Novlr on mobile

We are a little torn between focusing on making Novlr work on mobile as the website currently exists or building a separate mobile app instead. The problem with making the website respond to mobile is that there are a lot of features to try and fit into a small screen – trying to do this in a way that is nice to use is almost impossible without doing it as an app. The other question we have is whether anyone does consistently write their novel on their phone. We personally jot down notes on our phone when we’re out and about and write up later.

We are currently leaning towards not having the main Novlr website on mobile and having a complimentary mobile/tablet app for note-taking whilst out. Perhaps you could send that note up to a particular chapter, or just have it in a separate notes section. Maybe on the app you could continue writing, just the design would be completely different. Constant saving on 3g might be a bit of a drain so would have to be taken into consideration. There are lots of things to think about and we’d love your feedback!

How do you/would you like to use Novlr on mobile? What would be the main features you used. Would you want to be able to use wifi-only or a manual sync for example? Tell us everything!

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131 replies
  1. Conrad Zero says:

    TYPING a novel on a tablet or phone app would annoy me, but I’ve heard of people getting incredible word counts by NARRATING into apps that convert voice to text. This would be a great way to write in certain conditions. For example, while walking, biking or driving to work, or for use by those with vision impairment or physical disability. I also do a lot of REVIEWING on my mobile device, so perhaps an app with a way to comment or note on sections that need repairs?

    Keep up the great work!

    -Z

    Reply
    • Amber says:

      Narrating is so true. Whenever I have a story idea, I narrate it into the “Notes” app in my iPhone. I LOVE the notes section as a minimum and would definitely use it. Having the proposed character profiles available in the app would be great as well – that way the computer screen can stay in focus mode, but I could refer to a character note (“Does Susie like strawberry ice cream?”) without getting derailed on the computer.

      Reply
    • Ryan Shaver says:

      I think Conrad’s and Amber’s comments are so very valid they bear repeating in this small note. I would use dictation if I felt my mobile device (and/or the Novlr app/website) would benefit from it. I change between Siri, Dragon Naturally Speaking for dictation, and Voice Memos/Voice Recover for spoken recordings. I don’t think Novlr needs a voice recording feature, unless it is the ability to generate an audiobook copy of our written text (an add on future years in the making, and years still to come, I am sure).

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Thanks Ryan. It’s good to hear users agreeing with suggestions as it gives us a real feel for what it is you all want from a mobile app! 🙂

        Reply
    • Katherine says:

      So I write on my iPad and kinda want it on my iPhone too? I don’t have a laptop so these are what I’ve got. It sucks writing on the phone but it sucks more not writing.

      I’d be down for anything honestly. I like the idea of a note taking platform that you can then transfer into your chapters. Or be able to just open a blank page and begin typing and novlr auto save to like a new book or chapter or something and be able to transfer it where you need it later. Or have a mobile folder in the novlr base website that you can access later?
      I’m just trying to throw some ideas out there. Forgive me, I haven’t read everyone else’s ideas

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Hey Katherine. Thanks so much for your comment. We’re planning on making the desktop version the best it can be before we move onto this feature or optimising Novlr for use on iPads, tablets or mobiles. Thanks also for your suggestions, they are really useful for when we do get round to developing this feature 🙂

        Reply
  2. Nick Dale says:

    I will primarily be using an iPad Pro with keyboard to work on – I like the offline mode but having an app that communicates would be great for maybe taking notes and annotating etc. especially using the pen and such

    Reply
  3. Nick Parenteau says:

    You should have a writer’s productivity suite as an app, timer for wordsprints, checklists, and character maps. It would work as good marketing for you as many writers would be able to use a free app and eventually would check out your website.

    Reply
    • Tim Dams says:

      <=This!

      I really dig this "companion app" idea.

      Basically the app would have two parts:
      a) ability to quickly jot down notes (and perhaps tag them for future reference once you're on the 'full novlr"-site
      b) lots of nifty little utilities such as your stats, timers, "start favorite writing playlist", submit feature requests, etc

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Thanks for your thoughts on this Tim. It could be an exciting step for Novlr to take in the future so its great to know how you think it could work.

        Reply
  4. Erin says:

    I lost my job several months ago and with it, the laptop I was using Scrivener to write my novels in. Without an income, I didn’t have enough money to buy a laptop that could do all the things I needed it to, so I used what little I had to buy an iPad (and a bluetooth keyboard)at a discount (a family member of mine works for Apple). Scrivener has been saying since 2012 that it would have a mobile app, and it was supposed to be done this summer. It’s still not ready and I still have no way of reimporting all of my work. Having a mobile app with full capability on an iPad would be ideal and extremely useful. But because Scrivener missed the boat on this, a bunch of their customers jumped ship and started to use apps that do have capability on mobile platforms. I think it would be smart for you to offer the same, otherwise you won’t be any better than your competition.

