Scrivener for iOS - When?

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benlovejoy
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:12 pm Post

The problem is, he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

A lot of people are pissed off because they were told to expect the iPad version by now and don't have it, while others – like you – are pissed off because he's learned that lesson and is now saying little until it's actually ready.

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parf
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:23 pm Post

Patti wrote:I think the frustration is mainly because we don't know how much longer it will be until we see the much-anticipated iOS version.

I would like to see, perhaps, just a quick update on a monthly basis, (I think it's been early Sept. since we heard anything) and an ETA.

I hate to spend $100 plus trying out the alternatives, (i.e the combined OS X & iOS versions of Ulysses or Storyist) IF it's only a matter of another few months (early 2016). If it's another year, then I might consider it.


As someone who bought an iPad 2 years ago just because iOS version seemed so close, I can't agree more. We deserve updates and a realistic ETA.

fo
followthechris
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:37 pm Post

benlovejoy wrote:The problem is, he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

A lot of people are pissed off because they were told to expect the iPad version by now and don't have it, while others – like you – are pissed off because he's learned that lesson and is now saying little until it's actually ready.


I think very few people at this point are die-hard "We need an ETA!" folks. There are some of them, and honestly he should be able to provide an ETA now that it's with a professional firm that knows what they are doing. I think most people don't expect him to given the past issues, though.

Most posters (like the person below you, myself, and Patti above) just want some acknowledgement that work is continuing and progressing to be provided on a regular, consistent basis.

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benlovejoy
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:38 pm Post

If there were no history, I'm sure Keith would provide an ETA. But having been bitten on the ass by doing so previously, I'm not surprised he's being vague this time around.

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Hugh
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:58 pm Post

I'm one of those people who are really looking forward to Scrivener for iOS. I've even found the bench in the park by the river in the valley where in fine weather I'll sit writing in Scrivener on my iPad when it arrives. :)

But... I refuse personally to join in the fuss over the fact that we don't have it already. For several reasons: for one, I recognise the huge mental and creative effort involved in getting Scrivener for iOS to work. I imagine - I don't know - that it's not just a matter of getting a high proportion of the many features of Scrivener for the Mac and Windows that we value so much to function on iOS. But also syncing between iOS and the desktop: projects written in Scrivener's competitors like Ulysses and Storyist are, as far as I know, single files. Those written in Scrivener, as we all know, are not. (I lost the whole of a 40,000-word single-file project in another application years ago through corruption, so that's a feature of Scrivener that I personally value very highly.) Again, I imagine that the task of getting multi-file syncing to work reliably is, well, very challenging. Racking my brains, I can't think of another piece of writing software that uses a multi-file format and syncs to iOS and is also produced by a very small team, though there may be some.

But above all, I value Scrivener for what it is, not what I hope it will become. That's the way I buy just about everything in my life. Doesn't everybody? The total of £50 or so that I've spent on Scrivener over the last eight years (at the time a lot cheaper than most of the competition, incidentally) has been a terrific investment, repaid many times. What right have I to demand more?
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KB
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:30 pm Post

followthechris wrote:*Edit: KB claims they have put a "small fortune" into this, and I sort of believe that. Though for, what, two years? he balked over the 80Kpounds it would supposedly have required for in in house developer. Then he spent the next 2 years trying to use people from a WRITING forum to do his coding. Only now is it with an agency, and they're having to rebuild the core components (binders) from the ground up! I do believe that it's cost him far more than that original 80k, but only because he balked at doing it correctly the first time.


Believe it or not, back then £80,000 was a lot of money to us, more than we could afford, as we were a tiny company. Despite insinuations by some that we must be haemorrhaging users because of our lack of an iOS version, that hasn’t been the case. Fortunately our sales have increased year on year and, from evidence of our sales on the App Store (only one of our channels, unlike our competitors) and response to events such as NaNo, we still seem to be way ahead of the competition in terms of sales despite our mistakes - fortunately. We are very grateful to our users for continuing to recommend Scrivener and to make it more and more well-known. All of this means that we are now in a much better position to throw money at an iOS version than we were even two years ago.

