Last update over two years ago?

When is the team going to make any update at all on this app, if merely to fix minor bugs and bring it into alignment with iOS 15? The last update was over two years ago!

I don’t have any particular pressing issues beyond the little three multi-tasking dots getting in the way of the Word Count and just annoying Dropbox sync conflicts, but other people maybe have bigger issues.

There’s a long list of bugs and issues with Scrivener iOS. If you use the Apple Pencil, you loose half of your writing space. Scrivenings does not work. I inquired a few months ago, no surprise when I never got a response from anyone from Scrivener when I asked about the future of the iOS app. Every so often I see they respond to others, but they never give us any information on when they will fix the software we paid for. I have given up and moved on. While I do check in to see if there’s any kind of news on when I can start using the software on my iPad again (I have several projects in Scrivener), I am close to moving all my work into the new software I have found. The developers there are responsive, they listen to their customers, and if there’s a feature missing you would like to have, they’ll create it. Don’t get me wrong, love Scrivener, but two plus years and ignoring the customers who help build your reputation and revenue, it’s frustrating. I no longer recommend Scrivener. The Mac version is just a little too much and I enjoy the portability of my iPad Pro. Eventually, I suppose Scrivener will have to update in order to work because with each iOS update, something in Scrivener iOS breaks. Good luck!

The Apple Pencil didn’t exist in 2016 when iOS Scrivener was released, and I doubt Literature & Latte ever promised to add support for it.

I don’t think they ever said the iOS app would have scrivenings view.

Didn’t you get the software you were promised, but then your expectations grew? There have been substantial updates over the past 5 years, it’s just that it’s short of what Windows and macOS can do.

Don’t forget, besides, that you haven’t spent another penny on it.

iOS Scrivener release notes

will iOS Scrivener get all the desktop features?


You have your opinions, I have mine. IOS Scrivener has it’s version of scrivenings. Which is broken. The three little lines at the bottom of the scene that shows the entire novel in one nice layout that I can scroll through. It’s been broken for about a year so I can understand why some would forget it used to exist. I realize Scrivener never promised support for Apple Pencil, but using the onscreen keyboard (especially on the iphone), even in it’s minimal mode, takes over half of my screen. (Plenty of others have brought this little bug up almost a year ago, and yet, here we are. And what about selecting/moving text? That’s a joke.) We are on iOS 15.2. The app crashes if you go from scene to a chapter or if you hit the bookmark icon. I don’t want the desktop features. That is why I gave up my MacBook Pro for my iPad Pro. I have (I purchased the upgrade to Scrivener 3 for my Mac when it was released) and will pay again to upgrade to ensure that the software I rely on works. Scrivener iOS has seen 3 major updates in the past five years, with a couple of “bug fixes” in between. The last major update was 1.2 released 2 years ago (the iOS 13 compatible update). We then saw 1.2.1 for “miscellaneous bug fixes.” We are now on 15.2, which has so much more potential. I could go on, but what’s the point. People will get all defensive and respond rudely, like I have seen so many times on this forum. I was just merely responding with my own frustrations because at the time I read nickjbedford’s post, I was trying to retrieve something from Scrivener only for the app to crash. And you’re right. I haven’t spent another penny on Scrivener. I’m spending my money elsewhere and when asked by my writing groups and the legal teams I work for what I recommend as writing software, Scrivener for iOS is not one of them. More and more people are moving towards tablets and mobile devices. The latest iPad Pro runs better than my 2019 MacBook Pro. While I did get the software I paid for, I didn’t expect that five years later, it will be just a pretty icon living in a folder called “Broken :cry:” on my iPad. I suppose some would say I got my money’s worth, but again, you have your opinion. I have mine. I hope you and everyone else on this forum have a nice New Year.

My understanding is that Literature & Latte hired more than one programmer who failed to produce any iOS Scrivener at all, then the founder took over and did it himself. He clearly didn’t want to do it himself, but eventually, he did. He wrote the Mac version by himself as well. (Or pretty much so? I wasn’t there.) If he says getting those features to work on iOS is impossible (or more work than they want to do?), he has earned the right to make that call. Judging by how hard it apparently was to get close (but no cigar quite yet) on Windows, I think he knows what he’s talking about.

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Here’s the thing. If anything, enjoyment and use of software on iPads vs. laptops is increasing, by all outside comments, and enough on Scrivener too.

That Scrivener operates still fundamentally well over all the advances (and changes…) in the operating system evidences just how well Keith designed it. And to underline this, it even functions apparently very well with IPadOS’s side-by-side, drag-drop multitasking.

Equally, he was very clever indeed in how much of big Scrivener’s abilities he actually got into this software, and working so well. You have to learn what’s there, but then discover how much there really is behind the surface face, accessible by accurate use of all the moves and views Apple’s interface has provided.

Thus it feels very deserving that an update be put together, to correct the abilities that have inevitably gone astray.

