Initial features list - developers' view

I realize you’re still in the wish list mode, and any design ideas are likely high level. but at some time I’d like to see a general list of features for this app. (Or apps - iPhone and iPad)
This would be driven from the wish list, from what features the developers would like to see, and from the logistics of what can and can’t be done.
Nothing too detailed, and not as something everyone can argue over, but a list of features that we’ll see initially in it, features that will come later, and features that will likely stay at the bottom of the list.

Edit - changed title to clarify was hoping to see this thread contain the developers’ priorities, only at a high level, once they get a little further into the project - or a link to somewhere with the list. Looks good so far.

I’m afraid we won’t be able to say anything like this until much, much later in the game, sorry. I can say that it will have an outliner of some sort, a corkboard, some rich text support and maintain footnotes and comments. Beyond that, everything is up in the air at this early stage.
All the best,

Dear Keith,

I think you just nailed it (not too surprisingly, considering who the source was… :-). These would be indeed for me, too, the core features/values of Scrivener:
Comments and footnotes

Other (new or not) features needed now for iOS :
The best possible syncing experience
Max reliability to avoid data loss (preferably no or minimal data loss even in a crash)
Speed (e.g., ability to pull up larger number of cards instantly)
(all the other fabulous features cannot compensate for a clunky and unreliable app or for an app that doesn’t work seamlessly with its parent application on the computer)
Universal app (with full sync between the iPad and the iPhone)
Binder with unlimited nested folders
Methods for text input and for text/file navigation for a touchscreen interface (e.g., extended keyboard)
Split screen to show more than one window/note at a glance (e.g., binder and main text window, or main text window and comments window and scratchpad window, or two main text windows, etc. Preferably user-definable configurations and remembered by the app)
Since rtf is not quite supported by the iOS, perhaps a backup system to enable saving files in .txt format? (Just as a guarantee against ugly things that might happen, like rtf disappearing… I read somewhere that Microsoft doesn’t even support it any more!? Is it perhaps a dying format?)
Support for TextExpander
High degree of customizability

Since two major areas of work (data collection, aka “research”, and annotating collected research items) are probably not going to make it into iScrivener 1.0, maybe “partnering” with some of the best existing apps of this sort (GoodReader, Devonthink To Go, iAnnotate, etc.) could be explored? By partnering I mean designing into the code some form of better, closer cooperation between the partner apps. For example, relying on the Open in… menu method would be a disaster, since the list there cannot be guaranteed to show the apps we want and need…

Thanks again for Scrivener (it changed my life, too!), and I am sure Scrivener for iPad will do no less. Can’t wait!

Hi, thanks for the comments.

Yes rtf isn’t part of the default iOS APIs, it’s too early to say what we’re doing regarding this (that’s not to say we don’t know what we’re doing!)

Partnering with other apps isn’t something we’ve discussed internally. The big issue I see it is there no iOS ability for one app to share any data with a second app, so any data sharing would have to be accomplished via the cloud. IE have both apps share project data within a single Dropbox folder.

Given the work we’ve got to get our iOS app working with the desktop versions I can’t see us looking into what inter app possibilities exist until much further down the line.

Can I make a plea here? One day it would be lovely to have an all-singing all-dancing bells and whistles iPad Scrivener but let that happen by evolution. To begin with I just want to be able to work on a Scrivener project on my iPad and be able to continue with it on my PC, and vice-versa. As long as files aren’t open in both devices at the same time, Dropbox will handle sync pretty well. There is some onus on the user to avoid using Scrivener on both devices at once. So I’d be happy with an editor that can read, edit and save Scrivener files from a Dropbox folder. That way I can start using my iPad as an extension to Windows Scrivener. You can get us going with a basic working solution while you continue to add the rest of the functionality everyone is clamouring for. I’m pretty sure most people will want to use the iPad app alongside their PC/Mac versions rather than instead of them and, like me, would rather have something sooner than everything later. I think this is a win-win approach for everyone - users will have an app they can at least get working with and so that’ll take a lot of pressure off the developer who can then concentrate on adding more features gradually and with fewer bugs. Oh, and test it to death on an iPad 1.

I agree with streetmentioner - would be nice for a simple extension of Scrivener on my PC, via something like dropbox. I don’t have a MAC, so can’t use any of the ‘simple’ solutions others propose for now for iPad integration.

I also back streetmentioner’s plea. Honestly, reading this forum makes me a bit worried that this commonsense approach will be buried under an avalanche of suggestions. A functioning scrivener that syncs to our desktop versions, pretty please.

