Open scrivener Files in iOS

cl
clarkgarg85
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Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:08 pm Post

So I have recently been using scrivener on my Mac and I love it. It’s great to have templates for all of the various things I write in one place. However, I’m hesitant to buy the iOS app because I’ve heard about all the syncing hell with Dropbox and I’ve personally just never been a fan of it. However I’m wondering if I just open projects from my Files folder in iOS, if I’ll still be able to work on projects on different devices. Have anyone tried this? Has it worked? Would just really like to make sure I’m not going to lose work before I drop $20 on the app.

Ru
RuffPub
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Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:40 am Post

clarkgarg85 wrote:So I have recently been using scrivener on my Mac and I love it. It’s great to have templates for all of the various things I write in one place. However, I’m hesitant to buy the iOS app because I’ve heard about all the syncing hell with Dropbox and I’ve personally just never been a fan of it. However I’m wondering if I just open projects from my Files folder in iOS, if I’ll still be able to work on projects on different devices. Have anyone tried this? Has it worked? Would just really like to make sure I’m not going to lose work before I drop $20 on the app.


There is no syncing hell with Dropbox. Set up per L&L recommendations it is reliable and robust. Apart from Apple breaking syncing for a short while on iOS13, every syncing issue I’ve seen has been user or their system issue. A free DB account is sufficient for many large projects.

There are ways to bodgie a work-around, but frankly not worth the trouble and wasted time. Drop the $ on the app, setup a DB account and just get on with writing.

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kewms
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Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:12 pm Post

The recommended alternative to Dropbox is Apple file sharing. More information can be found here:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210598

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

An
AnnaV
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:38 am Post

Is... is this a joke? An application that works on macOS, iOS and iPadOS and doesn't support *saving* to iCloud? Are you for real? I bought Scrivener for macOS just a few days ago and fell in love with it instantly. Scrapped Pages/Google Docs/etc in favor of Scrivener just because of all the features and I can pick up right where I left off between my iMac and both MacBooks.

So, I wanted to works while on the go without a laptop and bought the iOS version.. imagine my surprise when in 2020/2021 an iOS app doesn't support iCloud, but forces you to use an inferior third-party solution for something that should just work.

Like, the iOS application is perfectly capable of *opening* Scrivener files from iCloud via the Files app on iOS. You've just disabled *saving* to iCloud. What the...? This feels like a kick in the knee and laughing afterwards.

I would have expected this from an Android and/or PC application... But the PC application can use iCloud without any problems, the ONLY version that doesn't work with iCloud is the iOS one. What in the world is this?

I was so ready to praise it more and be happy to be able to work regardless of device I have with me, but... I haven't been this disappointed in awhile. Requested refund right afterwards, this is a complete dealbreaker for me. I will not spoil my perfectly working automatic sync with everything else just to have the "opportunity" to move to manual Dropbox-sync.

The whole idea sounds so absurd I had to search the web first because I didn't believe my own eyes.

I'll re-buy this instantly once it can work seamlessly with iCloud like it should have in the first place, but for now, this is definitely not for me.

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lunk
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:47 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:Is... is this a joke?.

You don’t know very much about Scrivener? What looks like a file in Finder is actually a folder with sub-folders and potentially thousands of files in it. That’s what makes it possible to collect research material in Scrivener, to use scrivenings mode when viewing the text, etc. It’s what makes Scrivener what it is. Adapting that to iOS is difficult, and iCloud Drive in iOS just can’t handle that. Dropbox can, because Dropbox has provided an API for developers to let them write the necessary code. Apple hasn’t.
So be angry, but at Apple! Not at L&L
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, running different OS.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

An
AnnaV
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:29 pm Post

lunk wrote:
AnnaV wrote:Is... is this a joke?.

You don’t know very much about Scrivener? What looks like a file in Finder is actually a folder with sub-folders and potentially thousands of files in it. [...]


You.. you do know that's how Apple's applications have worked since at least Mac OS X 10.0? the blah.app file is just a folder with a bunch of files in it. Scrivener's data is nothing special. iCloud has worked with that since before it was called iCloud. Also macOS-iCloud-iOS syncing (or at least reading/writing to iCloud) works with a plethora of other applications, and they seem to have no problems using it.

Like, I'm not even asking for a full-time automatic sync (though I *was* expecting that), I'd be okay just loading/saving from/to iCloud. It's perfectly plausible to do with the Files functionality in modern iOS/iPadOS.

Lo
Login
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:31 pm Post

Though I now use Bear for iOS-to-Mac syncing through iCloud, I found this also worked...

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=62904

Hoping for iCloud syncing in Scrivener one day. Cannot come soon enough.

sc
scshrugged
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:33 pm Post

At the App Store, L&L does include that Scrivener does not use iCloud sync:
B52B5987-A588-44A9-86C3-4B70984DE7D5.jpeg
B52B5987-A588-44A9-86C3-4B70984DE7D5.jpeg (739.11 KiB) Viewed 319 times


You can transfer using Files app. Step by step instruction here:
viewtopic.php?p=319987#p319987

You can transfer using zip files stored via Files app. Step by step instruction here:
viewtopic.php?p=324596#p324596

You can transfer using Apple file sharing as mentioned upthread or by using AirDrop, although AirDrop has been inconsistent (at best) for me with any App or anything else. I stopped using it. I’ve been using file sharing and/or transferring via zipped files. The methods to accomplish the transfer might vary slightly depending upon which OS versions you’re on, which cloud service you prefer, etc, but I’ve never used Dropbox and have been fine.

The developer’s technical explanation as to why no iCloud is here:
viewtopic.php?p=244405#p244405

And here:
https://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb ... automatic-

(Edit to fix error/link)
I'm a Scrivener user, not an L&L employee.

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Silverdragon
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:01 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:
lunk wrote:
AnnaV wrote:Is... is this a joke?.

You don’t know very much about Scrivener? What looks like a file in Finder is actually a folder with sub-folders and potentially thousands of files in it. [...]


You.. you do know that's how Apple's applications have worked since at least Mac OS X 10.0? the blah.app file is just a folder with a bunch of files in it. Scrivener's data is nothing special. iCloud has worked with that since before it was called iCloud. Also macOS-iCloud-iOS syncing (or at least reading/writing to iCloud) works with a plethora of other applications, and they seem to have no problems using it.

@AnnaV, ©Lunk wasn't referring to the application itself, but to the project format. Each Scrivener project is a package with many files and folders within, unlike most other applications' documents. An application whose documents are single files has no problem using iCloud sync, but Scrivener's projects, with their complex internal structure, are chewed to bits by it (pun not intended.)
  • Fiction-writer curled up on her silicon hoard
  • Mac Scrivener 3.2.2, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.15.7 (Catalina)
  • iOS Scrivener 1.2.1, iPad 6, iPhone 12 pro, i(Pad)OS 14.4
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

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kewms
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:26 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:Like, the iOS application is perfectly capable of *opening* Scrivener files from iCloud via the Files app on iOS. You've just disabled *saving* to iCloud. What the...? This feels like a kick in the knee and laughing afterwards.


It's interesting that you appear to approve of Scrivener's development decisions in virtually every other respect, yet somehow assume this specific decision was made out of malice or stupidity, rather than due to technical limitations.

I won't bore you with the technical details, which Scshrugged has already linked. I'll just point out that this has been the single most requested feature since iOS Scrivener was created. The developer has had extensive discussions with Apple's developer support team -- which, by the way, costs actual money to do -- to try to figure out a way to support iCloud sync without losing other important parts of Scrivener's functionality. If there were a way to do it, we would.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

An
AnnaV
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:35 pm Post

kewms wrote:
AnnaV wrote:Like, the iOS application is perfectly capable of *opening* Scrivener files from iCloud via the Files app on iOS. You've just disabled *saving* to iCloud. What the...? This feels like a kick in the knee and laughing afterwards.


