Scrivener for iOS First Impression — It’s Squeaky Clean @ScrivenerApp

Yes, this is really what Scrivener iOS looks like.
Yes, this is really what Scrivener iOS looks like.
At last! Yes, that is the real deal — the Scrivener iOS Golden Master, which will be live on the App Store on July 20, retailing for $19.99 USD. It will sync with brand-new, free upgrades of Mac Scrivener and Windows Scrivener, which will be live before iOS Scrivener goes live in the App Store.

I’ve been testing this app since early April. I was once a professional software developer, and software QA engineer for commercial retail apps. I know what a clean, almost bug-free, release is, versus a buggy release that will need four updates to clean up the “unexpected results.”

Scrivener iOS is clean. If it were physical, it would squeak like a window cleaner commercial. It has been weeks since any problem was reported that would result in data loss. We were down to discussions of how to label settings options for maximum clarity, for pity’s sake.

So — what has Scrivener iOS got that other iOS options for editing Scrivener projects don’t have? And what made it over to iOS from Mac and Windows, and what stayed behind?

Regarding those other apps — Scrivo Pro and Storyist — that can edit Scrivener projects directly: Scrivener iOS’ advantages are what you would expect. Firstly, you can access much, much more of your project. Your research, your synopses, your labels and statuses — it’s all there. Secondly, because it’s Scrivener, it has unbelievably robust syncing. There have been reports of data loss and near data loss with Scrivo Pro and Storyist. With Scrivener, the only way you’re going to actually lose data is if you delete it. And then empty the Trash. And say yes to the “Are you sure?” alert.

What made it over from Mac and Windows Scrivener?

  • Your complete project, with research, notes, documents, and all
  • Synopses, labels, statuses
  • Document notes
  • An outliner — the Binder — that makes all of the above available
  • A corkboard for two-dimensional editing
  • Images on the corkboard
  • Compilation — so that you can set up your Editor view for comfortable writing and reading, and export in whatever format your client requires
  • Independent navigation — you can navigate to the next or previous document with arrow buttons, or you can go through the Binder, or the Recents list, or the Bookmarks
  • Side-by-side editing
  • Word count targets
  • Plain bulleted and numbered lists

What didn’t make it over?

  • Indented, formatted lists — you can edit an existing list item, but you can’t add a new item, or create a new list that has indentation
  • Tables — as with complex lists, you can edit an item, but you can’t create a new table, add or delete rows or columns, nor change formatting
  • Keywords
  • Custom meta-data
  • Some of the project-wide meta-data that are used for automatic compilation on Mac and Windows — author names, project names, word count tags — that sort of thing
  • Collections
  • Project Notes
  • Fast synopsis search as such

What’s different?

  • There’s no Scrivenings mode — instead, you use Draft Preview.
  • Quick Reference isn’t in a separate window–instead, you use the side-by-side editing feature

What’s iOS-only?

  • Split-screen support on iPads
  • “Open in…” support for both import and export
  • The entire interface is native iOS (not coded to look or act like Mac or Windows)

Next up: Scrivener iOS — Best Practices for Syncing


3 thoughts on “Scrivener for iOS First Impression — It’s Squeaky Clean @ScrivenerApp”

  1. It’s not as heavy-duty as the Mac/Windows version, but for iOS it’s not bad at all. Within a single document, you have search and replace with several options including regular expressions. The project-wide search is search only, exact phrase, case-insensitive. No project replace, I’m afraid.


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