In the case of ‘scrivenings’, for example, Keith’s original solution far from needs any excusing, since it actually offers just about everything in the original, only in a slightly different way. I’ve elsewhere offered suggestion for how readily it appears a fix would turn out, and also a good workaround until it can appear.

Maybe this can be a poster child, then, for changing from the ‘big drop’ practices of yesteryear. Software these days, particularly on the iPad, appears in an ongoing stream: a little fix here, a little addition there, released and move on to the next.

This generally works very well, and should be able to let the shoulders relax, take away the ‘oomph’ factor of facing a lot of changes on software you’ll not entirely remember all at once.

Testing would be the factor I think would come up, but all the needs seem very localized, so that it wouldn’t be necessary to institute a new stream model there.

As far as magnitude of issues, I haven’t seen as many as @kat; could be the phone shows up more problems due to its crowding than an iPad. And frankly, the main one with the Apple pencil may not feel so necessary to mess with, once you find out how fussy and incapable Scribble is in anything except a very short (like a title) text. It’s just not useful for else, if you try that. Yet if a miracle insight occurs, the resultt could be one more small release, so it can assume its place in priority, yet be possible.

End of thoughts for today. I hope they can be helpful. I’d watch out for the lost understandings that have ‘there is no scrivenings’ for example being stated. We all who have the knowledge understand what Keith was saying when he originally intrroduced his alternate solution, and it is a truly fine, very practically able alternative, which we’d just like to see back :slight_smile:

To all, cheers…

Cc: @AmberV , since I can’t seem to add ‘bug’ to the categories…

I echo this sentiment. I replaced my home computer with an iPad Mini three years ago, and I have no intention of going back. I believe the same is true for a lot of the consumer market.

While I’d guess that close to ninety percent of Scrivener business is MacOS, even Apple seems to be moving in the tablet first direction.
So, the question becomes: do you improve the iOS experience and hope to gain users, or don’t improve it and hope that you don’t lose users?

That said, after the 2021 NaNoWriMo season, I sold my Vespa and bought an iPad Air just to make my Scrivener experience better on the larger screen. Honestly, I didn’t need a new tablet for any other reason, I just wanted a new tablet for an even better Scrivener experience.
I wouldn’t have done that if I wasn’t committing myself to Scrivener 100%. I’m betting my future on the iOS version of Scrivener, I would hate to see it orphaned.

In part, that question in turn depends on what kind of improvements Apple is willing to make in the TextKit functionality on iOS/iPadOS as opposed to Mac OS. When Apple makes those improvements and brings the features and APIs up to par, that’s when you’ll know that they’re serious about making the iPad a serious replacement for the MacBook.

Given their investment in custom chip fabbing, though, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

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I appreciate what you say, Devin, and yet I have some feeling Apple may hold back on how much further density they themselves see a gain to encourage, in apps for iPads.

For my part, I feel the density of operations in Scrivener iOS is about at the sensible limit, if you really explore them, for this kind of interface and a textual program. Some drawing programs go further, but they start using two-handed manipulation that isn’t really suited to text and typing. And it’s pretty tricky to use those features also, taking a lot of muscle memory built up and coordination.

In thinking about it, the only ability I’ve felt added need for on the iPad would be Snapshots. That’s an obvious one, because of the trepidation you feel going in and modifying a segment that’s been composed already before.

And…there’s an easy solution, I think.
– if you tap Edit for the documents, and select the one you want to work on, there’s a duplicate button available at the bottom.

  • now you can edit on the new copy, which has a number added to its title so that it’s identified.
  • very nicely while you do, you can use the slide-left then More list on the title of the original, to make it a Quick Reference, so you can see what you are changing as you type in the copy, side by side like a split editor screen.
  • eventually back on the laptop, you’ll have both versions in their own documents. So you can Snapshot the original, then copy the text from the new version and select all then paste, to replace it.
  • the Snapshot will allow you to diff later if you want to, and that new version document is now extra, can be deleted so that you have your structure as it was before.
    a level’ that the iPad interface can comfortablly achieve, again at least as I see it.

Maybe a thing a fresh version could use would be a Tips sheet laying out things you can do like this? A lot of it’s there, in the single-chapter guide, but as with this expanion, feels it could use extending with examples, no?

Ideally, even if the UI is different on the iOS version, it should end up creating the files in such a way so that you don’t have any more work to do in the desktop version, it just shows up as a snapshot on the PC or on a Mac.

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I think duplication is a far better option even on the Mac or Windows, where snapshots are available. The original before editing is more visible, more easily searchable, you can split the screen and view it alongside the version you’re editing, it saves metadata from a point in time, not just text, etc.

Then again, though I have no use for snapshots on the Mac or Windows, they may be useful on iOS, where there is no split screen, etc.

