The most appreciated feature - lacks behind ...?

Not for no reason users here on the forum mentioned again and again that the multi-platform approach of Joplin matters a lot to them - it is one of the main reason while users switch to Joplin. Then, when you follow the forum for a while, you also note that there is a signif disparity concerning unhappiness w/ "existing implementation" (unlike "desirable features") for the different platforms. The quintessence: while the desktop versions as as they are today are considered quite mature and and having very few "sever" bugs if any at all, the mobile versions are lacking behind.

I been in touch with one developer on this, and you can find the post here in the forum (but I am too lazy to find them myself and copy them). And he agrees that it ain't easy for a number of reasons, in particular under Android, to get ahead of this. Limitations of the OS, changes in the OS, availability of resources (e.g. dev tools) etc. etc. It looks (slightly) like, the problems may remain.

This brings me back to my initial point. Some thangs don't work well under Android (and to some degree under iOS), while x-platform availability and sync is one of the main reason to use Joplin or having switched to Android for many users. So ? All I am saying is that this is worth some consideration.

Your comments very welcome.

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The Android app is perfectly adequate for my needs because they are minimal: access notes when I'm away from my laptop (which isn't often), and more importantly, add short notes/thoughts that I don't want to forget before I get back to my laptop. I probably use Joplin on my phone/Kindle about 2-3 hours/week at the most, and since I do almost all my writing on my PC, I don't mind the state of the Android app. (I probably don't use it enough to even be aware of problems/bugs.) But obviously, there are others who have different needs and might want more features on their phone.

Since developers' time is limited, it might be helpful to have some data on what % of Joplin use is on each type of platform. For me, 95% on PC, 5% on Android.


While I agree with you and your findings for your use case (I am using Joplin in a similar way) the problem remains that you simply cannot know in advance when or how something on the level of the mobile app's implementations will strike back. Therefor, any use cases (%) number as suggested, cannot not mean all too much, because users and "use of" do slowly "grow" with Joplin.
While the desktop apps plow ahead and get richer and richer in features, there is no way to limit your personal use to a basic set of features in some intelligent way - such that in the end you could be sure that the mobile platform can handle it.
The repeated concerns voiced in the forum show that this is exactly what's happening.

You make good points. I feel like I have no horse in this race, so I'll let those with more of a vested interested hash it out. However, I do think that it'd be good to gauge Joplin use patterns over time just so that we can see how it changes. If it were to be 50/50 PC to mobile in 5 years, then my guess is that the developers might rethink their strategy/priority. But as with Evernote 10, trying to bring unity of form and function to all platforms was not successful. The lesson is perhaps that no product can truly do everything well, so if Joplin's primary strength is to become the best note-taking app for PC, then that's not a bad goal and perhaps one that most Joplin users will support.

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But of course that will never happen with the large disparity in features and functionality between Joplin's desktop and mobile apps. People who are anywhere remotely near 50/50 desktop/mobile in note app usage take one look at Joplin, turn around and leave. I have seen many cases of this on the Evernote forum as people there are trying other note apps.

... and this ("this group ... will turn around and leave") is just another way of saying what I have been trying to say initially. New features are great (say audio players, nice to have plug-ins and the like), but keys to success are flawless basics, debugging basic features (when new bugs arrive), keeping up with OS versions, and keeping an eye on ALL of this on ALL platforms.
Car owners care about their heads-up displays and stereos only as long as the engine works flawlessly, home owners only about new wallpaper as long as the roof doesn't leak and the heating works.


You're right. I can understand why heavy mobile users (and heavy media archivers) wouldn't stay with Joplin--just as those who are heavy PC users might leave other apps for Joplin.

I guess I'm saying that the Joplin community might want to count the cost before wanting an equally robust mobile app. That might be possible and desirable if resources were unlimited, but since they're not, the most realistic scenario could be to enjoy Joplin for what it is and be content with a stable mobile app. Take that with a grain of salt since it comes from someone who knows nothing about programming and is not likely to be too troubled by the mobile app as long as it syncs reliably.

I'm using Joplin on PC for probably 99% of the time. Having the possibility to sync to mobile and view/edit notes is a not-too-small reason why I use Joplin, besides the fact that it's awesome and open source. But to me, it is the possibility to do so that matters (be anywhere, pull out your phone, check some note or add something); not the daily usage as part of my workflow.

So in my case, having a feature-rich desktop version with mobile apps as benefit fulfils my needs. That's probably why I'm not too aware of the pain points in the mobile apps that you mention.

Out of curiosity, would you care to list some?

Your last question is perfectly appropriate - any time - but I don't have time for it. That's why I said all the way back in my first post, I see them popping up all the time, I you are invited to use the search function and - ideally - add the links to this thread. :innocent:

As far as I am concerned, the basic flaw of the android app is the ghastly, slow, and buggy synchronisation. I have obviously had worse luck with it than most people but even when it doesn't screw up completely it is slow enough with large files that anyone used to evernote will turn and run screaming.

Just to get it working at all, you have to find and download an app to keep the phone on for the first sync. You can't do anything else while that is happening and the process can take six hours with dropbox. To get the dedicated Joplin server going, which is meant to be faster, you are expected to have a working grasp of github, docker, traefik and letsencrypt. This is not consumer-friendly in any sense.

I'd like to like Joplin but I can't even get to the stage of using it in the largely passive way that some people on this thread are doing.

Since the initial sync was a disaster for you (and the initial sync seems to be far and away the biggest problem with the Android app based on posts I've seen in this forum), maybe try the following:

  1. organize your notes in desktop into notebooks that are, say, < 500 notes (this is temporary, just to see if you can get past the hump of the initial sync, so you can name them in a manner that makes it easy to get back to your prior organization)
  2. export each notebook to JEX
  3. delete all your data in Joplin desktop
  4. uninstall Android app
  5. import one of the notebooks into Joplin desktop
  6. sync
  7. install Android app, point to your sync target and sync (use third party app you found to keep display on)
  8. if that worked, repeat 5-7 (for 7, just sync)

You asked for a good example: try and read this carefully

Thanks for the link! I just read through it. The concrete example took about 8 people (?) and 4 months to figure out in what specific circumstances the problem occurs (i.e. app not in memory, sync active with lots of notes, native android actions vs. Joplin buttons, ...).

Now there is a patch for quick actions, but the dev could only test it on Android, due to lack of an iOS device (see linked PR).

On an abstract level, I'd say it took this time a) because it was difficult to reproduce / pinpoint (different user reports, devs not having access to specific hardware), and b) because the dev team does not have too many people familiar with each specific ecosystem. I'd argue that both things especially affect mobile versions of Joplin, as there is a broader user base on desktop platforms (more user feedback about how to reproduce / who is affected) and more devs can work on it (due to expertise / testing equipment).

So to me, it confirms what you wrote in your initial post:

I'd love to propose some easy solution, but cannot come up with something short of "more dev resources" :confused:

Anyway, that's my two cents. Thanks for the discussion! I'm out for now.

There is still no way to search within a note on Android. To be clear, I can find which notes contain a string, but once I open a note there is no way in Android to locate where the string occurs within the note.

Search certainly seems like basic functionality but it's been years with no sign of development. Sadly I think it's not on the horizon, time for me to migrate.

Every now and then, when I come across another thread which I think is related to this heading, I will add it hereunder for reference: