Scrivener for iPad

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stephenC
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:59 am Post

I think the iPad is a remarkable piece of kit which will no doubt evolve and find a niche for itself.

It would make a great companion for travelling around and on those occasions surely it would not be too inconvenient to write sections/chapters on Pages (on iPad) and just import them later onto your Mac for inclusion in the next bestseller. It's unlikely that you would do any heavyweight editing on an iPad - I don't believe that Apple intended it as a replacement for a laptop.

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Typo
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:33 am Post

I've just browsed through the forums of various OS X developers. Guess what? Everyone's being pestered "Hey, your app would be perfect for the iPad!" style. ;)

It will be interesting to read about this year's WWDC ... how much emphasis will be put on OS X? Let's see.
Last edited by Typo on Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rebecca
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:13 pm Post

Typo makes a good point. Developing for each new gadget would destroy a small developer's focus and ultimately cripple innovation with their software. We each have 24 hours every day. If you want to accomplish anything, you can't be constantly changing directions.

I am glad that Scrivener is sticking with os development. That kind of focus is what has made Scrivener the great software that it is.

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poritsky
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:17 pm Post

@rebecca and @typo This is very interesting. You're right, come WWDC Apple has a lot of explaining to do. Devs have been worrying about this ever since the iPod, and the company drove the point home when they killed the "Computer" and became Apple Inc. I work in video, and it's a constant fear that Mac Pro advances will cease. The last revision to the MacBook Pro line really upset a lot of video people because they nixed the ExpressCard slot, not to mention how pissed P2 shooters were when they got rid of the PCMCIA slot.

Every 6 months or so, Apple's focus appears to be somewhere else. Mobile, Music, Pro, Consumer, they dance around a lot. But are they the Developer's platform? They damn well better be! The real irony of the iPhone OS is that it's intention was to bring more Devs to the Mac OS platform. "Hey, look how easy it is to program in our languages, come over here and check out Mac OS" But over time it has really pissed off a lot of Devs, given the locked down nature of the iPhone OS.

Anyone reading this forum, on either side of the "make Scrivener for iPad" fence, should realize that Lit&Latte's stance is widespread and vital to Apple's existence. If Mac OS Devs feel they're being left out in the dust, they may just quit development altogether and move to Windows or something else. Great software sells computers, so Apple reall has to prove to Devs and the rest of us that they're still in the Computer business.

But iPad's only been known for a few days. Give them time, they'll come around and show us something totally nuts that'll make our hearts aflutter.
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Guido
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:49 pm Post

"Locked down nature of the iPhone" - now there's a lot of bologna for you. I don't know which world you live in but in my world there are virtually no restrictions on iPhone development. You should work on some other mobile platforms like BREW for example and you'd understand what "Locked down nature" really means.
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Jaysen
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:48 pm Post

Guido wrote:"Locked down nature of the iPhone" - now there's a lot of bologna for you.

So apple rejecting apps with no explanation is not "locked down" in your world? Even better, rejecting an app because it competes with an apple or "preferred" company's product? Oh, and then there is the fact that a company can simply complain about a license infringement to apple and without said company notifying the developer, apple will remove the application from the store; this is "open" in your world?

I am not sure where you are coming from, but compared to OSX, the iPhone is closed because apple reigns with an iron fist. Would you be happy if OSX wouldn't let you run scrivener because apple said so?

The phone/pod/pad is not open. Development tools may be open, the the device is closed.
Jaysen

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artsfish
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:14 pm Post

I have both a MacBook and an iMac. The iPad (Gah! why couldn't they have gone with iSlate?) nicely fills the void between. It is ultimately not only portable, but more comfortable to hold in various situations. Quite frankly the keyboard on a laptop is ungainly, and it really gets in the way in many instances. I like the idea of using a bluetooth keyboard that I can pull out when needed. A portable flip out version like I used to have with my Visor Handspring would be fabulous.

As an artist/geek/writer mom, I fully understand the limitations of time in the day. However, I would also like to tell you that when I first discovered Scrivener, my first thought was that it would be divine to have on the yet-in-the-future Apple tablet. I knew in my gut that an Apple tablet was due.

I imagined reading over my work while lounging back on the sofa, then pulling out a keyboard and writing or editing. Small changes could easily be done via the onscreen keyboard. I almost never sit at a desk or table. Yes, Scrivener would be fabulous on the iPad - especially if it were possible to sync and update with Scrivener running on another Mac.

I don't say the above to be pushy or demanding - just to let you know that there is interest in Scrivener on the iPad. I fully understand the time issue.Though I can't wait to use Scrivener - I haven't even downloaded it yet - with two small kids at home I haven't been able to find a spare moment write, or even make it into my art studio for several months now.

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Guido
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:45 am Post

Jayson,

With all due respect but you are talking like a spoiled kid. Just because Apple is rejecting certain applications doesn't make the platform locked up and in fact it makes a lot of sense for them to do that and quite honestly I am all for it.

