#890 iPad Support


Can I be the first to request that some version (perhaps strongly reduced) of Skim gets ported for use on the iPad.

This application is absolutely brilliant and I use it every day. To use it on the iPad would basically free me and many others from normal laptops all together.

Thanks very much.



  • Christiaan Hofman

    • status: open --> closed
  • Christiaan Hofman

    This artifact has been marked as a duplicate of artifact 1753560 with reason:
    same OS as iPhone

  • Christiaan Hofman

    Note that it would basically be a totally different app from Skim, most of the essential components that Skim is based on are not available in the iPhone OS (and therefore on iPad). So you're basically asking us to write a totally different app that behaves like Skim. I'm not going to do that. Of course anyone who wants can do that, and the source of Skim is free for inspiration.

  • Christiaan Hofman

    • priority: 5 --> 3
    • status: closed --> open
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    Anonymous - 2010-01-29

    The most important thing is the inclusion of the SkimNotes framework in an iPhone OS app. Are those components available in or useable in iPhone OS? I just want to be able to edit and view the same annotations on both platforms. The need to write for two platforms is not a new issue, many of the most successful iPhone apps have required developing parallel or support applications in MacOS. I understand most of those efforts are larger than Skim, and for-profit. But Skim has done far and away a better job with PDF than anyone including Adobe (!) which is why I would like to see a cross-platform solution based on Skimnotes framework and with the feel of Skim, not some garbage like most other PDF readers.

    Note that this is not about "annotating scientific papers" anymore. This is about FINALLY starting to move toward the "paperless office." Like the iPod to the album, or like digital photos to film, the iPad represents the first serious challenge to the download-and-print paradigm for all kinds of academic and technical reading, from industry and government right down to K-12. All it needs is a robust and cross-platform markup app.

    Last edit: Anonymous 2014-03-14
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    Anonymous - 2010-01-30

    I would like to add that the iPhone OS has got many new features unique to the iPad, like the use of a file system, which would make exchanging pdf-files from Mac to the iPad way easier. There will be other apps allowing annotations but none would handle the sync of notes and annotations better than skim for mac in conjunction with an iPhone OS (3.2) app!

    Furthermore, we could create a pot to collect donations for creating the app (for developer licensee etc.). I would love to contribute to this project. Anyone interested could contribute to the realization of the app!

    And submitting the app to the appstore, will make enough money to continue developing!

    Keep up the good work and good luck for any future projects!


  • Nobody/Anonymous

    I totally agree with the "think again" fellow. Is "hoffman" his name? But there may be a very serious barrier to all this.

    Someone mentioned to me that Apple isn't interested in allowing apps on the iPhone that "duplicate" their own basic apps, like Prevue, for example. If that is true, and if that would extend to the iPad, there would be some serious "politicking" necessary. To me ->annotatable PDF's<- are to the business community as important as iTunes are to teenagers---big, big, business---and someone has to do it---and the sooner the better. Joe

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    Anonymous - 2010-05-13

    We scientist reading a big load of papers which NEEDS to include our notes would be really glad to see SKIM on iPAD.
    If any reading this is able to make the app, I assure you that many of us would pay for it !!
    (sorry, I'm a biologist and have no clue on how to do an app)
    From Spain with love

  • Christiaan Hofman

    Be aware that there are two really big stumbling blocks for this.

    One is that there's nobody available to write such an app (whining won't help). So if you're not going to offer help it's not useful to comment any further, because it's already clear that this would be useful.

    The other is that PDFKit is not available on iOS, and Skim is heavily based on this framework. The more basic quartz PDF support that is available on iOS does not have support for annotations.

  • Marcus Abundis

    Marcus Abundis - 2012-03-12

    Hofman - you seem to moderate these comments, so I address you:
    1. You must already be aware someone else has taken this work (Skim) and posted in on the Apple App store (PDF Reader $1.99) as their own, or am I mistaken in this?
    2. I was recently toying with the idea of learning how to program an iOS app - and undertaking a project like *this* might be a bit much for me, but I am game to look at it - as this would be a *very* useful tool for myself and others . . . and if some $ can be made at this, well . . .

    I've not cut any code for decades (besides some HTML & CSS, and even less UNIX), since I worked in COBOL and FORTRAN - let me know if it seems laughable that I even consider something like this, or any other thoughts you have.


  • Christiaan Hofman

    • Group: --> All
    • Priority: 3 --> 2
  • Christiaan Hofman

    Apart from the already mentioned problem, there is a much more fundamental problem, and almost certainly a deal breaker. The Skim notes data is dependent on AppKit, and this is not available on iOS. AFAIK Apple has not provided any way to read archived AppKit objects on iOS, which I always thought was a very big compatibility problem between MacOS and iOS. I am afraid this would simply make it impossible to provide Skim for iOS.

  • Christiaan Hofman

    • status: open --> closed

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