Endnote iPad 1.2: Suggestions for improved PDF handling and reference group sets

Longtime user of EndNote desktop. Like many academics/researchers/students, I bought an iPad specifically to read and annotate academic articles. The iPad app is improved in v. 1.2, but still falls markedly short. I’ll limit my suggestions to three:

  1. Allow an option for syncing of ALL attached PDFs from EndNote web (or Dropbox, for the many EndNote users keeping their PDF libraries there). Keep in mind that many EndNote iPad users bought high-capacity iPads SPECIFICALLY to store and annotate their EndNote libraries. Marking every article as “favorite” in order to see the PDF is preposterous–I can’t imagine why anyone would use EndNote on iPad EXCEPT to annotate associated PDFs.

  2. PDF annotation features are improved but still ludicrously clunky and outdated compared to iAnnotate, Goodreader, etc.  Basic annotation necessities include being able to scroll and zoom (e.g. with two fingers) without de-selecting an annotation tool. Suggest either bringing annotation capabilities in line with extant PDF annotation apps or allowing seamless integration with iAnnotate, Goodreader, etc.

  3. EndNote desktop allows nesting of reference groups within group sets. Why shouldn’t the iPad app (and EndNote web) do the same?

Thanks for your continued work on the EndNote iPad app. With a few improvements, it could become indispensible.

Thanks for the input, these are perfectly reasonable suggestions and are basically inline with things we are focusing on for improvements to the iPad. In particular:

  • PDF downloading is the feature we hear the most about and know we can make this more streamlined - this is one of our top priorities

  • Dropbox (and similar cloud storage services) - there are challenges with this but perhaps new technologies Apple is planning to add in iOS 8 might help. 

  • For annotations, there are likely always tweaks we can make but we are using the most complete PDF annotation toolkit availble for third-party developement. If this is still not enough for some users, it is easy to use another app that just focuses on PDF annotation.

Jason Rollins, Thomson Reuters

Dear Jason,

I would like to focus on the same points concerning the annotation. I think the tool works quite well and the direct integration in EndNote is great. Yet, I also miss the possibility to scroll and annotate at the same time. Your comment implies, that you are not developing the pdf-tool yoursel at TR - but if you have influence on the tool, I’d like to suggest a minor improvement: if you could change the left side with the scroll bar to not being “annotation-sensitive”, then one could scroll by the bar and keep annotating at the same time.

Best wishes,

Alex Kobusch, University of Tübingen, Germany