Scrivener on an iPad Using Air Display?

Assuming I eventually get a (refurb, 2-G) iPad, I’ve been toying with the idea of running Scrivener on it via screen sharing. Around my apartment over WiFi there should be enough bandwidth, allowing me to write comfortably reclining on a couch in the den or outside on a porch that gives me a 10-degree-wide view of a lake. The big if is whether a touch interface would map well to Scrivener’s mouse-based one.

If anyone has an iPad and $10 to blow on an intriguing experiment, they might want to test the idea using a much-praised new iPad app called Air Display described here: … d.desktop/

It’s intended to add an additional WiFi-driven display alongside your Mac, but there’s no reason it won’t work as the primary display (with the menu bar) if you set it up that way and there’s certainly no reason you can’t roam with your iPad anywhere within WiFi range. The early reviews seem quite positive. The real issue may not be whether it works with Macs, but how well it works with Scrivener.

If anyone’s in a position to test this idea, I’d love to hear their evaluation.

–Michael W. Perry, Seattle

I tried this out today, and it works….sort of. See the attached picture. Scrivener is running on the iMac and also on the iPad. BUT that’s all it is, mirrored displays. I tried some basic editing on the iPad and was only able to select text. The virtual keyboard does not come up. I did not test it with the wireless keyboard.

When I type or edit on the iMac, the changes instantly show on the iPad version. But I could not make it work the other way.

In System Preferences, I had to set my iMac at 1024 x 768 and then click on Detect Displays and Mirror Displays. Also had to hide the Dock. The virtual keyboard is most likely missing because the iMac is the controller and can’t show a piece of iPad software.

However, it is possible to SEE a Scrivener file on an iPad, plus any other apps, but I’m not expecting to edit that way. I’ll try it later with a laptop display, to see if they’re any more compatible.

PS: Installation was rough. Tried twice to purchase Air Display from the iPad, and both failed. AD requires downloading of a free app to the iMac, and that forces a restart. It adds two icons to the top menu bar, which I’d prefer to keep clean. All in all, I don’t find it that functional or worth the $10 price.

Many, many thanks. I retrospect, this makes sense. It is “Air Display” rather than an entire remote access application. It doesn’t have to offer a keyboard, since one is supposed to be sitting right there. And even if pull-down menus and rearranging the documents work, and you didn’t mention they did, then it’d still not provide a remote way to edit Scrivener documents. For that a working keyboard at the iPad end is a must. Scratch Air Display as a backdoor to running Scrivener on an iPad

The next option is the much more pricey $25 for iTeleport. I watched their videos, but didn’t see any thing as complex as Scrivener actually being run. Mostly remote housekeeping. But they do make these claims:

And this:


I’ve queried them and suggested that they make remarks here. We’ll see if they decide to comment.

Mac Power Users

Anyone listen to the Mac Power Users podcast?

The most recent podcast (#27) was on the iPad and one of the two hosts, David, said that he is so eager to see Scrivener on an iPad, he sent a free WiFi iPad to Keith. I’m not sure that will result in Scrivener for the iPad, but it might help Keith understand the fuss. The hosts, both lawyers with much to read and write every day, have found the iPad useful in a lot of contexts, although both seem to feel a Bluetooth keyboard is a must for serious writing.

–Michael W. Perry, Seattle

I invested in LogMeIn Ignition, similar to iTeleport, but reviews were better - main advantage was performance & speed. LogMeIn Ignition @ 23.99 Euro/17.99 GBP ( … 16801?mt=8).

I had issues getting it set up, primarily because my router was an older Netgear model, and then one has to set up Screensharing & make sure the firewall settings on your home computer (in my case, an iMac) are still functioning properly.

Can access & use Scrivener on the road, have even tested it while in India & Singapore. Not ideal but it works.

I wrote to Avatron Support about the claim that AD “works as a tablet input device,” and got this response:

“The end of that quote from our web page you quoted goes on to explain what input works right now. Tapping on the screen is the only thing we have working thus far. This initial 1.0 release is mostly designed at being a secondary monitor, not the prime or sole monitor for a computer. In the future we plan to add more features like on screen keyboard and double-clicking that would allow you to use the iPad more independently. So, those features are coming but they’re just not in the app yet.”

I would say that “works as a tablet input device” is just not true at all, and the product is not really out of beta.

Have you tried using Scrivener on the iPad with Mocha VNC? It allows you to log remotely into your desktop. It is better imo than all the others because the paid version (there is a free one) allows you to have an extra keyboard with an escape key - which means that when you go into full screen mode you can get out of it, on the iPad. I really recommend this app.

Jane, I’m interested in what you report, but at its web site, Mocha VNC has instructions only for iPhone installation and usage. Generally I’m wary of apps that are not yet optimized for use on the iPad.

Can you describe your user experience? Are you able to view and edit Scrivener projects on the iPad? And how far away can you be from your desktop machine?

I’ve read that there will be a version of Teamviewer for the iPad soon (free for non-commercial use). The iPhone version is the fastest VNC I’ve used on my wifi network at home.

I have Air Display installed and it works without a problem (as did the installation btw).
Not just as a mirror of the main display, but as a second monitor (so no resoluton change on the main system is neccessary). You can also use the iPhone since it works on both platforms, but I haven’t tried it yet.

As an input device for Scrivener, it’s really non-functional because it only works as a touchscreen with no keyboard, but that will supposedly come in an upcoming version. Then it should be workable.

And also Teamviewer for iPad is out. Not pretty or fast, but should be workable.