Scrivener for iPad

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rebecca
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Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:37 pm Post

I just realized that, since the iPad runs the iPhone os, it will also be able to run iPhone apps. That means Docs to Go is already ported to it, albeit in an incomplete version. Not good for me, since the database is essential, but it has a version of Word, which would make writing on the iPad and moving docs to Scrivener easy.

But, as usual, I love Pages, not Word.

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ptram
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Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:43 pm Post

I know that most of my heavy work has to be done with a true keyboard, and a true computer. So, while I'm fascinated by portable devices like the iPad, I understand that all I must ask them to do is help me write quick notes (or even long, free-form notes).

To do this I don't need Scrivener. I can use any simple note widget. I use a full-screen editor like WriteMonkey when using my netbook (sitting on an Ikea laptop support for sofa workers...), or the Notes app of my smartphone. When back at the office, Scrivener is there for a smart Copy & Paste operation.

The iPad looks like having been conveived for consumers. We, as writers, are mostly producers. Macs will be our main tool.

Paolo

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dougsmith
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Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:22 pm Post

adamnyc wrote:What if there was a pared down Scrivener app that allowed you to work on individual text files - without full access to the binder and outline modes. It would allow you to choose specific pages you knew you were going to work on that day, use them with your iPad, and then sync them back to the main document.

Either that, or work with one of the smaller/simpler text editing programs, like write room, and see if they will build in some functionality that lets you communicate easily between the two programs.

That way, before you leave the house, you open your project, export the "Chapter 1" file only. Use that on your iPad at the library. Come back home and upload the changes. Scrivener users with iPads are going to be doing this in some way regardless, so maybe there's a way to build it in.


That's the kind of thing I would find very interesting as well, especially if there were a way to make the interface quick and easy. One doesn't need the full program on the iPad, only something that will allow one to work on sections while away from the main computer and then sync the sections easily. This would be very valuable when on vacations or out at the library or café or wherever.

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valente.mac
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Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:34 pm Post

rebecca wrote:I may buy an iPad in a few months, depending on whether or not I decide it will save me enough time on my real job to be worth it. I might even end up writing on it. But I'm keeping my Macbook. And my Alphasmart. And my iMac. And my iPhone.

Did I mention I also have a Shuffle?


I'm with you, Rebecca. :)

No big writing for sure, but I can see myself writing a small report or take some notes on an iPad. As for the Next Big Novel or a PhD... I'll be using my beloved MBP or iMac, as usual.

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AndreasE
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:39 am Post

One more argument against "ScriviPad":

The number of writers will not increase just because Apple starts selling just another gadget. In fact, I believe writers are a rather small market – and not a very wealthy one.

That means: Once somebody somewhere gets serious about writing, he or she will first get a real computer, with a real keyboard. In a lot of cases, this computer will be a cheap, old PC, inherited from an older, geekier relative or rescued from vanishing under dust. After that, there is still a lot of money to spend on backup devices, printers etc. - and as far as writing while travelling is concerned, most are better advised to take a notepad with them instead of an iPad.

The number of writers that will start writing and do so seriously on a virtual keyboard is, IMHO, neglectable. It will be about as large as the number of writers who write their immortal prose on their mobile phones.

:twisted:

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Typo
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:52 am Post

I agree, that there's no need for Scrivener on iPad right now.Time will show if it becomes a viable platform or if it goes the way of the Newton. And if the iPad is here to stay, it will evolve. Reaction to the first iPod was a disaster, and it became an icon. The iPhone took some time to become an alternative to a Blackberry. This thing might be capable of being a writer's tool. Right now it's all potential, looking for an audience.

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phineaspoe
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:40 am Post

I can't disagree with people complaining about the tech specs or multitasking, but I think those of you who don't see the iPad as a potential writing tool are not considering all the options, or potentially write from home.

Those of us who write in libraries, coffee shops or bars (or wherever) seven days a week, 8 hours+ a day, will want this. The current setup for I, and many of my friends, involves carrying our macbook pro, one or sometimes two batteries, charger, a couple of novels, and a notebook. Needless to say, it's heavy as sin and not quite practical.

Notebooks are out of the question. Windows, no thanks, and horrible screens all around.

The iPad, assuming enough developers jump on it, could be an incredible solution.
Pack your iPad, a bluetooth Apple keyboard ( by far the best keyboard I've used in my life, ultra thin, weighs nothing, and anyone who thinks they're going to crank out 5000+ words in one go on a touchscreen are very naive), and you're done. The battery will last you through the day, and all your reading material is on iBooks.

Will it replace my laptop at home? Of course not. But it's not the point.

From looking at various forums, it seems the Ulysses devs are already working on a full blown iPhone/touch/iPad version. Same with Voodoopad. I deeply believe the iPad could be a wonderful tool when you're not writing from home.

At the end of the day, though, I can totally understand why the folks behind Scrivener can't afford it and can't spend time on it.

Still, perhaps it would be a good idea to post on the blog and see if any iPhone devs would be interested in working on it. The idea of having Scrivener on the iPad makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's the very first software that came to my mind as soon as Apple announced the device.

