Scriv on iPad, Redux?

dr
druid
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Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:27 am Post

Rumor is that for the past few years, Steve Jobs had a secret project underway, to run
both iOS and Android on the same tablet.

So watch for the new version of Boot Camp any day. :lol:

Za
Zachary
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Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:20 pm Post

I have recently started using Scrivener and absolutely love it. Once I started using it, one of the first things I did was to search the App Store for "scrivener", hoping that there would be an easy way to open my projects on my iPad.

I don't expect to do the majority of my writing on the iPad, but since I also use Scrivener for preparing the courses I teach, it would be really handy to have a non-fiddly way of moving data back and forth between the devices. At the moment, I am using PlainText and having Scrivener sync with an external folder, but I would love to be able to view PDFs and other media as well.

Sure, there are more ballpoint pens than iPads and all that, but I for one would be delighted to pay for an app that would provide a simple way of viewing and editing projects on my iPad. It would never replace writing on my computer, but it sure would be useful to me.

Then maybe you can get around to pen-syncing in a later version?

ph
philbo
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Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:13 pm Post

Think in terms of Evernote. It is cross platform across PC, Mac, IPad, Android and any Web browser. The functionality is very consistent across all. I use it for just about all text editing for work and as a repository for all work and personal documents as it sync's across all via the cloud no matter where I am, I can access any documents that I have put into it. I can add pdf files to notes as well as photos. I can scribble notes onto a document if I want. And it also has the best text formatting of any text editing app that I have found for my Android.

This is where I do my writing if I'm not at my Mac. At the end of a writing session in Scrivener, I just copy the Manuscript level into Evernote and I've got a backup. If I'm away from my Mac I can open up Ever note and write. And when I get home I open Ever note and Scrivener and again copy and paste across.

Now I'm not suggesting a full functioning version for tablets, but just a basic client that integrates fully via the cloud that still has the basic Scrivener structure like Characters, Places and notes etc.

I know that Scrivener syncs with Simple note and I have tried this but it is a bit messy. For NanNoWriMo all I want is to be able to see where I'm up to in Ever note and start a new scene in a new note that I can simply copy and paste back into Scrivener when I get back to my Mac. A cut down Scrivener GUI would be fantastic.

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Stevenfield
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Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:54 pm Post

I didn't buy my iPad as a writing tool, but I've since found it incredibly useful and probably get as much use out of it in this respect as I would a regular laptop.

I currently use Scrivener on my desktop Mac in conjunction with Simplenote on the iPad. It works well, though Simplenote's synchronization seems eccentric sometimes and multiple documents will be ordered in an odd way when they appear in Simplenote (I have yet to fathom how they're sorted).

My main problem with Simplenote is the design of the virtual keyboard as I prefer those that allow you to navigate with arrow keys rather than use the magnifying utility. The best keyboard I've come across so far belongs to an app called 'iA Writer' that has arrow keys and also allows you to jump from word to word. It also has brackets, quotation marks and an apostrophe key up front on the main keyboard so you don't have to break your rhythm to delve around looking for them. It's a chunky keyboard that doesn't leave too much space for text (around six lines in landscape view) but I personally don't need to see much at any one time.

A drawback of iA Writer is the lack of choice of formatting options; you just get the one font.

What I'd really enjoy is a Scrivener lite for my iPad that allowed me to work on text documents using a fully featured keyboard (as in iA Writer) that offered me a few style choices regarding font (like 'My Writing Spot' for example) and allowed a more seamless synchronization with my desktop Mac. The ability to synchronize between Scratchpads on the iPad and desktop Mac would also be useful for general note-taking. Beyond that I'd leave all the other stuff, the corkboarding, outlining etc to the main computer.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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bargonzo
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Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:02 am Post

Stevenfield wrote:The best keyboard I've come across so far belongs to an app called 'iA Writer' that has arrow keys and also allows you to jump from word to word. It also has brackets, quotation marks and an apostrophe key up front on the main keyboard so you don't have to break your rhythm to delve around looking for them.


Have you tried WriteRoom for iPad? Its keyboard does what you are looking for (I think--parentheses on main keyboard, not brackets, and it doesn't allow you to jump from word to word as far as I know). It syncs via Dropbox, which may add an extra step (I'm not sure how the Simplenote sync works). You can also choose from a large variety of fonts.

Stevenfield wrote: It's a chunky keyboard that doesn't leave too much space for text (around six lines in landscape view)


As for the chunky keyboard: are you aware of the new keyboard split and/or move you can do in iOS 5? (Just hold down the keyboard icon in the lower right corner and a popup menu comes up to undock and split.) Pretty nifty.
photo.PNG
Split iPad Keyboard
photo.PNG (75.81 KiB) Viewed 2070 times
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AmberV
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Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:41 am Post

There are a number of good editors out there now with customisable keyboards. Daedalus has my favourite implementation to date for two reasons:

  1. It lets you store multiple macros per button; and accessing the alternates is easy to do
  2. You can design them with prefix/suffix forms, which is why I refer to them as macros instead of mere button enhancements. That means you can easily use one button to type in both the ( and the ). It will intelligently alternate as you use it.

