Scrivener for iOS

As you may recall, I’m quite a fan of Scrivener… (see also this post), the “serious” writing tool. Originally available only for the Mac, it has since expanded to Windows … and this summer premiered the long awaited iOS Version. To be honest, not having an iOS version has so far been a brilliant excuse not to write while on the go … but with the long awaited version out, I couldn’t wait to take it for a test drive, and here is how it measures up…

The good news first: Scrivener on the Mac and on iOS are pretty much the same. All the important tools, such as blocking out distraction (full screen writing), easy access to notes and references, word counts, daily targets, the cork board for ordering your arguments/chapters etc are available on the iOS platform. This means, you can comfortably switch from the one platform to the other – and apart from some minor design differences (the cork board does not have a cork background on iOS etc) it is pretty much identical in the way it acts, feels and works. The @Scrivenerapp is pretty much the same on iOS and on the desktop! Simply brilliant Click To Tweet

Because it is so similar, you can probably dive into writing immediately: sync your projects – and get going. This is obviously great news if you are serious about writing – and shows how Literature and Latte have made the transition pretty smooth. Of course, you may want to think about if you really want to start writing an entire book on a iPad… but it certainly makes editing or drafting on trains, in planes and airports (or sunny cafes) much, much easier and convenient.

Syncing between the iOS version and the desktop version is via Dropbox, so you will need an account there if you don’t already have one. The basic account is free and should really be more then enough to have a few hundred projects… I guess. Of course, it would have been nice to have an alternative sync service (or even your own?)… but at the moment things work via Dropbox only – and that is pretty stable. Of course, it does mean that both devices must be connected to the internet to sync any changes between them. It says on the website there is also a iTunes sync possibility available – but I’m either too stupid or too blind to find (and to be honest, I’m not sure this would made things easier).

Now to the three items of sort of bad news:
Firstly, a sort of bad news item is that your Research is not available on your iPhone version (but on the iPad version). I’m not sure this is necessarily bad, because, seriously, writing on an iPhone sounds slightly mad to me. So bear that in mind – and restrict your iPhone “scrivenering” at the bus stop to editing or rough drafting.
Secondly… the price. For a word processor, £14.99 (US$19.99) is pretty steep. But of course, this isn’t just a simple note taking app but more or less the Rolls Royce of writing apps… so maybe it isn’t that excessive in comparison.
Thirdly… referencing. This is really the only thing I don’t like about the desktop version: that there is no easy way to create references in different styles etc. Sadly, it also doesn’t work on iOS. This means that you will have to edit things before sending them off to the publisher.

So, overall… as a person who loves writing with Scrivener on a Mac, I’m super excited about Scrivener for the iOS. It just makes everything pretty much more portable. It took a while, and Literature and Latte have made a great transition from the desktop to the mobile version – so all I can say is: if you have an iOS device (especially an iPad), Scrivener is now double fantastic and greatly portable.

It took a while to get @Scrivenerapp out: but it was worth the wait Click To Tweet

Here is another review in case you wanted to have another opinion (this time from a fiction writer):

If you are using Scrivener, it would be great to hear from you: do you like it? How are you dealing with it re the referencing? Any more tips? Please share them below!

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