Scrivener for iOS: yea or nay?

I’m currently using the Mac version of Scrivener and have been thinking of getting for my 7th gen iPad, but I don’t want to go to the trouble if it’s buggy or doesn’t sync well. Anyone here have any feedback — good, bad, or indifferent?

I’m obviously biased, but I love iOS Scrivener and use it constantly. It’s literally changed the way I work: it’s the first notetaking tool I’ve found that is as portable and seamless as paper. (Specifically I have an iPad Mini with an external keyboard.)

People will probably comment about sync issues. I have not personally experienced them, but there are definitely best practices to follow to reduce the potential hazards.

  • Ensure Scrivener is closed on the Mac and Dropbox has had time to synchronize before switching devices. (I’d recommend enabling the autoquit option in Mac Scrivener.)

  • It’s good practice to synchronize all your devices as part of your “leaving home base” routine. That way you won’t find yourself in a time-critical situation with iOS Scrivener saying it needs to phone home. Then synchronize again as you settle in after you get back.

  • Do not depend on Dropbox as your only backup. In particular, put Scrivener’s automatic backups somewhere else, so a Dropbox issue can’t affect all copies of the project.


I have my complaints about it, but I still think it’s very much worth its price tag and a very nice addition to your workflow, if you have an iOS device.

Sync is a bit of a burden. If you know how it works, and you are fine with using Dropbox, and a manual process, then it’s okay but sometimes slow and with a couple of conditions that sometimes feel very limiting.

I never had big reliability issues. When iOS 13 was released, sync often failed, but no data was ever lost, the program just crashed. It was an Apple-bug and it got fixed somewhere in the iOS 13 timeline. I don’t think I ever lost data with the program.

The program didn’t have big feature updates since its release, so it’s not really built for the multitasking, multiwindow that iPadOS has brought since iOS 13, and I think it really could use some updates. I have been critical of functions I think it should start having, but that being said:

  • It still does what it says it does.
  • It’s still very nice designed, IMO.
  • Having it as an addition is very valuable and I use it a lot to make extra notes. I also think that despite the lack of updates, it was a very full featured program when it got released and I think it still is. It’s probably still one of the most full-featured writing apps on iOS, like Scrivener is on the desktop.

Despite it not being perfect (which software is?), it’s definitely a yea.