    Reply
    • Kimberley says:

      Hi Erin. I’m so sorry to hear that. Both Thomas and I have been there – losing work from a hard drive – and know the pain, which is one of the reasons we’re here building Novlr right now.

      I think the website is going to need full capability on ipad, I completely agree. Ipad is just about still an ok size to be working on in full – particularly with a bluetooth keyboard – so I think within 3-6 months Novlr will be fully functioning on tablet. This will come before the mobile app which will almost be a whole other project.

      I’m so sorry you are still without your work – it must be devastating to spend all that time and then still be uncertain about getting it back. What format is the novel in? If it’s a .scriv zip I am pretty sure I could get it into Novlr for you and get you writing again. If it is already in .docx, .rtf, .txt or .odt then you can import from the app yourself. Let me know if you want me to get into Novlr for you to get working on it again. You could be our star iPad tester and accelerate our work on it 🙂

      Reply
  5. Michelle Brooks says:

    Hello! I haven’t yet purchased my subscription, but was viewing features to gauge if this is the rigth product for my use… to be honest, this one might be a dealbreaker for me. I write primarily on my phone and tablet while commuting, and then clean it up later on my laptop at home, but for participating in Nanowrimo, purchasing a new system wouldn’t be very cost-effective for me if it didn’t allow me mobile-functionality. There are at least three people in my critique group who compose raw story on their mobile devices, so I know the desire for a mobile app is out there. I’m almost completely sold, otherwise.

    Reply
  6. Aaron Crocco says:

    I don’t own a laptop so my iPad (combined with my Brydge keyboard) is my makeshift writing machine when I’m not at my iMac. So for me, it’s easy to see why I’d want Novlr to work on iOS. Right now it has issues that stops me from using it on mobile so I can’t write on here. I’m in the same Scrivener boat with waiting for their app which I’m not sure will ever ship.

    Being able to use Novlr on my iPad (app or native in Safari) is what gets me to plunk down my $100 for a lifetime membership. Plain and simple. 🙂

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Aaron, Thanks for your comment. Our app will be released in the new year after some testing and finding the best options to make it just right. Thanks for your support 🙂

      Reply
      • Tracy says:

        Iwill work increasingly from an Ipad Pro or Surface Pro with a keyboard going forward, It just wasn’t worth the cost to replace my old macbook. So, anything that allows me to access Novlr in as full a way as possible from a tablet would mean I would happily donate a lifetime fee, I love the way it works and your development philosophy, and think that this would make you really stand out. Thanks

        Reply
  7. Mikie says:

    I think a companion app would be a better use of time and resources than a full-blown Novlr app. I can access Novlr from my iPad’s web browser just fine, but having an app dedicated to taking notes that somehow integrates with Novlr on my phone would be great when I’m at work! Using a web browser on my mobile phone to access Novlr would be a pain in the butt, but an app that syncs with the Novlr website would be glorious.

    Reply
  8. Hannah says:

    I like the idea of a mobile app, especially because my laptop is old, clunky, and dies after an hour or so off the charger. However, I can’t see writing an entire novel from my phone. The onscreen keyboard makes it too difficult to read what I’ve just written, and backing out of the keyboard to reread is time consuming. Maybe an app that lists your current stats and which novel is opened in a browser? I really like the idea of sending notes to a novel, as well.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Hannah. It’s good to know that a companion app would work for you to write notes and ideas for your novel to be used when you are writing. Thanks for your comment and look out for the feature in the new year!

      Reply
  9. Krista says:

    I would need an app to work from my iPad at work. I don’t want to use work computers to write–my novel is mine. But during lunch breaks, I have ideas and want to flesh them out. Please help!

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Krista, thanks for your comment – this is exactly the reason we want to create this app so that our users like you can use it in your spare time how you want to. It will be created in the new year so keep an eye out and keep the suggestions coming if you have any more!

      Reply
  10. Mel Petricko says:

    I suggest constant save local, with options for how to handle uploading: like ‘at end of session’, ‘wifi-only’, or ‘on demand?’

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment and suggestions Mel. We would definitely be looking into how to do this for the mobile app to update between the devices so your suggestions are really useful 🙂

      Reply
  11. Melissa says:

    I agree on the voice to text, or note taking aspect of the mobile app. If I see something and I want to take a picture of that item, and attach it to my notes for the novel that would fit it to what I would need. Plus note taking would be beneficial, when its not easy to pull out the notepad or computer and jot things down.