All this stuff about us hiring random people from a writing forum is nonsense, though, or at least misleading. Our initial coder had coding experience across the board, although admittedly wasn’t a seasoned iOS developer. Our second coder, however, had worked for an agency previously and had worked on a number of iOS apps, but Scrivener is a much bigger app and project than most developers have ever had to get to grips with. We currently have two experienced app developers who work for an agency on it, developers who have written apps for major companies and museums, and yet I’m having to get involved and help a lot because something like Scrivener is outside their experience too. The fact is, as far as I can see, most iOS developers have only ever worked on smaller apps; those who have worked on giant apps are still working on them, because it’s their own baby (as Scrivener for Mac is mine) or because they are part of a large company. Scrivener seems to be beyond the comfort zone of most developers. (Even most of the competition is nowhere near as complex as Scrivener in terms of syncing and file structure because of Scrivener being essentially a cross between a document-based and shoebox app, allowing you to import all sorts of files.)

followthechris wrote:Check my post history back in 2011 for KB outright stating that he doesn't see iOS as important to Scrivener. Same thread where he balked over development costs.


See above. And that was four years ago; things change. I still don’t really get the whole “writing on an iPad” thing when there are 12" MacBooks and 11" MacBook Airs out there that are far more comfortable writing machines, but I’d certainly be happy with an iPhone version for when I’m out and about.

followthechris wrote:His admission that the "developer" he hired screwed the pooch so badly that now that it's finally with an agency it's having to have the heart rebuilt from the ground up came in his recent blog on iOS status.


This is getting insulting, please follow the forum rules - the only one is “be polite”, really.

followthechris wrote:Possibly switching softwares has nothing to do with being mad at the development team. It's a desire to do business with honest companies. A desire to pay companies who care about their customers. A desire not to be lied to.


followthechris wrote:users have a right to be frustrated with KB. His hollow promises have caused frustrations for years


followthechris wrote:So yes, I am going to complain loudly and openly. I wish others would too. This isn't just bad luck as KB presents it -- it's the result of terrible, terrible decision making and his hope that people would forget about wanting an iOS version.


followthechris wrote:Why would you ever want someone to make these mistakes again? And how wold it take any courage? They were all made out of a poor business sense and selfishness.


Yes, yes, I’m a dishonest liar, selfish beyond redemption, a moron, but also an evil mastermind who did all of this deliberately because I wanted to spend a lot of money, get a lot of abuse, and all just to wind up the users I care for. Spot on! Buhahahaha. Etc.

But also: please tone it down and keep it polite. Users are welcome to express their opinions, but are not welcome to be insulting on our own forums, whether to us or to other users.

followthechris wrote:I think Storyist now has all the features Scrivener does (which it didn't always)


At least you gave me a good laugh there! :) Seriously, though, if you feel Storyist has everything you need - or Ulysses - what are you still doing here? You should absolutely go and use the software that works for you.

followthechris wrote:People on this forum have been clamouring for more frequent updates for years, but he refuses to provide them for some reason -- and, since an update is such a small thing, the takeaway for customers who have asked for them is that he simply doesn't care.


Funny, it seems to me that I spend half of my life in this thread, often getting abused. We’ve had major issues getting an iOS version out; we haven’t been murdering children (but sometimes it feels like it). If you read our About page, you'll see that it says I never really thought of myself as a software developer: I developed a tool I wanted for myself. It's true that this has continued to be my main aim, rather than trying to turn L&L into a huge software company focussed solely on profit. My attitude is still that if you like Scrivener, buy it and use it. If it doesn’t meet your needs any longer, go use something else - as nom said, we list our competitors as we make no bones about the fact that we won’t be for everyone. And that not being for everyone is not just the software, but in the way we do things - it's fair enough if you don't like the way we run our company. That doesn't mean we're going to change; it just means that you should think about what you want and choose your software accordingly. That way, we'll all be happier.

