Any other sync options on the horizon ?

Now that Dropbox is entertaining visions of grandeur are their any near term plans for other sync options?

If you search the forum you’ll find that this has been discussed over and over and the general answer is “no”, because other sync services don’t provide the tools Keith need to code sync with them.

For Mac-only syncing, iCloud works.

For Mac–iOS syncing, the developer has said he will need to rebuild Scrivener from scratch, but it appears that is at least a possibility.

With all the current changes going on with operating systems and third-party apps, I imagine there are three main possibilities ahead:

  1. The developer takes (well-earned) early retirement in the near future (or sells the company) and pulls the plug completely.

  2. The developer keeps things as they are and lets Scrivener’s reach dwindle to an ever-smaller cadre of users.

  3. The developer rebuilds Scrivener from the ground up so that it has greater reach for modern users over the next decade.

Life is short. I hope the developer takes his money and runs: spending time with his family and using Scrivener to write the novels he has said that he wants to write. He deserves to reap the rewards of the work he has done before life cheats him of the opportunities that he has forged for himself.

Thanks in part to Scrivener, I never need to work again, although I will carry on doing some writing as I see it as art, not a commercial endeavour.

So I am totally happy with whatever the developer decides to do. I only use Scrivener on Macs, so Dropbox isn’t an issue for me; and if Scrivener disappears, I will move on to another writing app.

Slàinte mhòr.

What makes you think that Scrivener is reaching “an ever-smaller cadre of users”? Do you have inside info on sales?

Take a summer holiday Lunk. You’re going to give yourself a hernia protecting Scrivener’s honour.

This isn’t the first time you’ve suggested the developer should retire and abandon Scrivener. I really wish you’d stop doing that.

Ignore the haters.

iOS 13 and Catalina will move file transfer out of iTunes into the Finder. This should be adequate for many users if they don’t like Dropbox.

De -re. finder integration: will this help people who use both Mac and iOS? Honest question!

Having never used iTunes sync, I don’t know if this is the same (a file transfer versus a 2-way syncronization), or something new that may or may not work with Scrivener files, but this article gives a peek into how it’s done with Mac’s Finder: … s-catalina

Scroll down to the “How to sync files to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina” to see the interface.

I did a little experimenting between iOS 13 and macOS Mojave (not Cat) using iCloud, and have what could be a workable solution. It does require a manual step at the end. Catalina may help, but I am not sure.

  • iOS 13 lets you pin a folder to always keep it downloaded. This is key if you use Scrivener without network access and forget to grab the files before you leave. I also dragged this folder to my sidebar to help with the last step.
  • On iOS navigate to your iCloud Scrivener folder and tap to open a file
  • Scriv will prompt you where to save the file: On My iPad, or Dropbox. Choose On My iPad.
  • Edit the file to your heart’s content.
  • Back all the way out of Scriv and double-check the file save date is accurate.
  • Drag the edited file back to the sidebar folder. I did this to help with the navigation. I chose overwrite the existing file, but you also have the option to Keep Both.
  • I opened the edited version in macOS Scrivner and got the familiar synced changes view.

The key to this is finally in iOS 13, the On My iPad folder is exposed for general navigation in Files easier than it has been, It’s a manual step at the end, but at least now I can start getting away from only using Dropbox to Sync Scrivener. I feel this method at least replicates the idea behind the iTunes transfer without needing to use iTunes. Catalina might help with the last step, by showing this in Files, but dragging the file back to iCloud does the same thing.

Obviously, the usual disclaimers apply. Make sure your backups are good before you try this with a production file.

Regarding iTunes file-sharing > the Finder, as derick noted, Apple posted this:

Bottom of page, “Sync devices with Finder” -

If it works anything like a third-party tool (I think it was called iExplorer?) did back in the day, it will be pretty nice—and frankly just the sort of sync I’ve always wanted for myself. It doesn’t quite look to be as integrated with Finder as that one was. With that you could “mount” the device on your desktop and work with the files seamlessly. You could even edit Scrivener projects right out of the device without transferring them anywhere. It was a little slower since it was going over USB 2 (at the time), but no slower than working off of a flash drive or similar.

