In order to better deliver products and features that meaningfully improve the lives of learners and educators, D2L is constantly evaluating where to focus our efforts. It’s natural for all products to go through a cycle from introduction, growth, and maturity, to an eventual end of life. That time will be coming for Binder on May 31, 2019.
Those who are looking to access course materials offline can leverage our freely available Brightspace Pulse app for iOS and Android. And, for those who use Binder today, they will continue to be able to use it, with some differences in functionality. Read on to learn more about our phased approach, and for the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Phase 1: Binder Cloud Services Removal (November 1, 2018)

Removing functionality is always a tough decision, as we know there will always be users who find value and utility in the feature provided. Technology is constantly changing, and all software requires maintenance to stay up to date with the latest devices, browsers and user expectations.  At the same time, in the background, we need to stay on top of security and privacy concerns to protect user data in the cloud. By removing Binder’s cloud service dependencies, we can better focus our resources on other high impact features on the Brightspace platform.
On November 1, 2018, we will be updating the Binder app so that it no longer relies on D2L cloud services. Removing these cloud services means that D2L will no longer keep a copy of a user’s Binder content and annotations in the cloud (it will remain on their device only). The web-based Binder client will no longer be available. Binder will only be able to annotate PDF documents. And the “Send to Binder” button in the Content tool will be removed.

What should Binder users do prior to November 1?

  • Be sure to update the Binder app with the latest release prior to November 1 to avoid any disruption. Many phones and tablets do this automatically.
  • Back up any important documents in Binder to your computer or Cloud Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, or iCloud.
  • If you use the Binder website, be sure to log into the free Binder app for iOS or Android prior to November 1 to sync all changes locally to your device.

How will users get course materials into Binder?
You can still add your Brightspace course materials to Binder from within the Binder app.
Can users still annotate in Binder?
You will be able to annotate PDF documents from Brightspace, as well as PDF documents from other sources (Google Drive, Dropbox), while still being able to view and annotate any existing documents, even offline.
Will you continue to support Binder?
Yes. Support for the iOS and Android Binder native applications will continue unaffected during Phase 1.
What if I use two devices, or uninstall the app?
Since D2L will no longer store Binder content in the cloud, this content will not be shared across devices, and uninstalling Binder will remove the content from your device. However, Binder offers users the ability to export content using the “share” functionality in the app.
What alternatives are there available to use instead of Binder?
Below are a number of free apps which can be used in combination to achieve the same functionality as that offered by Binder.
Free PDF Annotation
Adobe Acrobat Reader (Android, iOS)
Mendeley (iOS, Android)
Write on PDF (Android)
Files (iOS 11)
PDF Expert (iOS)
Notability (iOS)
LiquidText (iOS)
Free PDF Conversion
PDF Converter (Android) 
Chrome “Export to PDF” (Android)
Safari “Export to PDF” (iOS)
PDF Expert (iOS)  
To PDF (iOS)
Free Cloud Storage
Google Drive
In practice, users could replace Binder functionality by:

  • Downloading course materials into a synched Cloud Storage folder.
  • Using a PDF Conversion app to turn any non-PDF content into PDFs, including web content.
  • Using a PDF Annotation app to connect to their Cloud Storage folder to annotate course materials.

Phase 2: Binder End of Life (May 31, 2019)

On May 31, 2019 Binder will no longer be supported by D2L, will no longer work with Brightspace, and will be removed from the Apple and Google app stores.
Will users still be able to use Binder after May 31?
Binder will remain installed on existing devices, but users will not be able to reinstall the application from the app stores, and there will be no further updates.  Furthermore, it should be expected that over time parts of Binder will stop working as the Android and iOS operating systems that Binder depend on are updated and changed.
Does D2L have an alternative for accessing course materials offline?
Yes, the Brightspace Pulse app is freely available on iOS and Android platforms and allows students to view and access course materials offline.