Phone Interface Overhaul

I have compiled a list of smartphone UI/UX improvements I think would drastically improve usage of the smartphone app offering of Obsidian.

Most of it just comes down to this previous suggestion: [Feature] Obsidian Mobile: Allow toggling between phone and tablet interfaces (tl;dr keep the UI consistant across all form factors)

Currently, the smartphone interface pretty good, but has some annoyances and inconsistencies that can trip up users who switch between phone and tablet/desktop devices.

I have a Pixel 6 Pro, which is essentially a phablet, with a screen plenty large enough to use the tablet interface. I’ve tested this by running a tasker task to reduce the DPI of the phone while using obsidian and, while small, is able to give me the tablet interface on my smart phone.

However, if it isn’t plausible to offer smartphones the tablet interface (even through a toggle in settings), here are some other observations I have made with the overall experience on my phone:

  • Sidebars are confusing.
    • The left one has a dedicated button, but the right one is only accessable via a swipe. For less tech savvy users, this means it’s essentally not there at all unless they already knew about it.
      • One potential fix for this on smartphone to merge everything into the left sidebar ONLY.
    • The back button is on the wrong side, and is very confusing. It doesn’t look like a back button at all.
    • Isn’t there enough room for a row of sidebar items like on tablet/desktop?
  • Ribbon menu is okay, but why not move the ribbon items into the left sidebar?
    • This would make it look like it does on tablet/desktop.
    • The sidebar isn’t fullscreen anyway (unless you press the button, which seems redundant to start with), so why not use that extra real-estate to add the ribbon buttons on the left-hand side?
  • Tabs are cumbersome.
    • Opening and switching tabs is okay, but I can’t close them from the tab menu?
      • I can only close tabs by pressing the ellipse menu and hitting “Close Note”
    • Can’t I have my tab bar as on desktop?
      • Could be a toggle.
  • Add a togglable OLED theme mode for dark mode.
    • I like the background colors on the desktop app, but on mobile it goes pure black which I don’t always want, even with my OLED phone.
  • Bring the Checkbox from Desktop for “Confirm on Delete” so I don’t accidentally bump “Delete and don’t ask again”.

tl;dr I’m asking for the smartphone experience to be much more like or exactly like the tablet experience…thanks.


Thanks! Feature requests need to cover a single feature each so they can be easily tracked and discussed. (There may be existing requests for some of these.)


Oops, just let me know if I need to split things up.

You need to split things up. :slightly_smiling_face:

Each of the sub-items of sidebar (3) and tabs (2) are separate requests, and each of the other top-level list items (ribbon, dark mode, delete) are requests. Remember to check for existing requests before writing up new ones.

You can keep this one as an overview linking to the others, if you want (WhiteNoise might archive it, but that’s up to them).

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Yes, please, split it and seach/open a FR for each point.

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