Don’t worry :smiley:

Although I can present plenty of evidence to the contrary (And I’d be disappointed if Keith and the rest of the team couldn’t as well) there’s plenty of common sense being used to put together the app.

And yes, it’ll be a usable Scrivener that can sync with your work on the desktop (Mac or Windows).

My suggestions:

Start with the essence of Scrivener: a binder, text in various levels, an outline, and cards. That’ll let us do drafts, as well as write and edit on the go.

Like others have suggested, make it friendly with the Mac and Windows versions. It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles, as long as it doesn’t damage them when synching via Dropbox.

If RTF is a nuisance because iOS doesn’t support it, let it wait. We can always write in Markdown. If it’s not hard, you might add the option for a Markdown keyboard as in the app Writing Kit.

As the project develops, add note taking and research features. They’re not absolutely essential. We can work around the lack using ordinary documents as notes. But they’re certainly handy.

Compile is a tricky, complicated beast. Leave it for last (if ever). Almost all of us have a Mac or Windows machine we can use for that. Those that don’t can probably borrow one for a few hours.

Hope that helps. Apple should be giving the entire Scrivener team generous stipends. Scrivener for iPad is the primary reason I’m planning to get an iPad soon.

–Mike Perry, Seattle

I realize I’m a bit late to the Scrivener-for-iPad discussion, but…I’m going to purchase an iPad precisely so I’ll have more flexibility in taking my in-progress novels (all currently in Scrivener, of course) with me wherever I go. So I got to thinking, does Scrivener have an iPad app?, and lo and behold, I find that such an app is in the works! Needless to say, this made my day!

My Scrivener-for-iPad wish list is short: syncing between Scrivener on my computer (in this case, a Windows :cry: ; can’t afford a Mac yet) and Scrivener on my iPad via wi-fi without having to go through a third-party service like Dropbox. So I could just connect to wi-fi, give it a few seconds, and instantly have the latest draft on either machine (laptop or iPad). Having to constantly save to Dropbox seems to complicate matters, as well as potentially limit how many manuscripts I would have at my disposal at any given time (not everyone is going to want to pay a hundred bucks a year for Dropbox storage so they can have more than 2 gb of in-progress works available to them).

Second wish: an indent feature.

Just my $0.02 worth…eagerly anticipating the app! Any ballpark price as of yet? $4.99? $9.99? $19.99?

I just wanted to add one request that might be a little different than others. I use Scrivener for academic writing and class preparation. I’ve found that using research folders to include related materials is the best method I have of organizing my material and having a one-stop shop for all materials related to a class or article.

For me, an iPad version of Scrivener needs to continue to perform this “file cabinet” role. I’m not sure how switching between apps would work, but if Scrivener can access the file directly or allow opening in a separate app, that would be perfect. I primarily have PDFs as research materials, but sometimes HTML or doc files.

I’ve been using Scrivener for years and still love it. A working version for iPad is the one thing preventing me from using an iPad as my mobile workstation.


Hello there! Brand new iPad owner here and long time Scrivener user here, so I’m super excited for the iPad version.

I know that it is way too early for you to talk details, but I wanted to say that I’m very relieved to hear that there will be some rich formatting included. I’d urge you not to heed the commenter above encouraging you to ditch it because of the difficulty in working with it on iOS. In fact I’d highly encourage you to address one other related issue that is a pain on iOS: smart quotes.

I’m trying to get a temporary setup for editing bits and pieces of my scrivener document on my iPad and have been surprised at how tricky it can be. I find I keep running into variations of the following problem: I can write in any number of Dropbox syncing editors, but if I want curly quotes or italics, I have to use markdown. That’s fine, I’m comfortable with markdown, but when I get back to my Mac I’m faced with getting them back into my document. I don’t want to keep the whole thing in markdown (it isn’t destined for the web where markdown makes the most sense and rtf just fits the task better) so, I have to preview the markdown and copy and paste the result into the scrivener document. (This gets me smart quotes and italics, etc.)

Here’s the problem: if I paste it directly in, all the formatting comes with including font and size from whatever preview I’m using. If I paste and match style, I lose all the italics.

So if you can give me a way to seamlessly sync my document worry free that lets me write on the iPad and have the result on the Mac come out with curly quotes and bold and italics, I’ll be in heaven even if I can’t control any other aspects of the formatting as long as things like font and spacing are preserved on the Mac. I’m even happy if I just have to write using markdown on the iPad, but it is all automatically formatted to match the default document settings with bold, italics, and curly quotes inserted when imported on the Mac.

Sorry for the monster post. Keep up the good work. I’m excited to see what you’ve been cooking!