It's interesting that you appear to approve of Scrivener's development decisions in virtually every other respect, yet somehow assume this specific decision was made out of malice or stupidity, rather than due to technical limitations.

I won't bore you with the technical details, which Scshrugged has already linked. I'll just point out that this has been the single most requested feature since iOS Scrivener was created. The developer has had extensive discussions with Apple's developer support team -- which, by the way, costs actual money to do -- to try to figure out a way to support iCloud sync without losing other important parts of Scrivener's functionality. If there were a way to do it, we would.

Katherine


It's because it seems your going at it arse-backwards. You single-mindedness of wanting to keep the project as individual files is getting in your way needlessly - specifically because a solution to that problem has existed for decades: packages.

Doom's .wad files were nothing but renamed .zip files. A gazillion other projects have taken the same approach: package the smaller files into a bigger one.

You could easily just zip/tar the .scriv project and save/load that one. It wouldn't change anything to the end user, except better and more features without needles complexity. And no, it wouldn't slow it down in any significant way. You can read/write individual files in/out of both tar and zip files. The Dropbox sync is already so slow using a zip file would probably just speed it up.

Your locking the whole project anyway, it's not like you can open Scrivener on computer A and work on scene I and then open Scrivener on computer B and work on scene II - the whole project is locked once it's open. Using a package wouldn't affect that functionality at all.

Scrivener projects are relatively small, you wouldn't need to apply compression at all, just archive. A 2011 MacBook Pro unzips a 100Mb non-compressed zip file in 3 seconds flat. Speed is not an issue here.

No need for (expensive) consultation with Apple, users get commonly requested features, backup becomes easier. Zip files even have the capability of including ECC and CRC, so it would be more safe and better to deal with data errors.

You got to have some *serious* advantage from keeping the format in multiple files for it to weigh more than just going for a package.

I can understand having *started* with the multiple-file format back in the day when computers did have surplus of extra power to toss on to handling zip files. But Scrivener 3 requires macOS 10.12. There is no supported device in existence that would take more than a few seconds handling even bigger .scriv projects if they were .tars or .zips.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound condescending, I just genuinely can't understand the want to stay in multiple-file formats, while not harnessing the obvious advantages of it in the first place (being able to work on different parts of the same project at the same time with multiple computers).

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lunk
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:54 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:Scrivener projects are relatively small, you wouldn't need to apply compression at all, just archive. A 2011 MacBook Pro unzips a 100Mb non-compressed zip file in 3 seconds flat.

Yours might be small, but there are users with projects that are several Gb, not Mb. Would your solution work as well for those?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, running different OS.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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kewms
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:57 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:Scrivener projects are relatively small, you wouldn't need to apply compression at all, just archive. A 2011 MacBook Pro unzips a 100Mb non-compressed zip file in 3 seconds flat. Speed is not an issue here.


*Your* Scrivener projects are relatively small. Scrivener supports, and users routinely create, projects well into the gigabyte range.

You got to have some *serious* advantage from keeping the format in multiple files for it to weigh more than just going for a package.


If a project were treated as a single ZIP file, every single operation -- synchronization, backup, even routine saving -- would require uncompressing and recompressing the entire thing or, in the case of synchronization, transferring the whole thing across the internet. Again, this might not affect *your* projects, but it would cause an unacceptable performance burden for many of our users. Including users with older hardware and users with less-than-speedy internet connections.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:01 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:The Dropbox sync is already so slow using a zip file would probably just speed it up.


It seems pretty obvious to me that a 1000 word text file takes less time to upload than a 3 GB ZIP file, but you're welcome to run the benchmark yourself.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:04 pm Post

AnnaV wrote:But Scrivener 3 requires macOS 10.12. There is no supported device in existence that would take more than a few seconds handling even bigger .scriv projects if they were .tars or .zips.


I thought the whole point was not Mac OS, but iOS Scrivener, which will run on *many* devices that would find large ZIP files problematic.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team