It's also a nicely designed editor from a functional and aesthetic standpoint, in my opinion, especially now that you can sync a stack to any folder in Dropbox.

Nebulous Notes would be my second favourite, but it's a more "geeky" experience than either Daedalus or iA Writer.

I tried that split keyboard thing---doesn't really make sense on an iPad I don't think. It's probably better on an iPhone, but holding the iPad like that, you need really long thumbs to use it the way it is designed to be used. And anyway, two thumbs can't beat eight other fingers. Typing on glass might be immeasurably less efficient than on hardware; but you can at least do a semblence of touch typing on the regular keyboard, space destroying though it may be, I'd rather have 50wpm than 10 and more lines.
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rochefore
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Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:33 am Post

Notability has a customizable keyboard and it autosyncs and it creates rtf files that you can sync with Scrivener.

lu
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Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:17 pm Post

rochefore wrote:Notability has a customizable keyboard and it autosyncs and it creates rtf files that you can sync with Scrivener.


I downloaded Notability. It is very interesting, because it uses RTF format. The problem is that when I open the file in the App it loses all bold and italics (but it preserves underlines). If I modify the file and then sync back to Scrivener, the document is without italic and bold formatting.

This is a problem, because I use RTF for formatting.

Bye
Luca

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Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:01 pm Post

Thanks for the comments and suggestions regarding writing apps, keyboards etc

Just to recap, the ‘iA Writer’ keyboard does pretty much everything I could hope for and the app syncs through Dropbox. ‘My Writing Spot’ syncs through a Google account.

I’d looked into Daedalus after seeing it recommended elsewhere in these forums. It’s probably a given that I will buy this at some point (I seem to be collecting writing and notebook apps as if they were stamps) but I’ll leave it for a bit as I’m still getting to know the ones I already have (having said that I've just bought 'Notability' as it's on sale).

I’ve now tried the split keyboard, but was surprised at how teeny the keys are. I don’t have big hands but even so I think I’d find this a real challenge to use. I prefer larger keyboards which is why I invariably use the iPad in landscape when typing.

Before I bought the iPad I was quite concerned how easy it would be to type on a flat screen and found it hard work at first; then something 'clicked' (metaphorically) and I just took off. I have to use a PC at work and the clunky spring-loaded keys now strike me as annoyingly noisy and clumsy, thought I still find it easier to accurately touch-type on a real keyboard.

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Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:51 am Post

Add me into the group that would pay for a version of Scrivener for the iPad. Having just picked one up to supplement my Air and IMac for school, I've noticed that there are times when I could have just pulled out the laptop and started working on something...

I do currently use the simple note sync feature, however, I can't create a new file for a new scene from within the simple note app. I'm limited to the file that are already in scrivener. If an iPad app does come to life, I wouldn't care as much about my research folder, but more about my character sheets and manuscript...

Josh

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KB
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Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:41 pm Post

jgould wrote:however, I can't create a new file for a new scene from within the simple note app. I'm limited to the file that are already in scrivener.


What makes you think so? You can create new documents and Scrivener's external folder sync will import them.

All the best,
Keith
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wl
wlloydw
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Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:34 pm Post

Hello Keith, A full version of Scrivener for iPad is unrealistic. BUT, 15 million people bought iPads in the 4th quarter and the New iPad sold out initially. It is here to stay.

I think everyone would be happy with a Scrivener App that did exactly what PlainText does except sync the RTF files to and from DropBox.

That is all we really need portable device to do. Everyone is hobbling a solutions together because of the incompatibly of RTF. If it went from Scrivener Desktop to Scrivener App the RTF problem could be solved.

Does this make sense? I know you are not interested in money, but I think there are enough of us to make is a profitable venture. Then you would have a combined platform making the Scrivener Desktop even more attractive to new buyers.

Thanks for all you have done and are doing to make our writing life easier.

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Floss
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Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:40 pm Post

wlloydw wrote: I know you are not interested in money


Where on Earth did you get that impression?!?!
i am happy to give feedback on short passages.

be warned, though. my feedback can be blunt... always well intentioned and aimed at helping you improve, but possibly more honest than you are used to.

as such, i will only chip in if directly invited.

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wlloydw
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Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:48 pm Post

From Keith's earlier post:
I'd have no interest in dropping the features I wrote it for in the first place just to squeeze some more money out of it.


And Keith's ability to exceed expectation and a more than reasonable price point. Where else can you buy this much power for less than $50.

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Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:16 pm Post

I'm not sure if latecomers in this thread have missed that we already have an iOS version in development (and in response to the inevitable next question: "When it's done"). :)
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."