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Scrivener For iOS

Scrivener proved so popular for desktop and laptop users that the demand for a mobile version couldn’t be ignored for ever.

Eventually, Literature and Latte, creators of Scrivener, responded by putting out a version for iOS which is compatible with both iPhone and iPad.

You may be wondering if Scrivener for iOS is a good fit for your needs. You may also be trying to figure out exactly why a writer would benefit from using the iOS version of Scrivener if they already have a version for their desktop. Read on to experience a full rundown of Scrivener for iOS which explores –

  • The key features of Scrivener for iOS
  • The main advantages of Scrivener for iOS
  • Drawbacks to using Scrivener for iOS

Scrivener for iOS 101 – Key Features and Benefits

Let’s get straight to it. The key features for Scrivener’s iOS version, and the ways they can benefit you, are as follows –

  • Full text editing and composition
  • Syncs with both Mac and Windows desktop versions for seamless integration
  • Full research capabilities on the go (import PDF, text, online and image research)
  • Full ability to outline and plan
  • Advanced editing capabilities including find and replace, comments, and labelling

Scrivener for iOS Mobile Writing Mode

Let’s take a look at each feature in turn and consider how it might benefit a writer using Scrivener on the go.

At first glance, it might seem strange or unwanted that the mobile version of Scrivener features a full writing mode. After all, not many writers would use their phone or tablet as their primary means of writing. However, this feature is more beneficial than it may at first seem.

The main way to benefit from Scrivener for iOS’ mobile writing mode is to outline and plan on the go. It’s a breeze, even on a keypad as small as an iPhone’s, to write short pieces of text, such as chapter summaries or character notes.

Don’t rule out writing in longer form on Scrivener for iOS entirely. A lot of writers make use of external keyboards to carry out full-length composition on the mobile version of Scrivener. This is a great option when travelling and pressed for space. It can be easier to carry around a tablet and slim external keyboard than a full laptop in addition to a tablet and keyboard.

Scrivener for iOS Sync Capabilities

For many writers, this will be the most attractive feature of Scrivener for iOS. The key advantage between syncing between the mobile and desktop version, no matter if you use Mac or Windows, is the ability to carry out different stages of your writing environment in different locations.

If you’re like many writers, you will prefer to carry out the majority of your writing in a home or office environment, using a desktop or laptop device. However, when it comes time for you to review your work and self-edit, it can be great to get a change of scenery. Perhaps you have a favorite coffee shop you love to edit in, or simply like to get outdoors and sit in the park on a sunny day.

Knowing that your work will sync between mobile and desktop is a real gamechanger for people who like working in different locations. It saves the need to export into and out of Scrivener by copy and pasting or using cumbersome third party software. Instead, you can work within the Scrivener environment, no matter where you are or what device you are using.

Scrivener for iOS Research Functionality

One of the most widely stated reasons for writers switching to Scrivener from more standard options, such as Microsoft Word, is the level of research organization and depth offered by Scrivener.

With Scrivener, gone are the days when you had to compile your research in a separate environment than your word processor, sloppily switching back and forth between them, inefficiently wasting time and energy.

Scrivener for iOS takes this research awesomeness to a new level. If you are out and about, and read or think of something related to your writing project, you can quickly and easily save your inspiration within your Scrivener project. When you return to work on your writing, your ideas are right there, within Scrivener, waiting for you.

Scrivener for iOS Planning and Editing

It’s often healthy and productive to split a writing project into distinct phases, such as planning, writing and editing.

The fact that the mobile version of Scrivener allows full editing capabilities, as well as outlining and planning, helps you to make faster and better progress on your writing projects.

If you take public transport as part of your daily commute, you can work on your writing project in one way or another, instead of having to think about it and get to work when you are home. If you have a lunch break, you can use it to move forward with your writing, rather than just scrolling through social media.

It can often be a creative struggle to switch from writing mode to editing mode in the same environment on the same device. Having the option to switch to your iPad or iPhone and go wherever you feel most focused is a breath of creative fresh air and can reduce the tedium of always working in the same place.

The Best Situations For Using Scrivener for iOS

Let’s take a look at how the benefits mentioned could make a difference for real writers.

  1. The mobile writer. If you travel a lot for work, or pleasure, you are likely to spend a lot of time on planes, trains and buses. Scrivener for iOS allows you to make productive use of this time, safe in the knowledge that your work syncs and is fully compatible with desktop Scrivener.
  2. The writer who needs inspirational locations. If you are feeling stuck, blocked or simply bored by your environment, Scrivener for iOS makes it easy to switch things up and work in a park or a coffee shop.
  3. The iPhone fanatic. Carrying around a laptop or tablet can be cumbersome and open you up to risk or theft. Simply by having an iPhone running Scrivener for iOS, you can usefully dip in and out of your writing work on the go, which is a lot more productive than mindless scrolling through social media.

Scrivener for iOS Drawbacks

It’s important to look at things in a fair and balanced way, so it’s worth considering the following drawbacks to Scrivener for iOS.

  • The $19.99 investment isn’t right for everyone. If you won’t use Scrivener on your iOS device enough to justify the cost, consider sticking to the desktop version.
  • There is no Scrivenings mode. This is a fan favorite from the desktop version which allows you to easily combine different text files. If this is a key part of your Scrivener use, the iOS version might not be your best bet.
  • No export to .epub and .mobi. I don’t know of many writers who would want to handle the format and ebook aspect of their project from a mobile device. However, if you do, you may wish to reconsider using the iOS version of Scrivener.
  • Not all features available on iPhone. Corkboard mode, for example, works on iPad but not on iPhone. If you will be using Scrivener for iOS on your iPhone only, be aware of the limitations.

Scrivener for iOS Conclusion

Overall, Scrivener for iOS is an impressive mobile iteration of Scrivener packed with features and benefits. The $19.99 price is easily justified if using the software will save you time and make your writing process more efficient.

We’d never advocate buying a mobile app for no reason. However, if any of the benefits found in this article sound like they would be useful for you, it’s worth stepping out of your comfort zone and experimenting.

A lot of writers can’t imagine switching back from Scrivener to their previous word processor. You might just experience the same revolution if you give Scrivener for iOS a try for yourself.

Mike Thompson

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