which would be best for Scrivener: a new mac or iPad?

Good morning everyone.

I need a new device, mostly to keep writing with Scrivener, and I wonder what would be best, a new macbook or an iPad?

Please consider I use mac as a desktop computer, but Android for mobile devices, I am not into Apple ecosystem anymore, only the desktop part. My phone is a Note 10 and I am not giving it away.

I just wonder if an iPad would be as good, or even better, as a macbook for Scrivener using purposes.

Is the dictation feature better now on iOS? When I used to use it it wasn’t so good, Android was better.

Any other hint?

Thank you.

The iOS version is a kind of companion app, in my opinion. iOS doesn’t give you the same overview. You can’t see the Binder, Editor and Inspector at the same time, There is no split screen. And so on. The iOS version is much more limited. I only use it in very special circumstances where a laptop would be to cumbersome to handle.

But I use my iPad for almost all searching-reading-annotating scientific literature. It’s way better than any laptop or phone for that purpose.

I’m with Lunk, the iOS version just isn’t as powerful as the Mac or even Windows version. It’s great for editing or some light writing on the go, but if I’m in a situation where I could bring my laptop I’d definitely leave my ipad home.

I would get a macbook if I were you.

Thank you and… got it.

I guess I’ll search for a second hand MacBook 12, something really light I can bring with me in a rucksack.

It’s a pity the iOS version offers only a subset. I hope the Android one will be richer than that and it should be if they work it from the windows version.

It there is only a subset you can edit txt files into external folders synced as well.

Thanks again.

I had to make this choice in 2018. I went with the new MBA (which was announced while I was thinking), and I’ve had no regrets. I also have a 15" MBP as a “desktop” and sync everything via iCloud.

The MBA is very much my writing machine, so the base model was fine, and I’ve installed very few additional apps on it other than Scapple and Aeon Timeline. It can drive a big monitor too, when necessary.

The points @lunk made chime with me. (I also always have two or more projects open in tabs (switching with ctrl+shift+tab), which may or may not be simple in iOS. I don’t know.)

Most of all I love the portability and battery life of the Air. Just using Scriv, you can easily get 14-16 hours (or more) out of it.

Is this a primary device or a secondary device?

If you plan to develop complete manuscripts from start to finish, you’ll probably be happier with a Mac. If you want a mobile option for notetaking and light editing and organization, the portability of an iPad is hard to beat.


Also consider the humble MacBook Air 11.6 2015. It’s almost as light as the MacBook 12, has a much better keyboard, and has better performance numbers than the early MacBook 12. I work around the narrower screen by automatically hiding and showing the Dock (System Preferences, Dock pane) and the Menu Bar (System Preferences, General pane.) I’ve spent years schlepping it around Los Angeles, to Europe, etc. The drawback is that it doesn’t have the high resolution “Retina” screen (on the other hand, there’s a quick hidden system setting that will let you put the MacBook Air 11.6 into 1280x720 HiDPI mode, a little cramped but nice and crisp.)

By the time you add a keyboard and case, let alone an Apple Pencil or a mouse/trackpad, the MacBook 12 or MacBook Air 11.6 is the same mass as an iPad Pro kit, so personally I don’t see the iPad advantage for an app like Scrivener. Even a new MacBook Air is only slightly heavier.

Happy shopping, whatever you decide!

The nicest part about a Macbook 12" is that it is as silent as an iPad and it doesn’t het as hot as my MBP. I can use it in bed when my wife is going to sleep.

Do tell…

Oh… OK, let me look it up in my notes… From Jim Tanous on tekreview.com:

Hope this helps!

Edit: Apple may have closed this loophole. But it can be re-opened with SwitchResX, free to try, $16 USD at madrau.com.

Thanks, Silverdragon!

The new MBA is similar – I don’t know about the old one. The only time I’ve heard the fan is during macOS updates.

The 12" doesn’t have a fan. :slight_smile:

Thank you everyone.

As a matter of fact, I own an Air 11 and I love it. It’s the max I use at the office, hooked to an external monitor, keyboard and… trackball - yes, I prefer it.

Over the time, its shell got bent. It’s like something exploded inside and it looks egg shaped now, you can’t close the lid. I have no idea why, first time it happens with a Mac. Since I use it as a desktop machine I just don’t care.

Eventually I found out a 12 MacBook with i5 and 500g SSD refurbished late 2017 and I bought it. With 350€ more I could have bought a brand new MacBook air but with 128 SSD and a even if just a bit larger size and weight. So I don’t know if I did it right, I guess I’m just trying it then I could return if it doesn’t click with me and go with the 2020 MBA.

Thank you and have a nice Sunday.

Regarding the section I emphasized, do an internet search for swollen batteries. If that’s what’s caused your Air’s shape to become distorted you should unplug it/stop using it. It needs repair—it’s a fire hazard.

A sample article from iFixit:
ifixit.com/Wiki/What_to_do_ … en_battery

Second that! I had it happen with the battery in my first 17" MBP. I was about to give a class at the time, and suddenly found I couldn’t use the trackpad. I also realised the MBP was unstable and had a look underneath and saw that the battery—fortunately exterior!—had swollen slightly. So I took the battery out and used mains power.

By the time I got it to the dealer, two hours later, the battery had swollen by another centimetre!

Sadly, batteries are no longer accessible from the outside.


Thank you to the both of you.

I guess you are right, I’ll see if I can get it fixed. I just wonder whether replacing the battery would get back its previous shape or instead the ovalization is there to stay.

Thank you.

Yes, I know. That’s why I qualified the fact the new MBA has a fan. :confused:

Well, my 12" MacBook actually has one fan - me! :smiley: