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macOS 10.14 Mojave, Dark Mode, iOS 12, Scrivener and Scapple

The future is dark... Depending on your preferences.

(Note: This blog post relates to announcements that Apple made yesterday, and therefore pertains only to macOS and iOS versions of our software.)

Yesterday, at its 2018 WWDC keynote, Apple announced the latest version of its macOS and iOS operating systems: 10.14 "Mojave" and iOS 12. If you're  a Scrivener or Scapple user, here's what you need to know.

Dark Mode (macOS 10.14)

Perhaps the most exciting announcement was that macOS 10.14 is getting a system-wide Dark Mode. This is something for which I've been hoping for a while now, and I know that we have a lot of users who want a Dark Mode in Scrivener on macOS too (our iOS version already has one). Implementing a custom Dark Mode in Scrivener has always been problematic, because of the sheer number of UI elements and custom controls it uses. This should now be a whole lot easier, thanks to the necessary tools being built right into 10.14.

My biggest job over the summer, then, is going to be implementing a 10.14-compatible Dark Mode for Scrivener 3. Please note that this is not likely to be available until right before 10.14's official release, however - it's not something we can put together in a couple of weeks. We need to get Dark Mode-compatible versions of every icon created, and there are hundreds of custom UI elements (that is, elements I've bulit myself for Scrivener rather than ones provided by Apple's frameworks) that need Dark Mode support added. I'm very excited to get started on this, as is our icon and graphics designer. (Also, please note that Scrivener's Dark Mode will only be available on 10.14.)

I'll also be looking at Dark Mode for Scapple.

For now, if you choose to install the 10.4 beta, when you launch Scrivener, it will look just as it does right now on 10.13 - using a light interface and grey toolbar. It will look this way even when you switch to Dark Mode. This is because Apple has cleverly made it so that only apps built using the 10.14 development tools support Dark Mode. This way, you don't end up with apps using a dark toolbar and white text everywhere that otherwise have bright white and grey interfaces.

Using the macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 Betas

Right now, beta versions of macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 are available only to developers. Later this month (I believe), betas will be made publicly available to anyone who signs up for Apple's beta programme. However, we strongly recommend against using the current release versions of Scrivener or Scapple on macOS or iOS betas unless doing so only for testing purposes. (In my experience, the very first betas tend to have a lot of bugs that affect software of all sorts, which are cleaned up a few betas down the line.) We definitely advise against installing a beta OS on your main computer or device.

Most importantly, we are unable to support macOS 10.14 or iOS 12 until they are officially released in the autumn. We'll be working hard behind the scenes to ensure that Scrivener and Scapple work well with macOS 10.14 and (for Scrivener) iOS 12, and will release compatibility updates shortly before Apple officially launches the new OSes. If you choose to use Scrivener or Scapple with 10.14 or iOS 12 before that, however, you do so at your own risk and you may have to wait a while for beta-specific issues to be fixed. Of course, if you aware of the risks, only use the betas on secondary devices, have good backup systems in place, and decide to test the OS betas anyway, we will always be glad to hear of any issues you run into, as that will help us maximise compatibility for the autumn.

(As of writing, I haven't yet installed the iOS 12 beta on a device. I have installed macOS 10.14, though, and from very brief testing Scrivener 3 seems to run fine. Famous last words...)

Older Versions of macOS and iOS

Rest assured that Scrivener 3 will continue to work on macOS 10.12 and 10.13 even once it has been updated to support 10.14, and our iOS version should likewise continue to work on iOS 9 and later.

Scrivener 2 Users

Scrivener 2 is not compatible with macOS 10.14. At the time of writing, although macOS 10.14 can still run 32-bit apps (Scrivener 2 is 32-bit whereas Scrivener 3 is 64-bit), Scrivener 2 is not functional on the first Mojave beta. For now, then, Scrivener 2 uses should either update to Scrivener 3 or remain on macOS 10.13.

Releasing Compatible Versions

Although we never have an official release schedule (mainly because deadlines make the same sound for me as they did for Douglas Adams), I can say that right now we are very close to a Scrivener 3.0.3 release, which fixes a number of bugs and many enhancements. After that I will start focussing on macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 support. As mentioned above, however, our macOS 10.14 and iOS 12-compatible versions will not be available until shortly before Apple's official launch of these platforms in the autumn.

(As for Scrivener 3 for Windows, this remains in public beta and our hope is still that it will have its official release before the end of 2018.)

All in all, I'm excited about the announcements made at WWDC yesterday, and I love how the Dark Mode looks on macOS, so I can't wait to get started on our update.

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