Will iOS Scriv Work in iPad OS?

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MikeGardiner
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Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:31 pm Post

lunk wrote:Well, maybe that’s why we see things differently? I don’t think the new Mac Pro suggests that Apples vision is "all about unification". Making iOS more capable and introducing iPad OS still doesn’t suggest that they want to turn all iDevices into some kind of Micro Macs in the future.


All we can really do is speculate (and that's half the fun). Catalyst, SwiftUI, (a possible shift to) ARM architecture... these are long games by Apple, and exist on a different timeline than the Mac Pro.

It's interesting that people assume that unification means dumbing down MacOS apps, rather than elevating iOS apps. If you put a 12.9 iPad Pro next to a 13" MacBook Pro, it's difficult to argue that the productivity potential of one is greater than the other (software notwithstanding); they are both roughly the same size, they both have roughly the same user input (assuming iPadOS with mouse support), and they are both technically capable in their own right.

lunk wrote:Well, maybe that’s why I and others don’t agree, because we perceive Scrivener and L&L not only as a business but also as the manifestation of an artistic creation and a choice of lifestyle. Ones life is not a business, it’s... a life.


It's very romantic to imagine Keith as the lone programmer, crafting his labour of love free of external constraints and considerations... but let's not kid ourselves. L&L is a business, and Scrivener is a product. Devin said it - people's livelihoods rely on the viability of Scrivener as a marketable product. If you think that Keith has gotten this far without any consideration given to business strategy or acumen, then I have a bridge to sell you.

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lunk
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Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:07 pm Post

MikeGardiner wrote:If you put a 12.9 iPad Pro next to a 13" MacBook Pro, it's difficult to argue that the productivity potential of one is greater than the other (software notwithstanding); they are both roughly the same size, they both have roughly the same user input (assuming iPadOS with mouse support), and they are both technically capable in their own right.
- - -
If you think that Keith has gotten this far without any consideration given to business strategy or acumen, then I have a bridge to sell you.

I have both an iPad Pro and a 13" MacBook Pro and I do know how capable the iPad can be, but you miss my point.
The iPhone won’t evolve into a laptop because such a small laptop wouldn’t make sense. So we need a laptop and a phone, right? The iPad then has to be something else, in between. If iPad OS was to evolve into Mac OS, the iPad would actually require a keyboard and possibly a mouse, and then it would suddenly become a touchscreen laptop with an external keyboard and would no longer be an iPad.

If iOS Scrivener was developed so it got feature parity with and looked like the Mac version, you’d have to use a keyboard and a mouse or trackpad to use it, which means that iPad users who doesn’t have that couldn¨t use it.

I do know that some like to use an external keyboard with their iPads. I don’t. I tried it and didn’t like it at all. If I want a keyboard, I use my MBP or MB. iPad apps must be designed to work with only your fingers, just like iPhone apps. And that’s where you have the intrinsic difference between Mac OS and iOS, and also iPad OS.

Of course I understand that people who start their own business make strategic decisions, but running a small scale business is a kind of life style, not just a job. It’s not as if you were employed as CEO by someone else. And some people like "doing business", others get an idea they want to pursue. As far as I understand it, Keith belongs to that second group. He didn’t wake up one morning saying "I want to start some kind of business!". I think he woke up and thought "I think I’ll fix my own app for my own writing!"
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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Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:55 pm Post

Agree with you regarding hardware and form factor, I’m more referring to software.

It sounds like you and me might work in a similar fashion in regards to device usage , so I have to ask does it frustrate you that Scrivener on iOS doesn’t have a cork board view, or the ability to view and edit snapshots, or a reliable syncing method (amongst others things)?

I’m going to disagree with you that there’s anything on MacOS Scrivener that couldn’t be ported to a touch interface, certainly there are apps available with similar and increasing complexity. That’s more of a UI/UX conversation though :)

Currently the decision to use the MacBook or iPad is driven as much by the task I need to accomplish in that particular session as it is by mobility / accessibility, and I just don’t think that’s the best outcome.

On a slightly unrelated note, I was never a fan of the Smart Folio Keyboard and last week I bought an Anne Pro 2 mechanical keyboard (Bluetooth connection). It’s so awesome that I’ve found myself using it on the MacBook Pro as well! Not exactly portable though - it weighs more than the iPad :D

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Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:48 am Post

MikeGardiner wrote:does it frustrate you that Scrivener on iOS doesn’t have a cork board view, or the ability to view and edit snapshots, or a reliable syncing method (amongst others things)?


