Night mode

First of all, congrats for releasing a very solid app. I have not used it for its intended purpose yet, but I “road tested” it enough to know it will work fine. I imported my projects, edited them, synced them and so on. So far so good.

I was happy to find a augmented keyboard, I was afraid that would be missing in the first release, but I was disappointed to find no night mode. In fact, I found this in another thread:

I am a bit surprised because the app I have been using so far, while waiting for Scrivener IOS to come out is Scrivo (subtle, isn’t it? I am using the * to make sure it is understood it’s not Scrivener but a different program) which has been doing a good job to let me work on my Scrivener projects. They introduced a night mode less than a month or so ago. Obviously, I don’t know how Scrivo works under the hood, but it is capable of interfacing with Scrivener documents quite well, even displaying notes and other Scrivener features that Scrivo itself is unable to offer (To clarify, AFAIK SCRIVO can show you a comment in a Scrivener page, but won’t let you insert a comment from inside SCRIVO).

Frankly, I would look more into that because Night Mode is quite popular for us night writers. I like to write in bed on my iPhone and both my Kindle and Scrivo set to night mode work great for me. I haven’t tried with scrivener yet, but I can already hear my wife complaining about turning off the lighthouse in my hand.

I’ll try to use the built in tools to accomplish the same thing, but I wanted to bring to your attention that the Scrivo guys managed to do it and keep a measure of compatibility with Scrivener. Maybe there is a way you can do it too.
Meanwhile, I may keep using Scrivo for my nighttime writing and use Scrivener IOS only for daytime and when I need the more advanced features it offers.

Once again, great job. You guys did splendidly and don’t take my Night Mode rant as a criticism of either your program or your work. It’s simply a feature I would like to see eventually and I hope you’ll be able to implement it some day.


I don’t know for sure how Scrivo works, but my guess is that they use the WebKit and an HTML view to display text (and thus, I believe, it loses quite a bit of formatting that Scrivener is capable of). I use Apple’s rich text system, which allows much more flexibility and formatting, exactly the same as the Mac version. It’s just a shame that the temporary attributes of the Mac version don’t make it across.

I will look into this further, though. I can override the text colour - the problem is that there is no way of overriding underline and strikethrough colours, so those might get lost against a dark background.

Remember that this is 1.0, though. Although I don’t plan on adding lots and lots and cluttering the iOS version, we will be refining and adding to it.

All the best,

Bingo! Your mention of HTML refreshed my memory. I remember seeing an option to export the HTML code from Scrivo and since I am a web developer I noticed that and wondered why would I want to have the raw HTML exported.

But that means you are right: they use HTML. That’s how they managed to make it work.

Hopefully, Apple will improve on that and give you the tools to introduce a true night mode at some point in the future. I got so used to read white (light grey really) text over black that I am going to need to readjust to reading black on white again. But having the capabilities of Scrivener back on my iPhone and iPad is going to easily offset this minor annoyance.

Thank you for the kind reply.

I wanted to report back on the night mode color scheme. I found a very workable and quick option, which is to simply to go to “Accessibility” and choose to invert the color scheme.

What makes this solution a winner is that I can map it to the 3 click (where before I had the “read screen” function that often went off by mistake especially if I was riding in elevators or in meetings).
So what I do I simply go to scrivener, click the button 3 times and I am in black screen, white text, night mode.
To make it even better, I just lower the brightness a bit until the white turns into something close to a light gray (#cccccc I’d guess) and now the screen is much easier on the eyes, especially when I write in the dark.

Real “night mode” Like Scrivo has, it’s not as sharp. The blacks are not as black and the whites are softer, but the difference is minimal and I Don’t have to stalk or send anonymous letters the Scrivener IOS developers for the next 10 years to force them to code this feature. It is good enough as it is. A win for everybody.

You can also go to the Scrivener settings in the main Settings app and choose either a cream or a light gray background for the editor. The cream background is easier on my eyes, but it doesn’t solve the spousal objection problem. :slight_smile:

This is great when you’re in the scrivener app, but atrocious when you’re out of it. Yes, there’s a shortcut, but I don’t know why as a standard setting, users can’t just have a black background and white letters. In other words, why not make ‘night mode’ the standard if it is ultimately easier on the eyes, regardless of the time of day?

Triple-click on the home button inverts the screen colors on my iPhone (I do not remember if it is a default or one has to turn the shortcut on in Settings). It is a clumsy workaround but will do for now.
Apparently, the “distraction-free writing mode” along with the “night mode” are very engaging topics for quite a few of us, judging by the number of posts…

The option to triple click the Home button to invert colours is found in Settings->General->Accessibility->Accessibility Shortcut

Yes I have this set already. I just think night mode should just be standard setting in scrivener for iOS, without one having to resort to accessibility features/shortcuts and such. It’s easier on the eyes ultimately, and makes for an altogether more relaxing reading and writing experience. I don’t think this is just a matter of preference; the reason night mode is better for your eyes is because their is dramatically less light shining in your face.

It is definitely better to have softer light at night, which is why I like iOS’s inbuilt night mode. Very similar implementation to f.lux.
I believe the reason why there isn’t a Scrivener specific night mode is explained by Keith above in this thread.

Yup, as I understand it, the programming architecture just doesn’t allow it. Still, it’s something to yearn for in future iterations of the app, should Apple decide to annex their programming architecture allowing programmers the facility to integrate and implement night mode better into their apps, ground up.

Silverdragon, that’s a great tip, to use Accessibility>Invert to get a good night time display.

This can really help if you have post-diabetes recovering eyes, as I do (note the post!).

And as the young coders who stare at screens 18/24 taught us, it’s just better all around for the eyes.

Tusen takk,

Even a little more:

  • In Accessibility, you can set the mechanical iPad/iPhone button to switch back and forth by triple-click. As long as it doesn’t wear the button out, great.

  • got the surprise of my life when I booted the iPad after timeout, and got a reverse-color version of the nice painting I have for background, a central view of Christopher Le Brun (British)'s ‘Dream, Think, Speak’. Well worth a visit to the main Tate in London, just to see that at its museum size.

  • Just running through a few things, iOS Scrivener seems to get along pretty well with reversed colors; comments etc. tinting works out reasonably. Is it possible that this screen inversion might be a way Scrivener could set its own night mode? A little different from some, true, but as a workaround until something better is possible? Possibly thinking too far on that one, but a bone tossed in the soup with good feelings for Keith.