Introducing ZotPad 2.0

This post provides the first look at the upcoming ZotPad 2.0. This new version is a major upgrade over ZotPad 1.2 upgrading most of the core technologies and will require iOS 7. This reflects a change in development philosophy: ZotPad 1.x was developed with the idea of releasing something that work, and then improving from there by adding features. The 2.0 version takes the opposite approach rethinking some of the core technologies and focusing on architecture that is both robust and extensible over time.

The upgrade adds significant features such as the ability to annotate PDF files directly in ZotPad, automatic background synchronization of data, and improved support for third-party cloud storage services.

This preview focuses on the new features in the item list, shown in the image. The first apparent upgrade is the user interface that is now uses the look and feel of iOS7. Another more subtle observation in the user interface is that items are formatted using the Modern Language Association style instead of the American Psychological Association style used by ZotPad 1.2. This is because the new version ships with ten styles including American Anthropological Association, American Psychological Association 6th edition, Cell, Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition, Elsevier Harvard, IEEE, Modern Humanities Research Association 3rd edition, Modern Language Association 7th edition, Nature, and Vancouver. Experimental support for installing other styles is also supported.

Zotero recently introduced the ability to synchronize full text search index to the Zotero server and ZotPad 2.0 takes full advantage of this new feature. The new search system in ZotPad is both faster and more flexible than faster than the old search feature. The image shows a complex query: “find all the papers that have Bentler or Bollen as one of the authors and that contain a term starting with ‘cons’”. If the search matches text in an attached file, a preview of the match is shown below the citation information.

The item list is now sectioned based on the sort criterion. In this example, the list is sorted by the authors and shows the items divided into sections by the first author.

Moving left to the navigator, there are two new features. The first feature is saved searches. The second feature, “All libraries”, is invaluable for anyone working with multiple groups because it allows searching the items from all libraries simultaneously.

The beta testing of ZotPad 2.0 will starts soon and the upgrade will be publicly available on the first quarter of 2014. ZotPad continues to be free, but the annotation feature will be available only as an inapp purchase.