Two great iOS companion apps if you’re not happy with Obsidian on mobile

I tried using Obsidian on iOS and lowkey hated it. On the iPhone, the interface gets in the way as it’s clearly not designed for a small screen. On the iPad, Obsidian doesn’t mesh well with the external keyboard as it ignores the iPadOS conventions. So I started to look for a companion app.

I settled on Taio: it’s less known but surprisingly feature-rich. It’s pretty much compatible with Obsidian and handles some differences well (e.g., it can’t display PDFs within a note but it will still recognize ![[this notation]] as a link and will open the PDF in a new tab if clicked. It also has built-in PDF annotation tools.) It supports Wikilinks and pipe links, and it can add any iCloud folders to its library so you can point it to your existing Obsidian vault without having to move it or anything. The only thing you’re going to miss is if you’re using any very divergent plugins like Dataview, for obvious reasons.

And recently, iA Writer added support to Wikilinks, and I’ve been testing it with positive impressions. The main downside is that it doesn’t support PDF preview in any shape or form.

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I don’t think they like alternatives being discussed here, but that should not deter you.
I think the iOS app will always have limitations for the sole purpose that the majority of people not knowing how to use other means like GIT will buy the sync off of them.

What gave you the impression people don’t like to discuss alternatives here? Honestly, that would be off-putting behavior, and it wouldn’t even cross my mind to censor myself on here. People have been discussing various workflows and tools with no issue.

I’m not sure what you mean with your sync comment, either. You can set up vaults on iCloud and sync them between iOS and the Mac for free.

The fact is, Obsidian is clearly written for computers first, and has been clunky on mobile. I understand that the dev team is small and it would be unreasonable to expect them to focus on the mobile experience at this stage. So I think it’s fair to look for better mobile options that work reliably with Obsidian vaults until the time comes that the devs can give the mobile apps more attention.

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Yes. Been true from the beginning.

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I try to think with other people’s heads too.
Having said that, I also found that Taio suits me. They have to iron out some kinks (diacritics and relative paths to images, for instance, although in the meantime I batch-changed all filenames for images), which is why I did not deter myself from contacting them.
The app has some bugs but going back to continue with my work takes all of two seconds, or less, which is why I cannot see myself using Obsidian mobile, much as I would love to learn my way around it on the pad which I need to use.

Cheers

Taio devs are the fastest people I’ve ever seen in terms of fixing bugs. I am a heavy user so I email them from time to time when I discover a bug or a problem. Every single time, the bug was fixed in the very next release. They are unreal.

I’m backwards and actually started with Taio before moving completely to Obsidian. I really liked Taio for its simplicity and folders, which is why I went away from Drafts (I HATED how I couldn’t put things into folders. I much prefer folders over tags). A unique feature Taio has is its actions but I never tried them because they require a subscription. I moved to Obsidian once I found out about plugins. Another thing is I’m big on shortcuts, automation, etc. and Taio didn’t have what I was looking for. I think most people don’t know about Taio so there’s no community like Obsidian.

However I use Obsidian on my ipad with no problems other than some plugins are Mac only, like kindle highlights. Otherwise it’s pretty good on ipad.

You can also buy Taio with a one-time purchase but it’s pretty expensive. I grabbed it back when it was cheaper.

On topic of this thread, I just discovered by accident that iA Writer even supports transclusion in Obsidian notation right now i.e. ![[this]]. Only works with whole documents (not headers or blocks) but it’s something.

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Another upside for Taio is that you sync your notes for free with Git using Working Copy (pull) and a-Shell (add-commit-push) if iCloud is not your cup of tea or if you have 30-40000 files (that is bound to floor iCloud on setup, at least on Windows).
Taio can see other file providers’ folders like WC or Spck Editor (which can also handle smaller git repos with free pull and push capabilities) while Obsidian can be set up for two folders only.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make WC and iSH work like they said here, so I cannot use Obsidian and Taio at the same on iPad (I like the preview better in Obsidian).

I have to log in to reply this thread. This is misleading. I use only ipad as my only computer and ObsidiAn mobile is great on ipad too !!! And trust me, my vault is not simple, it have 28 plugins, with a lot of dataview code and template from templater but work sooo fast with almost no bug , to the point that got me surprice how well and good effort the obsidian mobile team put in the app !!
Some advice :

  • use Cybertron theme from nickmilo, it’s the best on mobile !
  • read a lot on this 4rum and think super hard about optimize your workflow. With plugin and a smart workflow, obsidian is life-changer tool, help me free and joyfull to play organize my digital life !!
  • pdf thing is not a problem on obsidian on ipad ! There is a workflow for that ! Hint: Is a combination of pdf highlight plugin, highlight pdf app, and pdf expert. Put your pdf in vault on icloud, use these two pdf app to hightlight, then use pdf highlight plugin to extract !!
  • i use magic keyboard, NO PROBLEM with obsidian whatsoever !!
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I have almost the same workflow but use XoDo to highlight pdf.