iOS 13 Scrivener users beware

Just a quick PSA for iOS Scrivener users, especially if you haven’t upgraded: Dropbox sync seems broken for many users since iOS 13 (it is for me). There’s a 21-page long forum thread on the support forum:

It looks like it could be an Apple issue with how iOS 13 is managing memory, but what is really worrying to me is the rather off-hand attitude of support regarding that issue. I doubt it’s going to be fixed any time soon, or ever, so: if using Scrivener on iOS is mission critical to you, do not upgrade to iOS 13, hoping it’s not too late already…

As for me, my trust in the app has been severely shaken and since these apps are mission-critical for me, I’ll be transitioning fully to Ulysses next year. Now that subscription pricing does not seem so bad – the app has continuously been receiving updates and bug fixes and they would never have left such a problem unchecked for almost three months now.
I’d be happily paying a subscription to Scrivener if that meant the same reactivity from the team.


Actually I’ve had the opposite experience - as soon as I mentioned in that thread that I had isolated a project that wouldn’t sync (and which syncs fine on other devices), I got a private message from support asking for details and a copy. Inconsistent issues are the hardest to diagnose.

That thread is full of people whining without actually contributing anything to the diagnostic process.

But I’d agree with the advice not to upgrade if you absolutely need it.


Just to make sure we are not overlooking the obvious.
Are you using a free or paid Dropbox account?

Since a while free DropBox accounts are limited in the devices that can sync.

Thanks, but yeah, have been on a paid plan for ages. The issue is extensively documented in the forums, albeit, as @dfay points out, apparently hard to pin down for the devs.

No problems here. iOS 13.3 and latest Scrivener…

I’m not a Scrivener user but this is yet another piece of evidence which is keeping me clear of the disaster which is iOS13. It seems that every time I open this forum I find yet another bug with this “non-Operational System”


Of curiosity what devices are you using? I had no problems until replacing iphone 7 Plus with 11 Pro Max.

Touching wood - no issues this side either.

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It broke with both my iPad Pro 12.9 3rd gen and iPhone X.

iPhone 7, iMac, MacBook Pro (one with crappy keyboard).

For guidance with issues see

If the synching doesn’t work, easy enough to just re-set it up again.

I’m also affected and I’m also switching to Ulysses right now, in conjunction with Aeon Timeline.
I’m also on that discussion in the forum and yes, even though they certainly try to find a solution, I also found the tone a bit peevish. I think they know that the syncing is a weak point and that they would have to rewrite everything in order to make it as fluent as Ulysses. But of course Scrivener has some fantastic features that Ulysses hasn’t. Especially the snapshots are something that I’ll miss. A lot of the other stuff (status etc) can probably be replaced with tags, notes and filters


My thoughts exactly. The fact that there is an issue and that it’s very complicated and time consuming to fix is understandable. Faithful users can ride with that (I know I would have). But the passive agressiveness of the LitnLat people (name removed by post author - my apologies for that) has made me lose faith in a tool that’s absolutely mission critical.

Maybe we can share ideas about how to replicate Scrivener’s features in a separate thread? Would you be interested?

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A great combination. If you don’t need iOS another app to consider, designed originally for screenwriters but which works for any type of writing, is Highland 2. Both offer good export/import, both have great theming. Highland is free with $50 Pro unlock, which pays for itself compared to most subscription alternatives. I have both apps (out of sheer perversity) and I tend to use Ulysses but mainly because of the iOS sync.

EDIT: Another Mac/iOS combo that offers fantastic bang for the buck is FSNotes. It’s an open source app whose Mac app can be downloaded from Github (or bought from the MAS for $3.99 to support the devs) with a syncing iOS app in the App Store that’s just $2.99

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FSNotes looks very interesting! Can you clip web pages or store any kind of files in it?
Does it support internal links to other of its own documents?

Yes, that’s a great idea, I‘d love to find good practices for that transition!

A smooth transition between Mac and iOS is important for me. If I was only on Mac I would certainly stay with Scrivener.

I’m in exactly in the same case! Will start a forum thread with the little things I’ve found (the good and the bad).

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Great! Meanwhile I will think about which features of Scrivener I actually use and would like to replicate in Ulysses.

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I started the thread here.

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FYI this appears to be fixed with iOS 13.4 . So as many argued, it wasn’t a L&L / Scrivener issue, but an Apple one.

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