Simple Android app?

I understand that a full Android version of Scrivener is (perhaps) under development. No idea what kind of time-frame is envisaged, nor what kind of demand there will be. I use the iOS version on a 12.9" iPad Pro, and can’t really imagine using Scrivener on anything smaller; given the decline in tablet sales generally, and of Android tablets in particular, I don’t know if Scrivener for Android really has a future.

However, I would like to suggest that it would be great to have a simple Android app that does just one thing: allows you to directly edit the Scratchpad (add/edit notes) and uses Dropbox to keep any changes in sync. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note phone, and often jot down ideas using OneNote while I’m out and about. Currently, I transfer these to Scrivener when I get back to a larger screen; the kind of app I’m talking about would simplify this process hugely and would, I would imagine (I’m no expert) be easier to develop than a full-blown Android version. I certainly think it would have a much larger user base.

The Scratchpad lies outside the Scrivener project structure for precisely this reason. You can use any convenient text editor to edit Scratchpad files or add files to the Scratchpad directory.

(You can also use Scrivener’s Sync with External Folder feature to edit Scrivener projects using third-party tools, but that requires a bit more setup.)


Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that. I’m going to do a little research to see if there’s something really simple that integrates with Dropbox and can read/write .rtf files without converting them to something else. (Ms Word, for example, takes ages to load the files, even though I’ve made them available offline, and then insists that I save a copy before I can edit them, so that’s a non-starter.)

I would like to use Scrivener on my Android tablet (which I use as a laptop) - I have a samsung galaxy tab A.
If you are developing an app version, or even a web version or an .exe that can be opened and installed on an android tablet, I would greatly appreciate it. I find I do most of my writing on my tablet now.

An Android version has been discussed many times - check the URL below.

The gist is, there will be an Android version eventually, however likely late 2018 if recent development timelines are any guide.

There won’t be a stripped down version, that’s not how Keith and Co. work. What there will be, when it’s released, is a top of the line full featured app like the iOS version.

Of course, you could always grab an iPad and get a year’s lead on that masterpiece. :slight_smile: Any iPad from iPAD2 or any Mini will run it. :smiley:

Since posting I have been doing some research and, to my surprise, there really is a gap in the market here. There doesn’t seem to be a simple .rtf editor for Android that lets you open a file in Dropbox (i.e. from the Scratchpad location), edit and save it. Every one that I tried either required converting from and to rtf and/or saving a copy, then re-uploading to Dropbox (e.g. Word, which is also way too big and bloated for my purposes). And the same situation exists on iOS, when the Scrivener app (which I love, btw) has no Scratchpad. If L&L were to develop a really small, simple “Scratchpad” app (NOT a dumbed down a simplified version of Scrivener) for Android and iOS, it would be really useful to many users. Also, if it were a small, standalone app (either free or very cheap), I suspect it might lure people to using Scrivener, since I found lots of disussions online from non-Scrivener uses who were unable to find a simple app to edit .rtf files from Dropbox.

That same request was made countless times re iOS Scrivener. I’m assuming L&L’s response will still be the same.

Anything less than Scrivener would not be Scrivener and would divert the limited available resources from the Windows, followed by Android full versions of Scrivener.

If you feel passionately about the app you want, perhaps try developing one. That’s how Scrivener came about - to fulfil Keith’s vision of what he needed.

Hi jje.
Although it was begun in 2012 and the last post was entered in 2014, as far as I know the following linked discussion is still relevant in regard to Keith’s and L&L’s thinking regarding a simple app. It’s a comprehensive, open discussion on the topic (and more):

Thanks for the pointer to the previous discussion (although the light to heat ratio left a lot to be desired). I suspect that nobody at L&L will be interested in my idea (which is of course absolutely fine; they know their business and I don’t), but — just to clarify — I wasn’t suggesting an Android version of Scrivener, nor a dumbed down version, merely a Scratchpad app that would allow users to make notes on their phone (iOS or Android, since Scrivener for iOS doesn’t have a Scratchpad). I couldn’t develop it myself, sadly (I’m a middle-aged historian, with neither the time nor the skills), but if anyone reading this is interested, help yourself to the idea.

