotations & documents across all your devices
  • Browse your Mendeley library and groups online or offline
  • Search your library for keywords in the Title, Authors, Publication or Abstract
  • Save PDFs to your Mendeley library from other apps or your web browser
  • Edit document details (Title, Authors, Publication details, etc…)
  • Download or remove PDFs on demand, to easily manage device storage space
  • All features are available on your Tablet or Phone
  • Fully compatible with Android Lollipop (supports Jellybean 4.1.2 and above)
  • Plus it’s FREE!

Design & Quality

When we set out over a year ago to create this Android app, our goal was to create an app that felt fully at home on your Android device, but was consistent enough with our iOS app to enable us to develop features quickly and easily across both platforms.  Like our other apps, we aimed for a clean, professional feeling design that fades into the background and lets you focus on the content as you work or study.


We’ll be busy finishing up and testing the final bits and pieces over the next couple of months, with the help of our 40 amazing beta testers.  Here’s what some of them have been saying:

 “Finally a free, robust, clean, simple and efficient application, the piece that was lacking in the reference management family. It takes academic productivity to another level.”

photoJorge Sinval
Researcher / Double PhD Student

“What makes having Mendeley on Android so significant for me, is that for the first time since I started my career I don’t have to print out papers to be able to read them. Reading them on a tablet works great, especially now that we can also highlight text.”

photo-1Dr. Jan Aerts
Assistant Professor

We know waiting is hard, but we can’t wait to get it into your hands and hear what you think.  Remember, this is only the beginning.  We have a bunch of great mobile improvements planned for later in the year on both iOS and Android.

Watch for the release announcement in June here on the blog, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus.

iOS Update – iPhone 6 Plus & more

Mendeley iOS Update available now

Mendeley for iOS has just been updated featuring a flexible interface that can adapt to any iPhone or iPad size and screen orientation, allowing you to fully utilise the beautiful 5.5 inch screen of the iPhone 6 Plus.

All iOS users benefit from this upgrade though. iPhones of any type can now use the entire application in landscape mode. Icons and text weights have been given a bit of polish to make the app feel cleaner, and more consistent with the upcoming Mendeley for Android.

Mendeley for iOS in Landscape mode

The PDF reader has had numerous bug fixes and performance improvements, laying the foundation for more reading and annotation improvements that we will be sharing with you throughout the year.

We’ve fixed a few things that had unfortunately broken in the previous release, including sync options, sort orders, and reading positions not being remembered when they should, as well as common crashes and sync errors.

Mendeley 2.5 for iOS is available now on the app store.

If you have any problems, please send a request to our helpful support team at If you like what we’re doing, leave us a review on the app store, or use the hashtag #Mendeley on Twitter. (it’s like our bat signal).

Release notes

  • Full iPhone 6+ support
  • Landscape mode now available on iPhone
  • Improved icons and font weights across the app
  • Improved PDF reading experience & fullscreen mode
  • ‘Define’ words now works offline and uses iOS dictionaries
  • Profile images show in annotations and link to the user’s Mendeley profile
  • Logging out and in as the same user no longer requires a full library re-sync
  • “Reset database” button has been added to settings, which forces a full re-sync of the library, which should resolve most common sync errors.
  • Adding a URL to a document works again
  • Sync options remember their settings again
  • Fixed multiple crashes on sync and when reading
  • And finally, the always informative ‘Misc. bugfixes’

Mendeley Desktop 1.12 Available Now

We’re very pleased to announce that Mendeley Desktop 1.12 is now available, and will appearing as an auto-update for all users over the next couple of days.  This release resolves two popular user requests, as well as numerous bug fixes.

Print PDFs from Mendeley Desktop

Printing has been our #2 user request for some time (second to an Android app, which is currently in progress), so it’s great to be able to deliver.  To print a PDF, simply open it in a Mendeley reader tab, select the “File” menu at the top, and click “Print…” or press CTRL+P (CMD+P on MacOS).


From there, you have some standard print options, and the option to include or exclude your annotations.  When you include annotations, sticky notes will have a marker to the side of the document, with the full note text appended to the end of the document, in the same format that our “Export PDF with annotations” feature uses currently.


Mark as read

Automatically marking documents as read was previously quite aggressive in Mendeley Desktop.  If you opened a PDF in a tab, it was marked as read instantly.  This meant that it wasn’t a very accurate indicator of whether a document had actually been “read” or not, only opened.  We had a lot of feedback related to this, and have redesigned this system in an attempt to make it a little bit smarter.

