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Ulysses works great for plain text-only writing, but your misguided comments about Scrivener for iOS are stuck in your 2010 experience. The brand new, simplified iOS version isn’t “bloated” at all — it keeps only the most essential features of the admittedly complex (but flexible) Mac version and presents them in a far more intuitive, user friendlier way than Ulysses, or than Scrivener for Mac. That’s why I prefer using it to either for my writing and publishing, which I now do mostly on my iPad Pro, thanks to Scrivener.

No unfounded fear mongering about somehow losing your data to proprietary obsolescence, please; you can easily export Scrivener docs to PDFs, plain text, Word (.doc) in two clicks. You can still write in markdown or plain text and export your writing in the most future proof form available — plain text. And Ulysses also uses a proprietary package.

Scrivener is perfectly integrated with Dropbox, so you can use it as a file manager/Finder replacement in iOS, and store your research and drafts there if you don’t want to keep them in Scrivener. The SCrivener projects are also stored in Dropbox.

There’s room for both great apps. Ulysses works fine if you want to work only in plain text. Scrivener is better if you want to bring in rtf, doc, pdf, even image files to a project so that you have all the components in one place, which is extremely helpful given iOS’s limited multitasking, and then write or export in plain text, Word, or PDF. In this respect, SCrivener solves one of iOS’s big limitations — the lack of a file system, because you can use either Scrivener itself or Dropbox as a file system.

Both apps work well when you’re starting a simple project like a blog post, but Scrivener prevails in long form structured writing (books, scripts, screenplays) because it’s easier to write in chunks, rearrange them in different ways, and see the big picture as well as the portion you’re working on.

Check this quick feature overview video and see how easy it is. (Unfortunately, it leaves out the extremely useful quick reference feature that makes it possible to display two Scrivener docs side by side.

Have you actually used Scrivener for iOS, which is $5 cheaper and much more flexible than Ulysses? Please give it a try before disparaging it, or relying on outdated experience with the Mac version.

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