Perhaps there isn’t a simple .rtf editor app already because not enough people want one, but perhaps they would use it if it were on offer. And perhaps it would attract people to Scrivener Only one way to find out.

If I understand, what you are suggesting is in fact a separate app (actually 2 - iOS and Android).

As mentioned by Keith, any app that included synch would be major work.

With Mac V3 in the works, and Win V3 in early stages, soon to be followed by the Android version, from Keith and Katherine’s responses there is no way to slot in what seems to be a very limited appeal app without disrupting more essential work.

Try Evernote or similar, that’s what many iOS users did, to achieve similar to what you seem to be suggesting. It is available on Android. An L&L version wouldn’t have brought any of us to Scrivener. Needing a long form editor, we were already here.

For iOS there is already a simple app that does exactly what you want. Drafts from Agile Tortoise.

It is a simple text entry app, with built in support for MMD and it uses URL schemes to send the text to e.g. Scriveners Scratch Pad, Evernote, or wherever you want the text. It’s even got an Apple Watch app, which makes it super easy to use when you are out and about.

Drafts looked promising but it doesn’t actually open or edit rtf files, so it doesnt really work. I will keep looking.

Totally understand that you have other priorities and limited time, etc. Thanks for taking the trouble to respond. However, as far as I can see, Evernote can’t do what I want either, which is just to open and edit the existing Scratchpad files and save them as rtf (i.e. retain the native format). If I have to convert to and from the Evernote format, I might as well stick with OneNote and just cut and paste when I’m back at a real PC. But (obviously) that’s not your problem.

Scrivener’s ScratchPad isn’t .rtf, it’s .txt, so it does work. I have my ScratchPad folder in Dropbox, so if I want to edit a file saved from my Mac (each entry is a .txt file) I simply open the Dropbox app on my iPad, locate the file, tap … to get the Export menu, and then choose Open in… and select Drafts.

Modifying the project files, using Sync with external folder, is something else.

As a side note, the lack of competent RTF editors for mobile platforms provides a window into part of the reason why iOS Scrivener took as long as it did, and why Android Scrivener poses a similar challenge.

Mac Scrivener leverages Apple’s text editing toolkit. As Keith has said, the existence of that toolkit – and of Apple’s development tools generally – is part of why Scrivener exists at all. Other software companies have found the same: there are tons of good RTF-based tools on the Mac. iOS, not so much.


Try JotterPad.

You would be able to export as *.rtf (but not to save; only *.txt *.fountain, *.md, *markdown are available). This seems a pretty good option.


This must be a difference between Windows and Mac, I think, because the Windows Scratchpad files do appear to be in .rtf format.

The OP mentioned the decline in sales and production of Android tablets. I am typing this reply on a Chromebook, which now has the ability to use Android apps. So in my use case, I would be delighted to use Scrivener either as a Chrome extension or as an Android app.

My thoughts are to bypass an all out Android App and develop a web based app. Is it possible that both Windows and Android devices could use a fully functioning web-based app? Chromebooks, for example, seem to be trending more towards using the browser or instant apps rather than downloading and installing apps. I know Amazon also has their own version of web-apps that I believe handles the cross platform issues for you?

I’m a long time Scrivner adopter (07/2009) and while Macs are cool and all, for some people a Mac is not totally compatible with their digital lives anymore (me). I personally find Apple overpriced and behind the curve on hardware.

I use ChromeBooks for most mobile tasks and an Android phone for the balance of mobile tasks. Would it be possible to move away from platform specific versions and create a web-based app that could be used on any platform including through any browser on a mobile phones?

I’m very interested to check out Scrivner 3.0 but if I look at my future it is either Android/ChromeOS or strictly cloud web apps. As previously stated, there is a deficit of alternative softwares and so one would think a good place to expand.

Just my thoughts, thanks.

Chrome OS was originally designed to be entirely web-based, with no local applications at all. So the existence of any local applications indicates a trend away from that web-based origin.

As a writer, I will tell you that I have no interest whatsoever in writing software that requires an internet connection to use it or to access my data.

As a representative of L&L, I can’t speak for Keith, but I can tell you that the question has come up before, and it is not at all clear that the benefits to us or to the users justify the enormous technical investment that would be required.