My point is only, how? We’re not Apple, we’re not Omni. We’re two guys with a niche product. If we were selling Scrivener for $100 a pop and had hundreds of thousands of users, then we could just hire ourselves an iPhone developer and say, “Make it so.” But we’re not. There’s just me and David. And a bunch of great users who are kind enough to rave about Scrivener, but not so many that we’re driving around in sports cars. (Seriously, David’s car looks like a sports car from a distance and then you realise it’s not far away at all, just incredibly small.) David took a pay cut to come work with his best buddy (me), and I’m still trying to get the money together for a mortgage on our first house (let alone pay for food for three kids following the birth of my third last week!).
So, it’s not a matter of us not wanting to produce a copy of Scrivener for the iPad. I think the iPad looks great and would love to see a version of Scrivener on it. But living in the annoying Real World, how is it possible? I’m currently working flat out on Scrivener 2.0, into which I’ve put over two years of development. Do I drop this to work on an iPad version, learning how to program for the iPhone OS at the same time? (Me, I like writing on my laptop, either on my lap or by plugging it into an external monitor - the iPad looks cool, but I wouldn’t use it much for writing, even with the keyboard dock, so personally I’m still more excited about Scrivener for the Mac.) When 2.0 comes out, do I stop developing Scrivener for a year and try to develop an iPad version of Scrivener then? We can’t afford to hire anyone. And I don’t really want to ask someone I don’t know to develop an iPad version of Scrivener for profit-share or suchlike, either, as it’s too big a risk.
There are also other big questions. If the iPad runs the iPhone OS, would it even be capable of opening a Scrivener project? Although some Apple iPhone apps use rich text, there is no rich text reader/writer view on the iPhone, and I know of a dev who recently had his iPhone app rejected by Apple for trying to use HTML to render editable rich text. This of course remains to be seen, and I have signed up for the iPhone developer program to look at this, but also because I want to see the iPad emulator and try out Scrivener .epub files (see below) on it.
(Related: There are things I don’t like about iPhone development. First, you have to pay Apple to develop an iPhone product - it’s free to develop for the Mac. And second, Apple can reject your app almost randomly, and you have no control over it.)
So, it’s not a matter of “not considering it”. It’s just a matter of practicalities. Most people don’t realise that programs such as Scrivener are pretty much garage-produced. It’s not resistance, it’s just frustration that we aren’t in a position to “make it so” right now.
Now, if you’re reading this and you’re an iPhone developer with an amazing track record of five star iPhone apps, and you’d like to produce an iPad version of Scrivener but give us 70% of the profits…
On the plus side, Scrivener 2.0 supports the .epub format, so you’ll be able to send your novels from Scrivener to iBooks, at least…
So, to recap: I’m not saying there will never be an iPad version of Scrivener, or that I’m not interested in such a thing. I’m just saying that with what we have to work with at the moment, it’s not possible. We only have the resources to concentrate on the core Mac product right now.
All the best,