Should I buy an iPad?

I’ve been using Scrivener for Windows for years and love it. I mostly use it on a desktop, but when I need to go mobile I use it on my Surface Pro 9. Unfortunately the stylus doesn’t work in Scrivener, nor does using my finger for anything more than tapping where I might click the mouse.

I’m wondering if it would be worth purchasing an iPad when I need to go mobile. How well is the stylus and touch interface implemented, and is there anything else that would be useful about being on an iPad? I’m not thrilled about having yet another device to carry around but I’m considering it.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

I will also post this to the Mac forum.

Hi Tom,

See my post here for some feedback on differences between iOS Scriv and the desktop versions. Particularly, that post links to another, much longer thread you might find useful to understand the strengths and shortcomings of iOS Scriv. Also see this thread.

The short version for me is: I find iOS Scriv really good for writing drafts, but much less useful for research, planning, or extensive editing. (No Quick Ref panels, Collections, Keywords, Custom Metadata, or Automatic Backups. iOS Compile is completely different/disconnected from desktop version and extremely limited, but that would only be an issue for you if you needed to compile while mobile.) Other posters may feel differently. YMMV.

It seems you are mostly concerned with touch capabilities of iOS Scriv, so perhaps you could elaborate on your challenges using the Surface Pro as a laptop when you go mobile? I’m asking this because your post makes it sound like you’d still be carrying the Surface Pro along with you anyway. If I had both my iPad and my laptop in front of me, to use Scrivener I would always reach for the laptop first. And if I was planning to do extensive writing on my iPad, I would always use an external bluetooth keyboard, which would be yet another device to carry around.

To answer your specific question: iOS Scriv’s touch interface works very well for me. (I only use fingers, no stylus.) It would have to work very well, or else no one would buy it. :smiley:


@JimRac Thanks for that thoughtful reply! The only thing missing for me on the Surface Pro is that the stylus functionality is essentially the same as a mouse—I can click on things, double click on things, and move a scroll bar. Moving a chunk of text is theoretically possible but quite clumsy. The Surface Pro with Word (which I never use) and some other application has much greater capabilities for inserting text, hand writing recognition, etc.

Not being an Apple guy, I didn’t realize that Scrivener on iPad would not give me the full functionality of the desktop app, which I get on my Surface Pro since it’s a full Windows 11 computer. I always have a keyboard with me and would have one if I got an iPad. So my takeaway is that the tradeoff wouldn’t be worth it. Not being able to use the stylus more completely isn’t that big a deal, but I thought that if an iPad would give me all the desktop functionality plus great stylus capabilities it might be worth it.

Hey Tom,

Based on what you’ve described, I agree with you.

Probably irrelevant at this point, but if in the future you do decide to acquire an iPad, best to confirm before making the purchase that your bluetooth keyboard(s) are compatible with iPads/iOS. I believe most are, but some might not be.


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