Hooray! Scrivener for iOS is Going Beta and We Have a Screenshot!

greatandwealthyguyScrivener35 Comments

Scrivener for iOS in beta

UPDATE: Here’s Scrivener for iOS release date and upcoming features. I share all details I know, including some shiny new screenshots and a video showcasing Scrivener for iOS on an iPad! 


Great news for every writer who uses something other than pen and paper and their vintage but still efficient typewriter. Scrivener for iOS is finally coming this year!

Literature and Latte has officially opened beta testing of the app. As usual, we have no release date and almost zero information on how Scrivener for iOS looks and what features it provides (we know a few things about features, though – read along). But we have been waiting for this for years, right? Surely we can wait a little longer. I think after a couple months we will have an app eventually.

Wanna do something right? Do it yourself

Developers at Literature and Latte recently made some really impressive progress after months of silence and seeming standstill. They looked for an additional iOS developer to accelerate the process but then realized they don’t need one because they already actually had one. Funny as it is, Keith Blount, Scrivener designer and main developer, made a fateful decision to take over the development of iOS version himself. Previously he was in charge of Mac version and didn’t want to tear himself apart between the two. But thanks to his decision, we have Scrivener for iOS in beta now and not later.

I had originally planned not to develop it myself so that I didn’t have to divide my time between the Mac and iOS versions, but in the event, coding our iOS version turned out to be a lot of fun, especially with the introduction of the iPad Pro. Adapting Scrivener for iOS felt like going back to the beginning and remembering why I built Scrivener in the first place.

Keith Blount, Scrivener designer

Yay, first screenshot of Scrivener for iOS!

We don’t know much about the upcoming iOS app, but have some details and one screenshot of Scrivener on Keith’s iPad Pro:

It looks very minimalistic and iOS-ish – and that’s a good sign! Scrivener for desktop (at least for Mac, because I didn’t have a chance to check the Windows version out) has always been simple but very effective. I believe Scrivener for iOS will bring us struggling writers the perfect means to fight our distractions and capture the muse as we will be writing on the go (ah, at last!).

Scrivener for iOS features confirmed

We still don’t know much (because Literature and Latte is a conspiracy junkie, that is), but from sparse blog posts and comments we managed to dig the truth. The rest is rumors, but what we know for sure is:

  • Scrivener for iOS will include a full-featured writing environment we used to embrace in desktop version: Binder, Outliner, Corkboard, Inspector, full rich text editing (with comments, footnotes, etc).
  • Scrivener for iOS will not use iCloud syncing (at least in the initial version). We will sync our projects via Dropbox or standard (cumbersome) iTunes file sharing.
  • Scrivener for iOS will have a full-featured compile and export options.
  • Scrivener app will run on any iOS 9 device and above.
  • Scrivener for iOS will be available not only for iPad but for iPhone as well. As you can expect, certain features that demand a bigger screen (like the Corkboard) will be iPad-only.
  • Scrivener will support the handy multitasking features on the latest iPad Pro (and I believe the multitasking on iPad Air 2?).

I’m so excited to know that in the nearest future I will be able to finally work on my book without having to lug my heavy MacBook Pro around. Oh, Literature and Latte, my back will so appreciate it!

So what do you say fellow writers, are you following Scrivener for iOS news or you’re just fine with a desktop version? Let me know in comments.

[For the fireworks background of the featured image was used a photo by Jonathan d[-_-]b via Compfight cc / Color filters added, logo added, image cropped]

  • JohnFinch

    Awesome news!

    • Old Dog

      You know…we’ve heard this before. Ain’t you a bit frustrated with the promises that never came true? If we could believe that this was true…then ‘awsome’ would apply. But I gotta tell you, this Old Dog is mighty tired of the slipping schedule. I can relate to your enthusiasm, by I’m curbing mine ’til I see it in the App Store. Hope we both ain’t disappointed again.

      • Why are you so frustrated? As mentioned in the post above, we know for sure Literature and Latte are beta testing the app right now. It will take a couple month and then they release it on the App Store. Great news, don’t you think? 🙂

        It’s not just promises, LL gave us some actual info on how Scrivener for iOS works so we know that for sure. The full functionality is already there, they just need to test it before the release.

        • Bill Henderson

          This conversation is a wonderful display of basic typology at work.

      • JohnFinch

        I’m feeling good about this one. Don’t lose hope Old Dog 🙂

  • Jane Noesgaard Larsen

    both – both!!! Gimmi! 😀

  • Old Dog

    I’m a Mac user of the tool…love it. Following the news related to the iOS version…but have been for years. And that’s the problem. “It’s coming! It’s coming! And it’s gonna be AWESOME!” is all we’ve heard for years. And we ain’t seen nothing yet. I have been looking for a good cross-platform capability that doesn’t require me to tie myself in knots just to keep things synced. If/when I find it, Scrivener is gonna be in my rear view mirror. ‘Course, if the folks at LL get there before I find a acceptable replacement… Anyway, seems as if the developers have forgotten that perfection is the enemy of progress. ***Sigh***

    • You know, there is no any ‘acceptable replacement’ apps for iOS. Trust me, I’ve been looking for them while waiting for Scrivener app to come up. There’s nothing, totally zero in comparison to what we used to in our Scrivener for Mac.

      I’m doing my blogs and a little bit of book scenes in Pages now since it’s the most stable writing app with rich text formatting. I used to write in Textilus, but since they stopped updating the version I have and just released a new app under the similar name Textilus Something, I threw it away because it became unstable and crashes countless times when I just start to write.

