iPad mini advice needed

Hi guys and girls,

I’ve been a long time Scrivener for Windows user, currently running primarily on a Surface. I’m seriously considering picking up an iPad mini to essentially use as a notepad and for editing in both Scrivener and Final Draft. Basically I’m sick of having to use the likes of Evernote or OneNote to jot things down on my Android phone quickly and then transferring into Scrivener later.

Aside from an iPod touch I’ve never owned an Apple product so was hoping for some feedback. I don’t intend to have any long writing sessions with the mini, so will an iPad mini 2 (or possibly 3 at most due to price) run Scrivener ok? Is it easy enough to sync between Scrivener for iOS and Scrivener for windows, I guess using Dropbox?

Also if anyone has experience of the Final Draft iOS app on an iPad mini I would love to hear about that too.

Thanks in advance.

The mini should run and sync fine, but you won’t have much of an onscreen keyboard or screen size.

Have you tried installing Scrivener on the iPad touch?

You don’t say what version your iPod touch is, but if it’s gen 6 it should run both Scrivener and Final Draft Writer, and you can save yourself some hardware expense :smiley:

Otherwise, if it will run Final Draft, it will run Scrivener. You’ll need an iPad mini that can run iOS 11 for Final Draft; Scrivener only needs iOS 9. But it looks like either of the models you mention will work.

My oldest Apple device is an iPad Mini 2 and it works fine with Scrivener. It’'s a surprisingly good device for typing, reading, and all kinds of productivity. I have also an iPad Pro (smaller size) and yet find myself using the Mini more, It’s slower than the Pro, but its size suits me well.

Can’t say anything about syncing from Windows to Apple via Dropbox, since I do not own a Windows device. But I’d assume there should be no issue.

Thanks for the replies. I’m now a lot more confident to move ahead with this. As for the iPod, that would be far too small for my liking but it’s cool to know it would work, I had never considered it.

Yes. I sync daily between Win 1.9.7 and iPad and/or iPhone. Works great! DropBox is only cloud sync service supported for iOS syncing, although apparently you can also use iTunes, which I’ve never tried.

Just wondering if anyone’s now considering using the newly updated iPad Mini as their exclusive Scrivening machine, at least for iOS. I think my old Mini 2 was my favorite iPad, but I never used Scrivener on it because the iOS version didn’t exist when I upgraded to an iPad Pro, primarily for the wonderful truetone screen, which I love and which the new Mini now has. I still do most of my Scrivening on a Mac, so the iPad is an adjunct, and yet I find myself using the iPad Pro more and more often for Scrivening, and really enjoying it. But I wonder if the Mini is just too darn mini for extended Scrivening. Advice welcome.

I have a Mini (not a new one), and absolutely love it for notetaking, interviews, and light organizational work. I prefer a bigger screen for writing, editing, and “large-scale” planning. For my uses, the iPad Pro would be too big.


I thought about an iPad Mini 5, but I’m going with the iPad sixth generation instead. Partly it’s to be able to use my current iPad accessories (I have an iPad Air 2 with a rapidly expiring battery), and partly it’s a desire for the bigger screen, particularly for the times when I compile a draft to PDF and then scribble all over it in an annotation app. As you say, the Mini just looks too darn mini. :smiley:

I use a 12.9 Pro V3 as primary iOS device for writing, however find Scrivener works just fine on iPad Mini 1, though just a tad slow.

The Mini 1 is an old piece of kit that I keep around because there’s nothing better to do with it. It can’t run the current iOS but still plenty of apps that work.

May I please ask what programs you use for “notetaking, interviews, and light organizational work”? Can you also work on Scrivener projects with many, mostly moderate-sized rtf files?

Many thanks,


Scrivener and DevonThink ToGo are my most-used iPad tools.

How many files is “many?” I’ve never had an issue, but my Scrivener projects tend to not be huge. On the other hand, my primary DTTG database weighs in at 769 MB and 868,000 words, and remains reasonably nimble.


Thanks very much for your answer. One more question: If you prefer a bigger screen for writing etc why is the iPad Pro too big?

I’m taking off on a few weeklong trips this year covering classical music festivals and have this fantasy that carrying around an iPad Mini or even the 9.7-inch iPad would be a lot bulky and more flexible than my 12-inch Macbook -


I love the iPad Mini precisely because it is small: It’s about the same size as a “junior” size paper notebook, and only slightly heavier. I can tuck it under my arm, use it on an airplane tray table with room left over, hold it in my lap, etc. Besides portability, its small size reduces the visual “wall” between me and an interview subject, The iPad Pro is much too large for these applications.

And for heavy-duty writing, editing, and organizational tasks, the iPad Pro isn’t big enough: I use a 27" iMac, which gives me both more screen space and the full capabilities of Mac Scrivener and DevonThink Pro. Yes, obviously that ties me to a desk for those tasks, but for me it’s a fair trade.


Thank you so much - so I can assume that writing 1,000-word long articles in Scrivener on the Mini is entirely feasible, in preference to lugging my MBA along?

I had my iPad Mini before there was an iOS Scrivener, but I did sometimes use it (to cover classical music festivals occasionally, in fact!) as a writing as well as reading, interviewing and notetaking machine, using iAWriter IIRC, plus a portable Bluetooth keyboard.

Now, I regularly use my 9.7” iPad Pro to write stories in Scrivener, and it’s almost as efficient for my uses as using my Macbook Pro with or without 24” external display. Of course, extra room is always nice, and iOS limitations (like not being able to bulk iimport files into a Scrivener project) still make the Mac superior, but that’s likely to change in the next iOS updates.

I agree with Katherine’s assessments. When I had the mini, I used it exactly as she does, and it was superior for reading and notetaking for exactly the reasons she notes — which is why I’m kinda craving a new one.

On the other hand, I do enjoy actual SCrivening on the iPad too, which is what makes me reluctant to go back to that old model of iPad Mini + Macbook that served me well for a few years. Frankly, I still haven’t decided which course to take: new Mini or new Air. I either want a bigger screen (for SCrivening) or a smaller one (for everything else, leaving the Scrivening to my MacBook.) And no, I don’t have the budget to do what Apple wants me to do (and what I secretly desire — don’t tell anyone!) and get BOTH a Mini AND an iPad Pro (or Air). Darn it!

Thanks so much -

BTW, your book on Lou Harrison is superb - reminds me of when I sat in on a gamelan rehearsal of his

Yes, although I’d recommend testing the specific external keyboard you plan to use. There are different ways to shrink a keyboard to fit the MIni’s footprint, and some are more successful than others.


Aww, terima kasih [blush]! Glad you liked it. Scrivener was a great help in organizing and assimilating the multifarious events of Lou’s colorful life and work.

To Katherine’s point: I used my old Apple Wireless keyboard in an Origami case with the Mini, and still use it with my iPad Pro. When I need something even smaller and quieter, I use a Logitech Keys to Go.

I’ve got my trusty old Apple Wireless too!