But to say I don’t care is utter tosh. I can’t remember a day in the past couple of years I’ve worked fewer than twelve hours; often weekends too. I’m not complaining: I do it because I care passionately about Scrivener, and have been working on the Mac version furiously. (It may not seem like it, but that's because all that work isn't ready for a reveal yet - you have made it abundantly clear you wouldn't want to pay for it anyway!) Maybe you don’t care about that, because all you care about is an iOS version. But our existing customers are Mac and Windows users, and I’m a Mac user and developer, so I continue to forge on with that. But also many of those days have been spent trying to sort out the iOS version. I now have my hands in the iOS code too. I do care, which is why I take the time to answer even such progressively more rude posts as your own.

Amcmo wrote:So Keith isn't perfect, and some say can be a bit crotchety.


Have you been speaking to Julia? :) I used to have a Shakespeare quote as my screensaver on my computer at work: "The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I learned from my entertainment." (From memory.) I *try* to tone down the crotchetiness more these days, but some days it is very hard!

nom, xiamenese, Hugh, others - many thanks for the support and understanding, I do appreciate it greatly.

To everyone else: sadly, there will be no Scrivener for iOS out in 2015. It’s just not possible now and there’s no point me continuing to hope. I have no ETA and will not give one because if I do, I’ll be hauled over the coals for it if we miss it again and called an incompetent liar. As I have said several times, if an iOS version is critical to you and you really cannot get your work done without it, you should go and use software that fits your workflow better. I hope you’ll come back and check on our iOS version when it is ready, but don’t put your writing on hold because of it. We’re working on it as a high priority, as we have been all year, and I am now taking much tighter control, even though that is now delaying Mac development. If the current developers seem to have made no significant progress by Christmas, I’ll take the entire project on completely myself (I’ve already written the underlying project load/save/sync code and the text system) and put the Mac version to one side for longer, although I really don’t want it to come to that.

We really do appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm for the project, and once again I am sincerely sorry that the project has hit so many problems and not come to fruition this year (or last, or the year before). But for the time-being, it’s probably best just to forget about our iOS version and treat us as a desktop-only company that has never said anything about an iOS version. I know I wish I hadn’t. :)
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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parf
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:48 pm Post

KB wrote:sadly, there will be no Scrivener for iOS out in 2015.


It is very sad indeed, but thanks a lot for your honest answer to my question. A negative ETA is still much better than nothing.

Good luck.

Pa
Patti
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:04 pm Post

Sad news that we won't see Scrivener iOS in 2015.

Personally speaking, I'm not mad at the folks at L & L. Just disappointed that we'll have to wait even longer for what we know will be a quality product.

Good luck with it--hope you have good news for all of us soon.

fo
followthechris
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Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:39 pm Post

See! Voicing complaints does get something -- I got the man himself down here to fuss at me! :D

I'd made my decision to peace-out earlier, but this is a point I should make.

KB -- I'm no fan of yours, I think that's clear. At the end of the day it boils down to my belief that you need a business person doing the business stuff if all you want to do is code Mac. BUT: You make one hell of a product, and I do love it. I think I've bought 3 scrivener licenses in the past when I was still working, since you didn't require paid upgrades.

At this point, though -- other services will come to me when I'm in the hospital, bed, wheelchair, morgue -- wherever I may be. I've been waiting for years for it to be Scrivener, and hopefully Q3/4 2016 it will be. At that point, assuming it all works, the entirety of my problems with the product will be assuaged, and I'd be willing to pay/recommend again.

In the mean time, how about those monthly blog updates, KB? :wink:


Edit: I do apologize for getting rude. It honestly isn't typical of me, it isn't the way I try to live my life, but it boiled over a bit the other night when I was trapped in bed without access to a desktop and continued from there. It is representative of how I feel though, and it's flavored by seeing KB's responses to other users through the years.