Scrivener on iOS has to be able to function on all the devices that run iOS, including older iPhones with smaller screens and less capable processors. This move to iPadOS might actually help in that regards, assuming KB wants to split the code that way.

As for the reliable syncing method, Scrivener on iOS has two. Any frustrations with sync results are understandable, but are also naturally derived consequences of Apple's limitations in their current implementations of iOS.
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kewms
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Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:03 am Post

MikeGardiner wrote:It sounds like you and me might work in a similar fashion in regards to device usage , so I have to ask does it frustrate you that Scrivener on iOS doesn’t have a cork board view, or the ability to view and edit snapshots, or a reliable syncing method (amongst others things)?


iOS Scrivener most certainly does have a corkboard view. I use it all the time. The *iPhone* doesn't support it, due to screen size, but the iPad Mini (and larger) does.

Reliable sync method? I've never lost a syllable with Dropbox, and that includes the time when Dropbox broke their API and syncing kept crashing. Annoying, yes, but I didn't lose any data.

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MikeGardiner
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Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:56 am Post

I think maybe I shouldn't have listed specific pain points, and rather just said 'does it frustrate you that Scrivener on iOS doesn't have feature parity'? It wasn't my intention to derail the conversation with discussion around individual components (specifically syncing, where there are more than enough discussions already taking place).

I definitely agree with you Devin regarding iPhone support, but another point to consider is that it's fairly standard practice for apps to drop support for older versions of iOS, and hence older model phones as they become deprecated. But the screen size is certainly something to consider. I'm eagerly awaiting the public release of iPadOS - I'm a bit scared of trying the beta, considering how much data I have sitting in iCloud, but it looks amazing :D

Katherine, you learn something new every day re: cork boards, thanks for that :D

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lunk
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Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:24 am Post

MikeGardiner wrote:I ... 'does it frustrate you that Scrivener on iOS doesn't have feature parity'?

No.
Not at all.
And neither does it frustrate me with other apps that are available on both platforms.
I use the Apple pencil quite a lot but it doesn’t frustrate me that it can’t be used on the MBP.

I prefer specialized devices in the same way that I prefer specialized apps. To me, the iPhone, iPad and Macbook have different uses.
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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Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:31 pm Post

Rayz wrote:
xiamenese wrote:Nisus (I assume Nisus because they have RTF tables that work)
Mellel (I mean, wow!)
Storyist Software


And Scrivener. Nisus is built on the macOS text system just as Scrivener is, and the amount of customisation I have done to that system runs to many thousands of lines of code. It's just wrong to say that Scrivener doesn't use a custom text engine or that it just uses the vanilla Apple tools.
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Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:35 pm Post

popcornflix wrote:
kewms wrote:Keith has said that if it weren't for Apple's frameworks, Scrivener wouldn't exist.


Don't get me wrong: I love Scrivener's design, and I applaud Keith for teaching himself how to program enough to build a thriving business. I think it's wonderful that Apple's frameworks helped him realize his idea in the world.

But the problems in implementing the design of Scrivener iOS (like scrivenings) cannot be solved by relying on Apple's frameworks. Advanced problems require advanced solutions like writing purpose-built code.


Not true. Apple's frameworks are perfectly capable of all of this. The problem is that you want me to do something that I have no plans of doing - of building a text engine primarily aimed at screenwriters. I have probably added more stuff to Scrivener based on suggestions from you than from any other user, certainly in the screenwriting department, but the trouble is that you want something entirely different from what Scrivener is, it seems.
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Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:36 pm Post

popcornflix wrote:If L&L couldn't find an expert iOS coder for the money they were offering, they should raise the price. I'd pay much more than $20 for an iOS version of Scrivener with full feature parity with Scrivener OSX. Even more for a modern, intuitive iOS user interface.


This is insulting. Money wasn't the issue. The skill of the coders we could find was - even a professional iOS coding company. I may have "taught myself" to code, but that was fifteen years ago; I'm not a hobbyist coder now. I wrote the iOS version myself because that was the best way of getting it done *right*.
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Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:16 pm Post

KB wrote:
Rayz wrote:
xiamenese wrote:Nisus (I assume Nisus because they have RTF tables that work)
Mellel (I mean, wow!)
Storyist Software


And Scrivener. Nisus is built on the macOS text system just as Scrivener is, and the amount of customisation I have done to that system runs to many thousands of lines of code. It's just wrong to say that Scrivener doesn't use a custom text engine or that it just uses the vanilla Apple tools.

To set the record straight, Keith, that was what Rayz said, not me. My comment that he was responding to—about comparing you/Lit&Lat with Microsoft and Apple—has got deleted. My subsequent response to Rayz was to point out that NWP is also built on the Apple text engine.