The iPhone is open to anyone who wants to develop on it. It allows anyone to publish content on it at virtually no entry cost, and it offers distribution to millions of users and offers a revenue share model that is more than fair.

To most people, myself included, that constitutes as an open platform.

PS: The correct term you were looking for also is "closed platform," not "locked up."
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AmberV
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:50 am Post

I prefer to call it centralised distribution and approval. A single company has the final mandate on whether or not a separate entity can provide tools to the platform. Now, for a cellular phone, I actually don't think that is a bad idea, except that Apple hasn't exactly proven themselves to be a white lamb in that task; denial for duplication of existing software, for example, is unacceptable. They should have strict parameters on what allows denial and what constitutes an infraction on those parameters, like security and privacy risks, software intended to promote illegal activity and such in that vein.

But on a "computer", genre mixing even though it may be? That is a bad direction to move the industry toward.
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poritsky
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:48 am Post

@Guido I'll concede that the App Store is locked down and not the iPhone OS. I am a huge fan of iPhone apps and full well understand the advantages to Apple's approval process, but it's hard to deny that one can't deliver an application without Apple's approval. The approval process may be a necessary evil, but that doesn't mean it isn't restrictive. The revenue share is certainly fair, but the approval process is unmatched when compared to other platforms.

The iPhone/iPad model is here to stay and as a user, I just want access to my apps. As a Google Voice user, I can tell you I'm pretty pissed that I can't have a fast, organized iPhone GV app with all my cloud contacts and the ability to make calls. Nonetheless, Devs trudge on and work within the Apple bubble in order to get the apps out there.

You're talking to a guy who waited in line for a 1st Gen iPhone, then updated to OS 3.0 a few hours before it was out and bought Super Monkey Ball just to show off to his coworkers. I'm a committed fanboy. But even I can admit where Apple goes wrong. The App Store approval process is a far cry from being acceptable, and the more people whine and kick and scream, the more likely they are to change it as they have over time.

Now about Scrivener...
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matt
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:38 am Post

One of the problems with the AppStore model is that I think it will discourage some innovation.

Why would a professional development company spend significant time, effort and money to produce an innovative iPhone/iPad application when an external company (Apple) can arbitrarily decide that you are not allowed to sell that application. Why would you take on that financial risk? Why would you try to innovate and actually create a new product that does push boundaries, if Apple might decide not to allow it on the iPad because it may subtract from sales of 'Pages', or decide that the innovative way you introduced rich text using HTML broke their interface guidelines (for being too useful???).

If duplicating applications is such a bad thing and confusing for the user, how do they explain the existance of Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, Open Office, Nisus Writer, Mellel, Bean, Scrivener, StoryMill, Ulysses and more. Shouldn't we all just be using TextPad?

There would be an absolute and justified outcry if Microsoft were to set rules and limits on what software you were allowed to install on Windows 7. The same principal applies here. I should be able to install whatever software I want on my iPhone, or my iPad, just like I should be able to on my Windows machine or my Macbook.

Now, if the App Store was only one of many ways to get applications onto the iPhone/iPad, then that would be acceptable. It is reasonable for Apple to choose what applications they sell in their own store.

But instead they want to control every application that can be installed on the device (or force you to jailbreak and void the warranty if you install something else). Even worse, they demand a percentage of the profits for every application made on the computer. That is just plain wrong, and quite frankly, should be illegal if it isn't already.

I like the Mac OS operating system, own two MacBooks, an iPod and an iPhone. But if a strong competitor arrives that provides an equal or better interface, I would be very very tempted to move away from Apple entirely due to their current arrogant attitude.

matt

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Jaysen
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:11 pm Post

No, I meant locked. Closed doors can be opened at will. Locked ones can't. The phone os is locked.
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. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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StaceyUK
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:34 pm Post

The biggest problem I can see here is not that Scrivener cannot run on the ipad, but the fact that ipad does not run OSX. If it ran OSX, I would have seriously considered purchasing one and used it as an entry level Mac to run Scrivener on.

Do you think there will be an OSX version at some point?
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KB
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:47 pm Post

I doubt it. I think us OS X developers may need to be seriously worried, in fact.

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Jaysen
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:58 pm Post

Not sure I agree with that KB. I think the statement first made by Amber, re: consumer v. producer, is key. OSX will develop into a high performance producer platform while the consumer platform will devolve into an ever less functional (from the code/application methodology view) appliance. I would reiterate that my angst at the platform is relative to my needs. If I take out all the "non-standard user" stuff I do, things like parallels, development, scrivener, etc, then the iPad/iPhone is not a bad platform. Again, my wife thinks this thing might be the last "computer" she ever needs.

The problem is that the fundamental model of business for folks like you would need to change. Your niche market is even more niche and with the decreased user population that is available to you prices will need to increase.

I still believe that this is a fundamental error on apple's part. Folks like matt and I will eventually abandon the mac platform for linux, bsd, or some other platform. Then again matt and I are only 2 sales. Maybe they don't care about us.
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. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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