SuttaCentral

Is there a Mobile App for the Pali Canon?

Hello readers.

As the title suggests, does anyone know if there’s a proper mobile app of the Pali Canon? I see a lot of apps for other religions like the Bible or the Quran with many useful functions such as highlighting, making notes, audio recitations, etc. So I was wondering if there’s such an app for the Pali Canon? It would really make learning the suttas easier.

Thank you.

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You can always use the SuttaCentral App!

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Maybe Tipitaka Pali Projector?

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There’s the E-Tipitaka App, but I only use that for referencing the Thai edition.

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I’ve used Android Tipitaka for some time, but at present there seems to be a problem downloading the English database.

Android Tipitaka

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SuttaCentral works just fine as an offline mobile app.

If there are specific features you’d like to see us add, let us know.

Highlighting, making notes, compiling lists of texts: these are all features I have considered for SC. But so far I’m not sure that the use case is compelling enough to justify the work. Often these things can be done using a third-party app. This is more adaptable to different people’s workflows.

For myself, I’ve never been a highlighter or a note-taker.

Still, these are definitely things I would consider. If you want to make a formal proposal, you can do it here and we can discuss. As much detail as possible is good, including example apps and desiderata.

The thing is that, in the Bible world, there are umpteen millions being spent every year. Apparently no-one in Buddhism thinks that the suttas are worth that, so we do what we can with what we have.

I think it would be great to see multiple different apps and sites, each with a different approach. But making an app is a lot of work, and doing it well, building for both Android and iOS, maintaining it, is a lot.

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Greetings Bhante.

I’ve just recently begun exploring Buddhism and other religions recently in hopes of finding a suitable religion to fill my spiritual void.

In the process, I’ve downloaded the [YouVersion Bible] and the [Al Quran by Greentech Apps]. I tried to look for a ‘proper’ (smooth, responsive, clean UI, with features) app on the Android Play Store but couldn’t find one.

It’s interesting to find that those apps (esp the YouVersion) are full of features such as bookmarking, highlighting, notes taking, recitations, multiple language translations, footnotes, verse by verse commentaries, different fonts and font sizes, daily verses, verses in pictures, reading plans, thematic categorisation, daily articles and videos from various sources, etc. All in all, the app is a one-stop centre that consolidates all relevant information and tools. One could learn anything within that app itself.

So I think that if there are similar apps for the Tipitaka, it would make the studying of the texts easier without relying on other apps/softwares and without too many cross-references. It would also attract more new people to Buddhism and act as an incentive for existing Buddhists to read the texts.

Bhante, I appreciate your efforts and other contributors’ efforts in the creation, maintenance and upgrading of Sutta Central. I am a frequent visitor of this site and I appreciate all the information that is contained therein. They have helped me a lot. I hope that my comments do not come off wrong. I do not mean to demean anyone or anything. I just thought of certain points which I thought would add value to Buddhist study.

Thank you for your response. I do not as yet intend to make a formal proposal. Since it costs so much, I think it’s best to let market demand decide the need for a mobile app.

Best Wishes

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No, not at all, I wish we could do as well as those apps!

One thing they can go into is a lot of different areas like education styles, and different work flows and usages. Like I said, I don’t really do note-taking, but for some people it’s everything.

When I started SuttaCentral, I really wanted to do a first class app for suttas. And I think we’ve done a pretty good job! But one of the immediate issues we faced was the lack of quality content, i.e. complete, readable, and accurate translations. So we have focused a lot on creating that content, and while we’re in a much better place for English, there’s still a way to go.

What I would really love is to see people taking our data and using it to do cool things.

The good news is: all our data is open source, it’s not encumbered by copyright, and everything is json all the way down. So this gives a really clean and consistent data source for app makers.

The apps you’re speaking of are the results of a long process of development and evolution, and the massive investment of time and money to make them happen.

So long as we lack a serious institute for doing this in Buddhism, we won’t be able to keep up. But what we can do, I think, is develop more specialized, focussed apps that aim to do one thing well. @karl_lew and @sabbamitta are doing this with their Voice app, which is really tremendous. And there are so many other applications.

I could see one that is designed as a “book club” app. A meeting room for discussing suttas, with integrated suttas and note sharing.

Or another that’s based on personal note-taking and organizing, letting you shuffle things around and put them in folders and such.

Or another that’s a simple “sutta of the day”.

Or another that’s aimed at a classroom setting, with stated goals and learning objectives.

Or another based on stepped learning, with incremental updates of suttas at staged periods, prompting a gradual learning.

Or … (insert your idea here!)

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  • anything that offers SC offline on Apple.
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  • Or an app for voice-activated use via Alexa, Siri, Google Voice …
  • Customizable print-on-demand: get whatever suttas you want printed in whatever size or shape you want.
  • a twitterbot for suttas: one tweet per day, every day, until the canon is finished.
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Start here. … Seek volunteers and donations in the Forum to develop it (I’ll put a notice up if you endorse the plan, Bhante) … what an awesome idea. :pray:

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This app includes a few suttas:

A much more comprehensive and organized approach is found in “In the Buddha’s Words”:

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