How do you use Obsidian on iPad and iPhone?

I am slowly falling in love with Obsidian, and it’s getting easier to use now, especially since I’ve started to remember some of the keystrokes. Also, Nick Milo’s obsidian flight school course has helped. And the sweet setup course too.

So I’m getting the hang of it, but I’m struggling a little with switching between Mac, iPhone, and iPad I love that I can … but it’s a little bit discombobulating at times.

So … I’d love to know if you have any tips for me on how to best use Obsidian on iPhone and IPad, given that I’m also happily using it on my Mac.

Any hints? (And thanks - this forum is one of my happy places :smiley:)

What are you struggling with in particular?

I used OB on iPad with magic keyboard for my daily journal . I used iPad mainly for entry of text rather than using that for complicated data analysis or other complex work. For those tasks, I normally run OB on my desktop with large screen

The iPadOS / iOS version is usually just a little bit behind the Mac version – for example, Live Preview just today made it into the beta available for iPad/iPhone via TestFlight. The difference between the Mac and mobile versions can offer some friction. Also, the small form factor for iPhone and smaller iPads, compared to the desktop, adds more friction. I do not like navigating at all in Obsidian on the iPhone, and do not like all the constantly sliding panes and sidebars on iPad.

So, at this point, I just use the iPhone and iPad versions to read things I created on the Mac. I don’t use Obsidian outside of the Mac for note taking. Because of the fussy interface I don’t find it useful in split screen mode either. And, it has no share extension on iPad or iPhone (AFAIK), which diminishes its usefulness in terms of playing well with other apps.

I paid for Obsidian Sync, but will probably save the money this year and buy bubble gum instead.


Good question!

Just now, my number 1 problem is this:

I’m trying to figure out how to get sliding panes working well when I don’t have a magic keyboard attached (on my ipad, and iPhone) - i.e. when I’m only using my fingers.

Swiping from left or right pulls out the sidebars, and doesn’t slide between the panes.

I can toggle the sliding panes leaf auto-width option (using the command pallete) but that feels awkward

I’m pretty much in line with @quorm on this. I use Obsidian on my MBP; I seldom use OB on a mobile device. I use iA Writer on my mobile devices to access files in my Obsidian Vaults, especially the iPad Pro.

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I am another who rarely uses it on iOS. It’s interface doesn’t work well for me there (or maybe I haven’t learned he ins and outs?). I use Drafts on iOS for everything and add it to Obsidian when I am back at my Mac.

Workflow 1

  • Capture using Drafts, or Devonthink To Go
  • Add frontmatter, file name, UID, via Drafts “template” (with a !! “template” …,), and links to references in Devonthink
  • Export, when convenient, to Obsidian “vault” 1nbox (there’s an Action for that)
  • When necessary, or convenient, do the linking thing in Ios Obsidian, add “taglinks”, etc

Workflow 2

I like to read, think, in the early hours.
Some times, I do that on an IOS device, and do workflow 1, or do changes to notes using IOS Obsidian - linking, changes to notes, etc

Yeah, the purple rock is kind of quirky. Me too.


Nice procedure – I do similar to that on Mac with Drafts to get stuff from Safari into Obsidian.

Which … when you think of it … is a odd thing that we have to make up for Obsidian’s shortcomings by inserting Drafts into the picture, so that Obsidian ends up with what Drafts already has. Goofy.

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No, it just seems like we have a truly modular operating system that facilitates choosing your favorite tools and putting them together in ways that work for your unique needs.


Hmm, that makes sense. Haven’t used Obsidian on mobile too much. Its UI doesn’t suit editing too well on my 4" SE2, and their Vim plugin is disabled on iPad. Primarily I use Obsidian mobile for viewing and navigating, and writing goes through Drafts (like others in this thread) or Kodex.

Actually, it’s just misnamed. The “Open in Default App” command/function will send the current note to the share sheet!

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Thanks. Actually, I’m thinking of sharing to Obsidian, not from Obsidian. Make sense?

Oh, yeah, outta luck on that front for now. Hopefully the “open in default app” tip helps someone else!

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Maybe Drafts will, one day, do local markdown files, synched via iCloud …

It would be great, wouldn’t it?

I did a couple of hours of writing on my iPad Air Tuesday morning. It was a quite satisfactory experience. However, I was only working in a single document–no internal links or jumping around between documents.

Early last year, when I was battling FIERCE insomnia, and could not bear the thought of going into my home office at 3:30 in the morning, I sometimes worked on a 13" iPad Pro in Obsidian on the living room couch, and that worked quite well.

I have not really found it practical to work on Obsidian on my iPhone. I have not missed the capability, either.

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Thank you soooo much everyone. Your responses have been very helpful to me.

I’ve figured out, I think, that I need to do the heavy lifting on my Macs, and the not-so-heavy lifting on my ipads or iPhone.

The iPhone and Ipad versions do seem easier to use when you use sliding panes, but with the pane / leaf width set to a fixed width, not to auto. I’ve added a few buttons which help me do the switch, though cmd-p works almost as well.