Where has the iOS Wish List Gone?

pa
patoot
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:53 am Post

You need to put the iOS project on Kickstarter.

There are enough people who have been waiting forever, it feels, who would give you $50 just to get this thing launched. Apparently you have but one developer on this. Given the complexity of the project, this isn't enough.

With all the promises it's becoming vapourware for many of us. I've stopped using Scrivener because I've created a good workflow for Mac/iOS with other products. Scrivener has fallen off the grid for many loyal users.

I understand limitations in resources, but Scrivener is losing validation by taking so long to get an iPad product out. Raise the money via Kickstarter and put a professional development team in place to finish it.

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KB
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:53 am Post

We don't need to put it on Kickstarter (money really isn't the issue), it is not vapourware, and our business is booming more than ever with more and more users buying the desktop version each month, so it doesn't seem that we are losing any of the "validation" you think, but thanks for your concern. However, we know our business and will therefore run it the way we see fit. There is only a single developer on the Mac version (me), too, for your information - it's how most indie software is created - and throwing more people at a problem isn't necessarily the path to better software. And it's certainly not the path to profitable, maintainable software for small software houses. I'm happy to hear that you have found other products that suit your own workflow, but please don't worry about us as Scrivener and Literature & Latte are doing better than ever, and we are confident that when the iOS version is out next year our users will be very happy with it. I'm not sure how you can claim that an app consistently (and still) in the top 30 top-grossing Mac App Store apps has "fallen off the grid", though. :)
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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Jaysen
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:10 pm Post

KB wrote: an app consistently (and still) in the top 30 top-grossing Mac App Store apps has "fallen off the grid", though. :)

Wait. Did I read that right? Scriv in the top 30 big boys on app store?

Have I ever stated how much I respect the approach you've taken in developing L&L? (and scriv, but that is based on the L&L ethic).
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 24 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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KB
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:59 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:
KB wrote: an app consistently (and still) in the top 30 top-grossing Mac App Store apps has "fallen off the grid", though. :)

Wait. Did I read that right? Scriv in the top 30 big boys on app store?


Yes! (On the US store.) I should add that being in the top 30-grossing apps on the Mac App Store isn't ever going to make us millionaires, though. :) The numbers are not as high as you might think (it will be interesting to see how the iOS store compares), but it does show that Scrivener more than holds its own against other popular Mac indie apps (right now, for instance, it's sitting above OmniFocus, Coda, Screenflow, Evernote and GarageBand, although this changes by the hour), which is highly gratifying.

Have I ever stated how much I respect the approach you've taken in developing L&L? (and scriv, but that is based on the L&L ethic).


Thank you, as always! I do of course understand how frustrating it can be or users who are impatient for something to come out (I'm not renowned for my patience myself...), but with software like Scrivener there's no advantage to rushing to market. It's much better to make it the best it can be. Of course, I would have loved to have got the iOS version out in 2013, but events conspired against us. In a way, it's worked out well, though, because the release of iOS 7 has given us access to TextKit, which means that the iOS version has full rich text, comments, annotations, the works.
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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patoot
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:10 pm Post

KB wrote:I'm not sure how you can claim that an app consistently (and still) in the top 30 top-grossing Mac App Store apps has "fallen off the grid", though. :)


With all due respect, that's not an indicator of retention or staying on the grid for existing users.

There's a difference between converting new users (e.g. purchasing a new license via the Mac App Store) and retaining current users. Congratulations on being in the top-30, but it doesn't indicate satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, of existing users.

You have no way to measure accurately the abandonment of a product, except perhaps metrics involving paid upgrades via your own online store. In my own little world, I know of at least a dozen license holders, and I know that two-thirds of them have abandoned Scrivener because their workflow includes heavy usage of the iPad... Especially as more and more are not lugging laptops into the field for writing or rewrites, but iPads and an external keyboard.

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KB
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:02 pm Post

While on first blush it might not seem to be an indicator of existing customer satisfaction, you need to bear in mind that we do no advertising beyond sponsoring NaNoWriMo each year and some other minor sponsorships and that the vast majority of those new users are coming to us through word of mouth from existing users. We have over 20,000 followers on Twitter, over 20,000 on Facebook (not enormous numbers, but larger than most comparable small software houses), and as many again signed up to our newsletter, all of which is growing daily and is populated by existing users that are incredibly nice and enthusiastic about Scrivener. We receive dozens of emails every day from happy customers. We are in constant touch with our user base and know our business very well. We also try to read the numerous blog posts that are posted daily about Scrivener and the various reviews on the Mac App Store and elsewhere (by existing customers). So with all due respect back at you, your anecdotal evidence is not at all what we are seeing.