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poritsky
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:27 pm Post

I realize Keith put the kaibash on Scriv for iPad, which I fully understand. But I just noticed this on a screenwriting website discussing how screenwriters could use the new device:

The touch screen feels ripe for an index card/outlining application. Virtual corkboard, virtual cards. Go.
http://johnaugust.com/archives/2010/how ... e-the-ipad


So there you go. I wouldn't be surprised if you guys are the next Wil Shipley, looking at your beautiful interface on this thing ;)

One more thing...Scrivener's most amazing feature is how open it is. The app has an incredible arsenal of import/export, so when someone does write the outlining/word processing app, I bet there will be a way to get it into our favorite Mac tool somehow.
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Mr Grinch
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Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:26 pm Post

Therein lies the problem- Someone will write a Scrivener like program at some point. This thing may take off in a big way in terms of streamlined OS computing. Taking the complexities that bring so much wasted time and frustration to the user experience out of the equation is very appealing.

This critter will be heavily used at universities where students desperately need to organize their thoughts and put them to "paper".

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KB
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:19 am Post

I have to say that replies to the tune of, "Well, if you don't do it, someone else will and they'll make a fortune" (with the implication of "and that will serve you right") really aren't very helpful. I've already explained why we're not in a position to look into something like this yet. Moreover, no one has held one of these things in their hands as yet, so whether they will take off as a means of streamlined computing has yet to be seen. So far as I can see as yet, and as has been pointed out by others, the iPad looks like a wonderful means of content consumption, but I still don't see it as a surefire contender as a decent content production tool.

Moreover, Scrivener is a complex program comprising hundreds of thousands of lines of code. It is doubtful that the entire interface would scale to the iPad - not because of screen resolution but because of the limitations of the iPhone OS. We'll have to see just how many interface classes have been added on top of the iPhone OS, as the iPhone can't even handle outliner views and suchlike. Either way, I doubt anyone will be able to rip off Scrivener quite as easily as you think.

Besides which, for universities, Windows would be a much more viable option if we're going to talk commercial opportunities - and on Windows, you can use a real netbook... Hmm...

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Stike
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:28 am Post

KB wrote:So far as I can see as yet, and as has been pointed out by others, the iPad looks like a wonderful means of content consumption, but I still don't see it as a surefire contender as a decent content production tool.

EXACTLY. This device is solely a consumer device. You use it to view, watch, read, hear. Not to create.

This is why Apple wont get my money on this device as it is. If it had OS X on it, oh yeah. But that? Nope.

Beside my iPhone I have another option to take notes. It looks like this:
http://www.wineonthekeyboard.com/wp-con ... ntaine.jpg
- Fiat justitia et ruant coeli -

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poritsky
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:57 am Post

@KB I want to be clear that what I said was not intended to be an underhanded "serves you right" comment. The Wil Shipley reference, as I'm guessing everyone knows by now, is regarding Apple's implementation of the "shelves" look in iBooks, which Shipley started with Delicious Library. He's taking it in stride because he knows it's a natural interface for looking at books, just like a corkboard is a natural idea structuring interface.

I am 100% on your side here. Like I said before, one of my favorite features of Scrivener is how open it is. RTF, TXT, SimpleText, OPML, Final Draft...it goes on. The way I use WriteRoom and OmniOutliner with Scrivener is one of my favorite aspects of your software.

So why am I clarifying? Because should someone make an app for the iPad that enhances my experience with Scrivener I will be very happy. Take CarbonFin's Outliner, which works beautifully with Scrivener via OPML, for example. If they big-ify their app it would be a great tool that would allow me to work out ideas on the go, then bring it all back to Scrivener at home.

We're all really excited, and I think that we will all win in the end. Can't wait for Scriv2.0!
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KB
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:18 am Post

Hi poritsky, actually I was replying mainly to Mr Grinch there! And I didn't mean it to come off quite as harshly as it did either, it's just that my nearly-two-week-old daughter was screaming all the way through writing my reply. :)

As for Apple using Delicious Library's bookshelf look - well, hey, look at the corkboard in iPhoto's Faces! (Note: I'm not seriously intimating they took that from Scrivener, that was a joke. :) )

Incidentally, are there any links to Wil Shipley's comments on all this? I couldn't find anything recent on his various blogs, and I do enjoy reading or listening to what he has to say.

Best,
Keith

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AmberV
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:25 am Post

poritsky wrote:He's taking it in stride because he knows it's a natural interface for looking at books, just like a corkboard is a natural idea structuring interface.


Is it really, though? I don't know anyone that shelves their books like that. If they shelve them at all, they are stacked spine-out so you can read the title/author name in a glance. You know, like a list. :)
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poritsky
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:55 am Post

@KB Check out Wil's Twitter for the last few days, and be sure to click through to people's comments. Here's the least hilarious but cleanest of them all:
To those asking: I’m not going to sue Apple. They used the best available metaphor to represent “books,” which was Delicious Library’s.
http://twitter.com/wilshipley

He goes on to quip how Apple sued Microsoft of the "desktop" metaphor, which didn't work because, duh, no one invented the top of a desk. And yeah, his name is Mr. Grinch, he's got to keep his rep. What's great is that there's all this talk about you not making an app! Brilliant! Look at how many people want to talk about Scrivener, and you didn't even have to do anything.

@AmberV Yeah! Apple's taken the whole "paper" thing so far, I'm surprised they don't have tattered book spines that you pull out and spill iCoffee on. Maybe pages will stick together and you have to open up iLick to turn them.
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