      That said, there’s Storyist, of course, and they have Mac version and iOS version too. And I looked closely on this one. But you know, since I read a couple reviews about how it’s very simple (that is, bad kind of simple) and featureless and can’t be even compared to Scrivener, I lost my hope to find anything to replace Scrivener on my iPad and decided to wait silently and humbly for the actual (eventual) Scrivener for iOS release.

      • Old Dog

        Feel your pain my friend. Plan stories in Storyist while on iPad. Write with Textilus while on iPad. Stuck with Textilus since they got my money. Looking hard for replacements.

        • Yeah, I don’t like changing horses too. 🙂 But you know, if the app is so broken as Textilus is, no matter that I paid them the money, I just abandon it and then never go back to the company’s products. They just lose their reputation abandoning once great apps like that.

          So in the case of LL’s Scrivener for iOS, they are a good company trying to produce a really great app for years to come. And I think they’re right here. What would you say if a rushed Scrivener app would completely break your projects on the first sync? No one would like that. So they take their time as they’re preparing a truly marvelous app (I strongly believe).

  • Diana Aransky

    Great news! Love Scrivener so much!

  • ulysses is a pretty good alternative to scrivener – i’m not saying it’s better, many scrivener users will find some of its features inadequate – but it plays very nicely indeed when syncing between iOS and OSX versions. it also has a very nicely polished interface

    • I heard about Ulysses, but as far as I know, it is totally different app. It doesn’t provide Corkboard/Outline/Scrivenings views, it doesn’t really support rich text format but uses markdown. I think it better suits some bloggers with technical skills than usual writers. I may be mistaken, but that’s what I heard about the app. And it’s pretty costly for the functionality it provides.

      • i wouldn’t say totally different, no. In fact earlier incarnations of Ulysses were the inspiration for the development of Scrivener. But yes, no corkboard or outline view. There is a hierarchical folder sidebar, which allows much of the kind of re-ordering of texts that people love in scrivener. It’s more like a minimalistic writing environment with organisational tools. And it does that in a beautifully clean and pared down environment. But if scrivener is truly going mobile, I would imagine most people would prefer to stick with it.

  • This is huge for me. I rely on my iPad Pro because of my travel schedule. I’ve been waiting a long time for this!

    • Me too, Ron. And hundreds (thousands?) writers as well. iPad is so much more suitable for just writing, without usual distractions of multitasking on the laptop. But without Scrivener, iPad feels like a crude tool from an Ice Age for a writer who relies on Scrivener in their work. For the time being, we have to use some substitutions like Pages or Textilus or even Evernote.

  • Anthony

    As someone who has made the shift to Scrivener for a number of my more complex writing projects, I’ve got to say I’m really looking forward to the iOS version, especially as it’s been along time in the making. While I understand the frustration (and scepticism) of some of the other posters here, let’s not forget that LL is a small company with limited resources, and that they can only work on such projects as those resources allow. They’ve made the OS X and Windows versions really effective and powerful writing platforms, and I’m much happier that they’ve spent time working on the iOS version without rushing it and without compromising their commitment to the Win/Mac versions over the last few years. Patience will be rewarded, folks!

    • Totally agreed! I wanted to point out the small team of LL myself.

  • Paul Korhonen

    Great news. I will definitely look to purchase when it hits the store. I am using tha Mac version at the moment but don’t take that with me when I’m on holiday. An IPad solution would work just fine. I assume files saved into Dropbox will be compatible with IPad and Mac versions allowing you to work on the same writing project? Any idea what the price level will be?

    • Sadly, we have no information on the price – I’d like to know it myself. Cause here in Russia, with today’s rates, prices on the App Store are pretty high. But I will buy Scrivener for iOS on the first day, no matter what the price is (hope folks at Literature and Latte don’t read this, though ;).

      Yes, we will have Mac–iOS compatibility across our projects. I think they will update the file format for that, too.

  • Chicken McPhee

    Yes! Let’s hope this can go from beta to app store soon and grace my iPad Pro! Then I won’t even need a laptop to work anymore!

    • I leave my Macbook in office and try to work on the project either on my wife’s Macbook (in Scrivener) or on my iPad (sadly, in Pages or Evernote). They say the app will be available on the App Store in July.

      • Chicken McPhee

        Still sounds too good to be true, even after…howevermany decades it took them. 😀 Can’t wait. I also write on my wife’s macbook.

        • We are so lucky to have wives with Macbooks, right? 😉

          • Chicken McPhee

            Definitely 😀 Though I think an iPad Pro could be sufficient for writing once (if) Scrivener releases (this time).

          • Well, I have my good old iPad 4 and it works fine for me. Though after a few latest updates it works considerably slower than it should be. Apple frustrates me…

          • Chicken McPhee

            Planned obsolence. 🙁 Yes, it sucks. I’d say don’t update your software, but other stuff starts breaking if you don’t.

          • Right. I just hate how corporations dictate their customers what to do, when to buy a new device. I love my so called old iPad. It isn’t old, of course. It’s in ideal condition. But… Well, you know how it is. So frustrating. Maybe I need to start using Android tablets. But then again – there’s no word of Scrivener for Android.

          • Chicken McPhee

            My philosophy is – if your device is ‘too old’, if you can, revert to an earlier OS version when things actually ran great – just make sure to know which one, and jailbreak.
            I still have my very first iPad somewhere, but I no longer have a cord to charge it.

  • Daniela Sousa

    Yes! 😀

  • ZOMG I can’t wait!

  • Chris

    I’m waiting for an early beta of an Android version of Scrivener, but haven’t heard it’s even in development yet.

    • I didn’t heard about Scrivener for Android. I think you will have to wait for this one longer. A lot longer.

  • Jacqueline Peters

    I cannot wait !!! (well actually I guess I can 😉 )