Switching main device from macbook to iPad. Questions about multitasking. General Advice

Ok, so my old macbook is on it’s last leg and I’ve decided to switch to a iPad as my main device. I anticipate this will be a slightly bumpy transition, but i’m committed for reasons.

Anyway, for me one of my most heavily used features in Scrivener is split screen. As i understand it, this feature is not available as-such on the iOS version, but can be more or less replicated with quick reference…? Please correct me if i’m wrong, I don’t have an iPad yet, so all of my info is from research and hearsay.

At the same time, I know that the iOS 15 has some built in multitasking features. My question is this: can multiple instances of Scrivener be opened at the same time via multitasking?

Additionally, I’d love to hear any other general advice you might have for me. Any need-to-know work-arounds or challenges I should be aware of when it comes to transitioning my workflow into Scrivener for iOS? Thanks so much!

Yes, this is correct. The quick Ref opens on the left, in place of the binder.

No, you can’t open multiple instances at the same time.

I enjoyed and was quite productive on iOS Scriv, but I personally view it more as a first draft platform, due to its stripped down feature set. Here are some of the limitations vs the desktop version:

Compile is extremely limited. (This is the number one feature constraint.) No keywords or custom metadata. Can’t open two projects simultaneously, so copying between projects is not straightforward. No automatic backups. No Scrivenings mode, although the Draft Navigator provides a substitute.

While there is no iOS Scriv manual, you can download the iOS Scriv tutorial project here. Open it on your Mac and read through it to get a better idea of iOS features.

If you describe your usual workflow or features that are important to you, perhaps we can offer workarounds.


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Jim did an excellent job laying out some of the main limitations of the iOS version. One tip I’d offer: get used to using the little clock icon in the top menu (Recent Documents). I’m surprised at how often it eases my way past some of those obstacles.

I still use the Mac version the most, mainly because it’s easier to import lots of files, because of force of habit no doubt, and because my MacBook is connected to my external display, which gives me more room to display source documents. (I know, I can also connect it to my iPad but it feels a bit clunkier still.) And I do hope Compile and other MacOS features will be added to the iOS version eventually. But I must say I’m really fond of the iOS version’s fresh, relatively minimal design, and I hope whatever features are added don’t compromise that surprisingly elegant simplicity.

I’ll keep using both versions until my six year old MacBook expires, and then I’m determined to try the same experiment you’re undertaking, and go iPad only. So I (and I’m sure other Scriveners here) would really appreciate it if you’d check in here on the forum with occasional updates on how the transition is going for you, both positives and negatives. Good luck!

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To me, that says a lot, @Emmaleigh. The iOS feature set is so limited, it doesn’t need a manual.

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