So of course we know that a number of our users are impatient for our iOS version, but we would be serving them very poorly if our sole aim was to rush it to market, or just to "get it finished". If we listened to everybody who told us our business would fail if we didn't do such-and-such, there would be no business left. Also, my guess is that you wouldn't be bothering to post here if you weren't keen to get the iOS version in your hands - why would you care otherwise, after all? - so it doesn't look as though you have abandoned Scrivener entirely. :)

We're working hard to make the iOS version as great an app as possible (and I should be working on the sync code right now rather than on this post); in the meantime, users already have ways of working with existing iOS apps (external folder sync).
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floatingbones
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Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:10 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:Wait. Did I read that right? Scriv in the top 30 big boys on app store?


You can see the Top 200 apps on the AppShopper.com website. http://appshopper.com/mac/bestsellers/gros/?device= is probably the best way to look.

This list is a highly-useful way to find third-party utilities. It's noteworthy that the best-selling Mac app is currently a a duplicate-file finder. It's also disappointing that Apple doesn't provide a builtin way to find that.

KB wrote:There is only a single developer on the Mac version (me), too, for your information - it's how most indie software is created - and throwing more people at a problem isn't necessarily the path to better software. And it's certainly not the path to profitable, maintainable software for small software houses.


The most famous description of this phenomenon is the Brooks book "The Mythical Man-Month". The Wikipedia article on that book is quite good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month

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ang
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Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:42 am Post

What? L&L works on a ios version? :D

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Flexo
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Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:04 pm Post

patoot wrote:You have no way to measure accurately the abandonment of a product, except perhaps metrics involving paid upgrades via your own online store. In my own little world, I know of at least a dozen license holders, and I know that two-thirds of them have abandoned Scrivener because their workflow includes heavy usage of the iPad... Especially as more and more are not lugging laptops into the field for writing or rewrites, but iPads and an external keyboard.

So actual sales figures aren't an accurate measurement, but your personal circle of friends is?
That's, well. It's something.

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David Munch
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Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:53 pm Post

Would you by any chance need beta testers for the iOS version of Scrivener?

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luciusfox
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Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:56 pm Post

patoot wrote:You need to put the iOS project on Kickstarter.

There are enough people who have been waiting forever, it feels, who would give you $50 just to get this thing launched. Apparently you have but one developer on this. Given the complexity of the project, this isn't enough.

With all the promises it's becoming vapourware for many of us. I've stopped using Scrivener because I've created a good workflow for Mac/iOS with other products. Scrivener has fallen off the grid for many loyal users.

I understand limitations in resources, but Scrivener is losing validation by taking so long to get an iPad product out. Raise the money via Kickstarter and put a professional development team in place to finish it.


You know how the saying goes, 'a good craftsman never blames his tools'...

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ravensview
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Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:06 am Post

And a good craftsman learns to use what tools he/she has.
I certainly would like to use an iOS Scrivener, but have long since learned other ways to use my iPad and PC together.
In the initial stages I can use Evernote on my iPad to collect story ideas, but once I start to outline it's time to use the PC version. I also use it for the bulk of my writing. I often have good intentions of writing bits of stories when I'm out and about doing other things, but the point is - I'm doing other things. I may jot down an idea or two but that's it. I still need to sit down at my writing desk, with fresh coffee and some background music, and just write for 2-3 hours. Even more so for editing, initial stages are done in Scrivener, until I need to export to Word for Beta readers and copy and proof editing.
So - when this iPad app comes out some time in 2014, I'll try it out, but may just stick with what I'm doing now.

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SusanM
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Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:17 am Post

I know I could get my post pulled for this, and I don't mean to start a fight. I just think bad behavior deserves to be called out.

"patoot", I find your posts insulting toward the employees of L&L. How can you claim to know their business or the best way to develop their software? They are making products we purchase, not providing for your god given rights. Their schedule and business practices deserve to be their own.

Within the last year they have put out a significant updates to Scrivener and Scapple, kept us more updated on the iOS version than many developers would, and have been very responsive to users on these forums. That's more than I've seen from many small development houses.

While my workflow likely differs from yours, I enjoy the syncing feature in the Mac version that lets me use the iOS text editor of my choice to work on parts of my draft.

Keep up the good work, L&L. There are people who appreciate it.

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Prohorenkov
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Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:55 pm Post

Do I understand correctly that the iOS version of Scrivener will not?

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Dre Sage
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Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:42 pm Post

Hi I'm new and this is my first post. I joined to learn more about Scrivener because I have decided to use it to seriously organize my writing because I am taking too much time trying to re-organize my notes. I tried Evernote and while that's great for some people, I do not trust Evernote due to them being hacked awhile back. I no longer use them anymore. I know that no company is immune from these type of security issues so I won't hold it against them.

I am posting in this thread to let you know that if you are developing this app, please take in consideration of customers who are currently using the default Notes app in iOS. I use the default notes app to write story notes. Will the iOS version of Scrivener easily let us transfer our notes from the Notes app to Scrivener and will anything we do in Scrivener be backed up whenever our iCloud Backup automatically backs up? I ask because iCloud automatically backs up once a day when the iPhone is in sleep mode and connected to Wi-Fi. This will also comes in handy for iTunes backups as well.

Also will you use iCloud to sync Scrivener across devices? Some apps do.