:)

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Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:01 pm Post

KB wrote:
Rayz wrote:
xiamenese wrote:Nisus (I assume Nisus because they have RTF tables that work)
Mellel (I mean, wow!)
Storyist Software


And Scrivener. Nisus is built on the macOS text system just as Scrivener is, and the amount of customisation I have done to that system runs to many thousands of lines of code. It's just wrong to say that Scrivener doesn't use a custom text engine or that it just uses the vanilla Apple tools.


Er … not sure what happened there, but it was me who said that, not Xiamenese.

My mistake: I assumed that Nisus was using a custom engine since it seems to handle text much better than I would’ve expected given that I’ve heard a lot of blame being dropped on Apple because of their text framework. For example: tables aren’t up to snuff because Apple doesn’t do a great job at table-handling. Yet, tables are great in Nisus that is built on the same RTF framework. I seem to hear that this that and the other would be so much better if Apple would do this that and something else from numerous people, and my tiny little bugbear is that if others can do it, then it’s doable. Is it easy? Maybe not. Should it be done? If it isn’t part of your vision for Scrivener then no, it shouldn’t.

Apple messes up plenty, but I think what’s getting blurred here is what is being left out as a design decision and what is a problem with Apple kit.
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Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:20 am Post

Sorry folks! Not sure what happened there - that was supposed to be a quote from Rayz so I’m not sure how Mark got attributed. The point is indeed scope. Both Nisus and Scrivener are built on top of the Apple text system. Nisus roll their own tables replacement whereas I stuck with Apple’s tables because, although far from perfect, they do the job and my focus has been on the many other features that Scrivener has (Scrivener’s replacement will have no native table support).

There are other considerations too: Nisus has its own RTF converter; I use the Apple one but heavily modified (the Apple one doesn’t support images, footnotes, headers and footers etc). Implementing my own tables code means implementing my own RTF code for them, (Of course, I have written my own DOCX converter - but that was a huge job in itself.)

There has been an argument that using Apple’s text system is a problem and that pro apps should build their own text system from scratch. My point was only that this is wrong. The Apple text system provides some great basics. Sometimes it has some serious problems - like in iOS 10 where it was unforgivably broken - but generally it provides a good jumping-off point. How much is built on top of it depends on the app. Despite some moans, Scrivener has one of the best text systems on the Mac in terms of rich text import and export - second only to dedicated word processors. But dedicated word processors will win out *because* they are dedicated, whereas Scrivener’s strengths - and development focus - lie elsewhere.
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Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:13 am Post

Since you're here Keith, I just want to say that I hope you're reading some of these posts in the manner they were intended - I'll reiterate that we're all here because we love Scrivener (at least I hope so) :)

For me, it's all a bit of an interesting thought exercise - the current state of Scrivener, the apparent future strategy of Apple, and how the cards might fall. I also like the fact that we can have a robust debate here in the forums. Whatever else happens, Scrivener is and will remain an amazing piece of software, and I just couldn't imagine writing without it. Thank you!

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Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:50 am Post

MikeGardiner wrote:Since you're here Keith, I just want to say that I hope you're reading some of these posts in the manner they were intended - I'll reiterate that we're all here because we love Scrivener (at least I hope so) :)

For me, it's all a bit of an interesting thought exercise - the current state of Scrivener, the apparent future strategy of Apple, and how the cards might fall. I also like the fact that we can have a robust debate here in the forums. Whatever else happens, Scrivener is and will remain an amazing piece of software, and I just couldn't imagine writing without it. Thank you!


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kind words. And absolutely. Debate and disagreement are always welcome around here as long as it's polite. I only get ratty when people hint that I should retire or imply that our business will fail if we don't do x or y. :) Unfortunately I haven't had much time to get involved in the debate owing to being away for family reasons and various coding and L&L necessities.

I will note that your point that there is nothing in Scrivener that could not be ported to a touch interface is true only to a point. It's probably true that any particular individual feature in Scrivener could be ported. It's definitely (at least from a practical standpoint) not true that you could port the entirety of Scrivener for macOS to iPadOS, let alone iOS, though. Multiple split views, collections over the binder, complex inspector views, hundreds of features tucked away in menu items - i(Pad)OS just isn't built for that sort of complexity. An app still has to be much more "on the surface" for i-devices, even though a lot is possible on the iPad these days. If you tried to add all of that - even though the hardware might be able to handle it - you'd end up with a horrible iPad app.

There's a reason that Apple hasn't ported Xcode to the iPad - and Scrivener on the Mac is essentially Xcode for writers.

All the best,
Keith
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