Now the document is only marked as read once it has been scrolled most of the way through and has been opened for a reasonable period of time, dependent on the length of the document.  Without interfacing with your brain, we can’t actually check whether you’ve read a document or not, so in the case where this doesn’t quite catch something, you can still change the read/unread status of a document manually by toggling the read/unread dot.


With this change made, we feel comfortable adding read/unread support to our Mobile and web applications in the near future also.

What’s next?

The majority of our time recently has been spent supporting a company-wide migration away from numerous private APIs and services, to having all our apps communicate and sync using our new public API (currently in beta).  This is an absolutely huge piece of work, but when it’s done and stabilised, will result in a much faster and more stable base for us to iterate on and bring you value faster.  We are expecting to start rolling out this new version around September/October.

Before then though, we’ll be doing a small release with some fixes to the citation plugins, and the ability to import MEDLINE files from PubMed.  This has been another long-standing request for people who need to do systematic literature reviews across hundreds or even thousands of PubMed articles at a time.

If you’re interested in helping us test new features, you can opt-in to experimental releases via the “Help” menu in Mendeley Desktop. (you can opt out at any time to return to the last stable release).  Please report any issues you find to

Thanks a lot.

Mendeley for iOS7

Today we’re very pleased to announce the latest update to Mendeley for iOS.  This release brings a refined user interface, that is designed to feel at home on iOS7 and above, but still retains the familiarity and usability of the previous design.  It’s currently rolling out slowly on the app store, but should be available worldwide in the next few hours.


What’s new

  • Refined user interface
  • Look up word definitions while reading PDFs
  • PDF Filenames output correctly when exporting to other apps
  • Fixed errors when importing PDFs from other apps
  • Fixed problems where annotations sometimes wouldn’t sync, or were lost when made off-line
  • Improved sync speed and general app stability

If you like the new version, please help us out and leave a rating or review on the app store.  It helps us out immensely.

iOS Version Support

Unfortunately, this is the end of the road for our iOS5 users, so if you’re one of the few people on an iPad 1, we’re really sorry.  You’ll be able to use the previous version of the app if you have them installed already, but it’s lifespan will end later this year when we retire the old APIs that it uses.  If you can justify it, the iPad Air and iPad mini’s are worth the upgrade.

This version supports iOS6, but the number of users who have this installed has dropped significantly since iOS 7.1 was released (far quicker than we anticipated), so you can expect support for iOS6 to be phased out within the next 3-6 months, and definitely when iOS 8 is released.

What’s next?

We will continue working hard to bring you great updates, as quickly as we can manage.  We can’t get too specific yet, but we are taking all your feedback seriously, and the app will continue to improve a lot over the course of this year.

We want to make it easier to import documents to your library with metadata lookups, web importer support and the ability to manually add references and folders.  We also want to improve search and filtering options, improve annotation capabilities further, and improve the experience for users who are new to Mendeley.


(Because you’d yell at us in the comments if we didn’t give an update) 😉

We’ve now hired a lead Android developer, and are still hiring additional developers for that team.  Design has been ongoing for the last couple of months, and development will begin in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll be keeping an open dialog with the community about our progress.  Please understand that we won’t be rushing out an app quickly.  This would result in a poor quality experience and no one wants that.  Based on our experience with iOS, we are expecting to deliver something towards the end of this year.

Mendeley for iOS Updated

Our latest update for the Mendeley iOS app has just gone live on the app store.

We’ve listened to your feedback and have added the most often requested feature: Sort documents by Title / Author / Year / Imported Date.  Tap the icon in the bottom right of the document list to change the sort order.  Authors are sorted by the last name of the first listed author, and we’ve changed how author names are displayed to “Lastname F,” (it was previously F. Lastname) to make this sort method more obvious.

Other changes include:

  • Fixed an error when opening documents from another app via “Open In…”
  • Fixed a bug with annotation syncing
  • My Publications and Favorites can now show more than 20 documents
  • .pdf file extension is shown when sending files via email
  • Fixed a crash when downloading PDFs from a search results list
  • Misc. other bug fixes


What’s next?

We have a plan for the next 6 months or so, but we want to make sure we’re building the stuff you need, and in the right order.

Please vote on the options below (which will all be coming at some point), and we’ll use this to help us prioritise what we build next.  You can always vote or request features at any time on our feedback forum too. (please set the category as “mobile” when requesting mobile features)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Help, I’m still having sync problems.

If you’re having trouble syncing, try logging out of the app and back in.  This will force a full re-sync of the library.  Once you’ve done this initial sync, future syncs should be faster, as it will only download documents which have been updated since the last sync.

If this doesn’t resolve your problem, please contact our support team via the app (the link is located in “Settings”).