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?

Bought it. Used it. Frustrated by the reliance on—and performance of—Dropbox. Gave up on it.

As a standalone, it’s fab—I’d be happy to have it on my Mac (alongside or replacing Scrivener 3) if the developer would release it for macOS.

But if syncing with a Mac via Dropbox, it is a “nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay, nay” from me.

Re: question 1: iOS scrivener is not buggy. It is, however, infrequently updated, and therefore likely will not use the latest iOS bells and whistles. If this would bug the heck out of you, don’t buy.

Re: question 2: Many, many people (including myself) sync with never a problem.

That said, sync does not happen in the background in iOS Scrivener. While you can automate it to some degree, you will need to be consciously aware of sync. Most particularly:

  • Don’t leave a project open on your iOS device—always navigate back to the projects screen, and sync if needed, before switching to your Mac.
  • When switching devices, always leave enough time—in both directions—for Mac Dropbox to sync all your changes before modifying your project on either Mac or iOS.

If you believe that developing these habits would be difficult for you, then iOS Scrivener may not be for you.

Finally, not everyone shares @Login’s opinion that iOS Scrivener is superior to Mac Scrivener. I myself have largely abandoned iOS Scrivener because I find its limited feature set (compared to Mac Scrivener) frustrating. (Check this thread Features on Scrivener iOS: Equal to Mac? for a detailed discussion.) The last time I used iOS Scrivener was when I sent my Macbook Air 2015 to Apple for a battery replacement. It was an adequate substitute for a week, but it was a relief when my rejuvenated Mac returned.

Where did I say that?

You’re right, you didn’t say that explicitly. I inferred it from your statement:

This is an opinion you’ve expressed often in various threads. By the fact that you seem willing to have a ported iOS Scrivener replace Mac Scrivener, I inferred (wrongly) that you prefer iOS Scrivener to the Mac version. I apologise that I’ve evidently misunderstood your preference.


Dear Silverdragon

I have used Scrivener since it first came out in 2007.

Thought about your comment above last night. Reread your recent post about ADHD and how some apps can free the user.

Those two posts—with their distance and perspective—have helped to bring clarity, and I have realised that other apps can free me in ways that Scrivener no longer can.

So a new dawn and a new day for me, without Scrivener (as an app or forum).

Thanks. Good luck with your work. Goodbye.

Best wishes


Scrivener for iOS is buggy. There has been many bugs reported, fonts not showing up in the Scrivener list even after adding them and when you try to add them, Scrivener claims they are there, but there’s no way to access them. There is a bug with the keyboard taking up the bottom half of the screen which has been an issue for at least a year if not longer and has become a huge problem if you are working on an iPad with the Apple Pencil. When you try to use the pencil, you lose part of your writing space (and no, toggling typewriter mode off and on does not fix this issue). Since iOS 14, Scrivener on my iPad crashes when I first open it. After the second time, it works fine, but if I write for long periods of time (as most writers do), it will crash again. Scrolling and selecting text is a nightmare. The cursor suddenly acts as it it’s on crack shooting to the top, to the bottom, taking sentences instead of highlighting a specific word. Toggling typewriter mode off does help, but doesn’t cure the problem. I am sure I am missing other bugs that has been discussed, bugs I have addressed here as well, but it’s been so long and I have found a way to deal with it. Albeit, not happily.
With that said, I write strictly on my iPad Pro. I have Scrivener 3 on my MacBook Pro, but found it to be way more than I need and rather distracting and frankly, I hate the keyboard on my MacBook Pro and I get more done on my ipad. I don’t use Dropbox and when I need to sync to my MacBook, I use airdrop. Works perfectly and I’ve never had an issue with losing words. I also keep backups on a hard drive. I have been using Scrivener for so long and while I get frustrated at times and search for something that might work better for me and has been updated to take advantage of what the iPad Pro can do today (split screens and so on), I haven’t found anything better than Scrivener. Even in it’s stripped down, sometimes buggy, annoying state it’s currently in. I am hoping Scrivener iOS will get a hefty update in the near future.