PC vs. iOS scriv: how's the usability on iOS?


I’ve been using Scriv on Linux for years. Just bought the iOS version and was wondering how usable it is vs. the PC version.

I don’t have an iPad yet, but am either going to buy an older Lenovo and run the Linux version, or go the iPad with a bluetooth keyboard route. Has anyone made the switch from PC to iOS full time and found the workflow ok? better?



The answer may be related to what else you need to use concurrently. If you generally keep all your research materials in your Scrivener projects, I’d say iOS. If you like to keep stuff in the file system or external databases etc. and keep a lot of Windows open, I’d stay on a PC. Having said that I’ve moved a lot of research stuff from file system to Scrivener projects since the iOS release and am quite happy with it.

Desktop computers are fundamentally more capable than tablets. So whether iOS alone is sufficient will depend on what you’re doing.

If you need to have a lot of things open at once, either Scrivener projects or things like browsers and spreadsheets, you’ll probably want to use the desktop version at some point.

If you are trying to create a fully-formatted, publishable output you may find that you need the desktop version’s Compile features. iOS Scrivener is unlikely to ever match them.

If you import a lot of material from a wide range of sources, you will probably find the desktop import tools more efficient. That’s a separate question from whether you’ll need the desktop version once you’re past the material gathering stage.

Very large projects and very small tablets don’t go well together. You’ll need to have enough free space on the tablet to accommodate the entire project, which might be a problem if your projects get up into the gigabyte range.

In my own work, I find the iOS version is great for reading and notetaking, but I tend to prefer a desktop-sized screen for organizing and writing. YMMV.


thanks for your posts.

I’m writing fiction with minimal research which will be done on the PC and phone. A lot of writing on the road: on the train, at coffee shops, etc. All I need is a good keyboard and a nice screen and an app that gets out of the way. So the iOS scriv, iPad, good keyboard combo seems very enticing.

I’m using the Linux version at the moment so moving an iOS project over to the Linux version is a no go.

Which bring us to compile: I’m writing for kindle so need to generate a mobi file. What would an iOS to Linux scriv compile workflow look like? Kindlegen source formats include HTML, XHTML or EPUB but iOS scriv outputs Word, PDF, RTF and txt. Any workarounds there?


I use both the Windows version (running via Wine on Linux Mint) and the iOS version. I find the iOS version perfectly usable. The PC version has more capabilities, but I don’t find myself missing them on iOS. I’ve actually not used the Linux version for years, since I bought the Windows version long ago and it runs well under Wine.

As someone who does a lot of copy-editing and rewriting for other authors, I find the iOS interface very clunky when it comes to editing, selecting, copying, moving, deleting, revising, searching and replacing, etc text. I am not saying Scrivener for iOS is clunky, but iOS itself: everything takes far longer on iOS than it does on macOS.

If you want to edit your work to a significant degree, whether in single or multiple files, I’d recommend any platform other than iOS.

iOS is fine for writing and minor editing. IMO, it isn’t suitable for significant editing tasks. If you like to revise and hone your work, iOS will throw a lot of frustrations in your path.

At home I write fiction on a Windows laptop with WinScriv, but when out and about use iOS Scriv with a Perixx folding keyboard (PERIBOARD-805LII W - the white one is for iOS), with either an iPad Air 2 or an iPhone 5s. If I don’t have the bluetooth keyboard available, I’ve found that Swype works surprisingly well with the small iPhone!

For writing first drafts (minimal research), the iOS Scriv setup works great for me. Just as good as working on the laptop. I have had to modify my workflow, because iOS doesn’t support Project Notes. Not a big deal for me, I’ve just created a separate folder inside the Scrivener project to store stuff I’d normally put in Project Notes.

For editing, so far I am finding that iOS Scriv is a workable solution, although I do prefer to edit on the laptop. For very heavy editing, as Briar mentions above, I could see how iOS might get tedious.

Hope this info is useful to you and good luck!

I do a lot of editing on ios (writing non-fiction, about 200 pages), and it’s wonderful on my ipad mini 2.