To be clear, iOS has split screen capability, we even have multitasking and have for a couple of years now. Us iOS users even have the capability to use external monitors. Scrivener just has not been updated to support it. Like I’ve stated before, new features isn’t what I’m asking for, I’m asking to fix an app that I wrote six books on that has since become unusable because while technology is always changing, Scrivener for iOS has overlooked and therefore it cannot handle the platform it resides on. The reason why it sits in a folder “Broken :disappointed_relieved:”.

I think we’ve covered that topic.

Could you please give a little bit more detail about exactly what you are trying to do? I routinely use iOS Scrivener split-screen with other applications, and routinely use iOS Scrivener’s “Quick Reference” function to see documents side-by-side in Scrivener itself. So it’s not clear exactly what has rendered iOS Scrivener “unusable” for you.

That’s how I was using split screen as well. And while that’s a good temporary solution, it does absolutely nothing for writers who has a series of books and often have to go back and search for something. Before someone suggest they “import” everything from their previous novel into their current WIP (it’s happened in another post), that’s not a good solution for all. Some of us just don’t work that way. That’s not what’s causing the app to be unusable for me at the moment. It’s the multitude of bug issues that has not been addressed in an update and many that other users have mentioned in previous posts. It crashes when I move from one scene to another, selecting text is the biggest issue as I am currently editing, iOS version of scrivenings hasn’t worked in almost a year and that was the only way I can see my entire book in one nice document (I do not want to compile every single time I make edits to see my work as a whole). When using the online keyboard in it’s “minimal state,” still takes up half of my writing screen. I’ve written several books with Scrivener and while I have not given up on the app (I am hoping eventually the app will get an fixed), the frustrations of working with it on my iPad is just one big headache. Perhaps the issues I am seeing (a few users thinks it’s just me and the app works perfectly fine for them, which I think is awesome) is because I’m working on the latest iPad Pro with the latest software. Perhaps my WIP is too big, or maybe because I do not sync since I strictly write on my iPad and I could never get Dropbox to work. Didn’t matter how many times I sync, unsync, sync again. Airdrop is amazing and I am able to move between devices that way and I have a great system for backing up. Thanks for inquiring, @kewms. I hope you had a great holiday season!

While there definitely are some things that we need to address with iOS Scrivener, it shouldn’t be crashing routinely.

Please open a support ticket so that we can help solve whatever issues might be affecting you specifically:

I echo the general frustration with Scrivener for iPad OS. It is remarkable that it is still works, and rather well, despite having been all but abandoned. That said, feature- and usability-wise it’s fallen so far behind the times that it is essentially dead to me, too, and it’s impossible to recommend.
Beyond iPad OS, my estimation of Scrivener’s usability has gone backwards over the years (thanks to the reliance on Dropbox as well as the abandonment of the iPad OS version). I now have to think of Scrivener as an app that only really works well when used on a single Mac. That’s a shame, considering it is still the only app with the feature set needed for certain things: I’m embarking on a 100k-word interdisciplinary academic book that is drawing from 1200+ references in Bookends. I’m forced to use Scrivener as no competitor can even begin to match the organizational and research tools, and yet Scrivener feels like a 1990s app somehow stranded on a modern computer.
In the end, I’ll be relying on a system of external folder syncing and more nimble and pleasant external text editors to reduce my actual time in Scrivener, to make sure that that time is religiously only happening at the iMac, and that it is accompanied by a prayer, backups, and daily compiles as a getoutofjail clause. Not ideal.

On a side note, to my mind, the simplest, most useful feature missing from the ‘library’ side of Scrivener for iPad OS is “open in place”. Open in place has become common among other apps, and it seems like it would be a fairly straightforward thing to implement. It would enable me to open projects that I store away from Dropbox’s dirty paws in iCloud Drive, and have them save there when I’m done. I can see how this could easily lead to sync conflicts if iCloud Drive is not synced, but in recent years that has been flawless, at least within Apple’s ecosystem — and it’s still miles better than DropBox. A simple backup on open and close tool, which already exists on the Mac if I’m not wrong, would be enough to prevent major sync disasters…

Is the new update available now?

The features I would love are Project Templates and the Name Generator (Please!), but both of those could easily be web services callable by all versions of Scrivener. More importantly, I’d like to see the occasional bug fix update, just so that I know the product has a future.

Scrivener is a professional tool. Many people, like me, use it for our businesses and careers. As pointed out before there hasn’t been an update since iOS 13, and while it still works with iOS 15, I fear for future versions.
A professional tool creates a certain amount of responsibility with the developer, whether they like it or not. If Donkey Kong fails with iOS 16 people will be sad, but unaffected. If Scrivener fails with iOS 16, many of us will be left stranded, unable to access our work product.

While we have no plans to abandon the iOS platform, you might find it reassuring to know that the Scrivener project format is readily browsable with any standard file manager, and your work is stored in individual RTF files.