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jinchoung
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:50 am Post

To everyone else: sadly, there will be no Scrivener for iOS out in 2015.


that's all i needed. thanks!

will put it out of my mind then until external stimuli indicates different.

jin

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JonKatz
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:48 am Post

KB wrote:We really do appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm for the project, and once again I am sincerely sorry that the project has hit so many problems and not come to fruition this year (or last, or the year before). But for the time-being, it’s probably best just to forget about our iOS version and treat us as a desktop-only company that has never said anything about an iOS version. I know I wish I hadn’t. :)


Here's an alternative for you, KB. License the Scrivener file format to us, non-exclusively, for $10/derivative software product sold...any OS. We will launch a KickStarter for $150K to partially subsidize the salaries of 2 developers and a UX person. We will develop for iOS first and, if there's demand, do Android and (ha ha) Windows Phone, with the iOS version scheduled to ship by WWDC (June 2016).

KickStarter requires that you raise 100% of your funds within 2 months or get nothing. We're targeting a sales price of $49.99, so we would need to get at least 3000 pledges. If the drive fails, you have reasonable proof that sales would have been insufficient anyhow. If we don't ship, we're on the hook, not you.

If we succeed, instead of paying for development, you'll profit at least $30K (whoopee!) and continue making your $10 on every derivative software product we sell that uses your file format, in perpetuity.

Either way, your headache should be gone, come February if the KickStarter fails, and come June, if it succeeds. We don't need or want your source code, nor do we want to compete against your existing Scrivener products for general purpose authors. Our target audience is knowledge workers and forensics. Being compatible with a well-known product solves a lot of problems for us. We're after up-market niches and will only compete against you on Windows/OS X with products priced at $150 or greater. Our customers will typically buy copies of Scrivener for their staff since they're less expensive. Should be a total win/win.

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Amcmo
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:56 am Post

Keith,

Thanks for the feedback on iOS progress.

Unlike some, I am a fan.

You have developed an outstanding Mac/Win program, and I'm confident the iOS version will also be outstanding. I'm at the point where I'm tossing up between a MacBook or an iPad Pro for my second writing device, the main being a 15" rMBP, with a backup Win desktop.

If you have a spare moment (unlikely from what you say about your work schedule), go to http://www.executive-air.com.au. It's a uni assignment on the research and writing for my book. It mentions Scapple, and in the next section will mention the great research aids within Scrivener. I intend to post several screenshots.

I'm 64 and still take time to be active daily on a help desk.

As for your iOS travails. Developing complex software and hardware is still a black art, and one underestimated by those on the sidelines of the effort. I vividly recall being hired to rescue a microphone company that had developed an outstanding mic in the lab (Much of my background is in turning companies around). Unfortunately, in production it had an 80% fail rate of the line and was dragging the company to the cliff. Took me several months to sort the mess, all to do with prototyping with hand produced sample components. Component production tolerances had not been adequately considered and when combined made the product unusable.

Hang in there!

Fl
Flexo
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:12 am Post

@Jon: You're a funny guy.

es
especiale
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:19 am Post

This is a very long (and not always positive) discussion. So sorry if I post another opinion!
My intention is to open up a little the focus and write down some considerations.

1. I want Scrivener for the iWatch, seriously!
2. We are becoming Apple Consumers, namely we are falling in the trap: Apple is now a consumer company and we have to adapt, even if we do not need its products.
3. We had desktops and now Apple wants us to buy iPad. So what the company is doing? Converging their efforts on building one and only one Operating system (as Microsoft and Google with Android). In this way degrading the desktop system.
4. Degrading: Apple eliminated in one day RTF from Pages! Why? Because the iPad (and the web software) does not support RTF.
5. So if you want a software that works with the iOs you should forget RTF and find a very costly alternative.
6. This is, I believe, the reason why fine and wonderful and complex softwares which are built on RTF (Scrivener and Devonthing) are in the mud and are struggling to get a iOs version. Nisus (another RTF software) has not announced any plan for a iOs version. They are happily, so far, a serious desktop company.
7. Conclusion: blame all to Apple! And please do not transform yourself into a blind consumer.

Thanks.
(Sorry for the mistakes)

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benlovejoy
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:27 am Post

I hardly know where to start on that, so I won't attempt most of it ...

Point 3, Apple has been 100% clear that it has no intention of going the single OS route that Microsoft has taken because it believes the two platforms have different roles.

Points 5-7, this is nonsense, iPads do support the RTF format (and could hardly not).