It looks like 10.15’s take will be more along the lines of what iTunes provides (copy in / copy out), but without being buried in several layers of iTunes UI. Hopefully it does not carry with it some of the weird limitations iTunes has, like not being able to examine subfolders within an app’s storage area.

I look forward to playing with it once the systems reach a better point of stability. I’ve always used AirDrop, which is pretty nice, but you have to approve every transfer individually, which means you can’t update your phone from the living room—which iTunes (or a third-party file manager) + WiFi sync can do.

For the record, JoRo’s opinions are his own. Not only is he not a part of the Literature & Latte staff, but IMO he has grossly misinterpreted the comment of Keith’s that he cites.

As iCloud is currently implemented, using it to synchronize with iOS Scrivener would require a ground-up rewrite of Scrivener. There are no plans for any such project.

However, iCloud and Apple’s tools for accessing it are continuing to evolve. We are certainly aware of user interest in iCloud synchronization, and are watching that evolution closely.


I tried to see what happened when you put a Scrivener File in iCloud Drive, and opening it in the iOS Files App, which would send it indeed to Scrivener iOS and asks you where to save/open it. It works with like a 10MB file, but with a 10GB file, it says it can’t open it. I guess because you can’t download the file first, so Scrivener iOS doesn’t open it, because you would be opening only a half of a file.

Indeed, in iOS 13 / iPadOS you will be able to keep files pinned, which keep them downloaded, and automatically syncs changes. We will have to see how it works (I don’t install betas on my devices). If it does, we would be able to use iCloud Drive instead of Dropbox BUT it wouldn’t be an automatic sync anyway. It would be more like what you do manually through iTunes / Airdrop, but all from your device to iCloud Drive. We will have to see if it works.

@sidderke, have you tried this way:

I tested it just because a while back (iOS 12.x) and it worked, but it was with a far less than GB project.

Are you saying that you are usually syncing a 10 Gb project via Dropbox between your Mac and iDevice?

I have about 25 Scrivener projects, of which about 6 are between 1GB and 10GB. The 10 GB being the biggest one. I have a 5 GB and a 3 and 4 GB ones as well. The rest of my Scrivener projects are normal sized (about 100MB).

I use them as containers for movie ideas, with a lot of research in them, including pictures, PDF’s (hundreds, sometimes thousands) and sometimes video. Not only for the scripts, but also for the movie ideas (locations, designs, etc. …)
It works great, and that’s why I also, just like Keith, don’t want Scrivener to change the flexibility of their format. You have to know that, except for those gigabytes of research, I only work in those projects on small text containers of only kilobytes. So when Scrivener syncs the changes I make, it only takes a couple of seconds/minutes, because only a couple of megabytes change - once you’ve done the initial upload/download. Because of Scrivener’s features, I can refer to research, link to it, take pieces of it and put it in document notes, stuff like that.

The only problem I have is that since Scrivener 3, the checking for Dropbox files takes minutes, instead of just seconds on Scrivener 2 (yes, the same size of projects). Apparently this is the fault of the Dropbox API, and not of Scrivener.

The answer to your question is both yes and no: I work every day with these multi-GB files and it works fine. That’s why L&L designed Scrivener: how big your project is, it only loads parts, and it’s quick and flexible. So yes, I work with these files every day. But NO, I don’t constantly sync 10 GB files. I constantly sync megabytes of files that are INCLUDED in a multi-GB Scrivener project.

Yes, that’s the one I tried, and it works with smaller files, but not with very big ones. I think this could change if in iOS 13 I use PINNED files so the iPad / iPhone keeps them completely downloaded on my device. But we will have to see.

I know how sync works. :wink:
I was just a bit surprised of the size. The initial sync must have taken a while? I try not to have too much stored on my iPad, but then I only have 256 Gb in total to play with.

The initial upload to Dropbox could take a while, but even that was not too bad. That was/is 20GB in total, and took maybe a couple of hours. Surprisingly, the first download to my devices, iPad or iPhone, went pretty quick, like an hour or so, at most. I don’t know if it’s because we have pretty good internet speeds in Belgium or because Dropbox does this local LAN thing, but not as bad as you’d expect.

Okay, good to know if I ever create such big projects. :slight_smile: