Random thought: Scriv on Android using libwine?

Like a bunch of people hereabouts I’m waiting for Scriv on a truly portable device – ideally an iPad Mini retina with external keyboard. But in the meantime …

I know Android development ain’t happening right now. But the existence of the unsupported beta for Linux intrigues me. In particular, I note the existence of Debian distros for Android that install on top of the stock Android kernel and give you an X11-based desktop that works fine with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse – I’ve got one installed on my Nexus 7 right now. And I also note http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI5MjA (news item from 2013 ) about development in porting WINE (Wine Is Not An Emulator) to run on ARM/Android.

Obviously, in an ideal world with unlimited resources available to lit’n’latte there’d be someone working on porting Scrivener and developing a whole new native Android user interface. But, as a stop-gap, I’m wondering if it would be possible to do a build of the Linux version, targeting the ARM platform and designed to run under a Debian/X11/XFCE desktop stack on Android tablets?

(By analogy, here’s https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andropenoffice a port of the OpenOffice desktop app to Android – without the underlying X11 stack and Debian userland.)

It is possible to build Scrivener for Windows for Android right now - Lee has even shown me it running on an Android device. The trouble is that the interface just really doesn’t work well on Android, because the interface is mouse-based and it needs to be rebuilt for a touch-based interface. Once the iOS version enters its beta-testing stage, the Windows team will start looking at building a touch-based interface for their codebase so that we can release an Android version. Given other Windows development, an Android version won’t see the lift of day before 2015 at the earliest, though, whereas the iOS version will be out this year.

All the best,

Yes, but … what I’m thinking of is a mouse/keyboard based stopgap on Android, for tablets with a bluetooth mouse and keyboard available.

(Usage scenario: I have an Android tablet or phone with Dropbox and the hypothetical Scriv/Android port. I travel with a portable keyboard and mouse, and an HDMI connector – or the Google ChromeCast. Check into hotel, unpack keyboard and mouse, hook tablet or ChromeCast up to TV – instant transportable work environment.)

I wish this magical beast were somehow available as an APK - I’d buy a second license just for it.

  • I use a Logitech bluetooth keyboard with integrated touchpad that presents to Android as a mouse with pointer (newegg.com/Product/Product.a … 6879212011). It’s functionally like using Windows with a mouse, so it sounds like it and Scrivener would play very well together…

Nook HD+ with BT keyboard and mouse and the Nook HDMI adapter works pretty nicely with things like JotterX, Google Docs and Simplenote (each presenting a different method of cloud storage for docs) while using the TV in the living room. Hell, it works just fine without the HDMI hook up and the big screen as long as you have a bit of flat space and a decent tablet stand, or, much more cool-ly, using a Nimblstand and Apple BT keyboard on the couch with the mouse on the cushion next to me.

If you could get a kludge like this running well enough on moderate hardware (I’d call the old HD+ fairly moderate anymore as it was never high end) without causing the user to wait for text entry once they get to that point, it would be a very useful course for many, IMO.


It’s disappointing but understandable that Scriv for Android is still in the distance. I picked up one of those ginormous Samsung 12" tablets that works beautifully for writing with BT keyboard and mouse, but I can only use it for first drafts right now.

Still, I am a patient person, more or less. I have faith that it’s on the lit&latte agenda.

In the interim, though, if anyone wants to use me as a guinea pig for their homebrew solution, I’m available.