    Reply
  12. Brittany Constable says:

    Novlr actually looks beautiful in Chrome on the iPad, especially with a Bluetooth keyboard so the onscreen keyboard isn’t blocking everything. It’s just that the cursor doesn’t work. I think the page thinks that the entire text field is one object, so I can’t select things within it or move around within the text. I can go to the end and start typing, but for anything beyond that I’m out of luck.

    Space can be at a premium for me on my mobile devices, so if the website could work correctly in mobile, that would be just as good as (or even better than) a standalone app. It’s really close as it is, so I don’t see it taking a ton of effort to tweak that.

    Reply
    • Brittany Constable says:

      I should add that I have used my iPad as my primary writing device before in an app that’s now defunct. It’s absolutely doable, especially if you’re on wifi. I’d be kind of disappointed if the only mobile functionality was a companion app and if I couldn’t get full access on my iPad.

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Hi Brittany. Thanks for your comments. We really appreciate your input into the development ideas. The only issue we would have is that there are a lot of features to get into such a small screen (compared to a desktop/laptop), but we are going to be testing things out and looking into our options 🙂

        Reply
    • Jennifer says:

      Hi,
      I was getting ready to send a note about the cursor not working on my ipad. It is so slow and unworkable that it is maddening. Sometimes I can back out of the ap, then back in and get one use of the cursor in the app before having to do the same thing again. I work a lot on the iPad, and have taken to working in pages just because it can literally take 30+ minutes to move or delete a couple of sentences due to the having to back out and in every time I need to move the cursor.

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Hi jennifer. This is the issues with iPads and tablets at the moment unfortunately. However, once we have sorted the app and released it, you guys should have no problem with glitches – and even if you do, we can sort them asap 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

        Reply
    • Betty Widerski says:

      Ditto on the cursor issue. I recently developed tendinitis in both arms so am trying to use dictation into Notes to actually write. But since I can’t put the cursor in a reliable spot on my chapter page in the iphone browser I ended up pasting a paragraph into the middle of another one last night and had to go in on my pc this morning to untangle that mess.

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Hi betty. Sorry you have had some trouble. This is one of the issues that comes up as Novlr isn’t optimised for tablets/iPads. Once we create the app though, we can correct these little glitches you come across. Thanks for your comment 🙂 Clare

        Reply
  13. Cate Rowan says:

    I wouldn’t need a separate app (I’m an Android user) if the main Novlr website were tweaked to work well on mobile browsers. I would *love* to use my tablet or phone and BT keyboard to work on my novel. I love my MacBook Pro, but it’s a lot heavier to lug.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Cate. It could be a little difficult to make it optimised with mobiles without creating an app due to all our awesome features, but an app will still have all you need 🙂

      Reply
  14. Em says:

    I would personally love an app. I’m always on or near my phone, and would love to be able to save what I’ve done from the bus ride to work on my phone without using my data up.

    Reply
  15. Melody Hawley says:

    Even a basic app would be great. I spend a lot of time away from home and get little bits of inspiration all the time. As long as we can connect it to our profile and have it sync up reasonably fast, that would be great. Useful features for me would be creating a document/note and being able to direct it to a chapter, or even just have a generic note file that mobile notes go into for sorting online later would be fine. Also, having it so we can upload photos would be convenient. That way if I write something in a notebook (while pretending to pay attention in class), I can take a photo of it and have it easily in my profile.

    Reply
  16. Melody Hawley says:

    An option to set writing reminders would be nice, too. Especially if we could set different ones for different days at different times. My writing schedule is irregular, and it would be nice for the reminders to mirror that. I have a different writing app that I don’t use but I keep because I could set a daily writing reminder that shows up in my notifications.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Melody. Thanks for your comments, they’re really useful. We are also looking at Goals and Target setting to go alongside your novel writing so keep an eye out for them soon!

      Reply
  17. Heather Meloche says:

    I use my mini ipad with a keyboard attachment for writing during long commutes – which means I’m using it every day, and that’s one of my best writing time. I’m trying out Novlr just using the offline browser function right now (that was a huge draw for me!) but I would LOVE an actual app. It just feels a little safer than trusting my browser when offline.

    Reply
  18. MG says:

    I do a lot of writing on both my phone and tablet. Though typing on them can be annoying, I have a bluetooth keyboard I can use with them and I find I’m able to get a better flow of writing on them than I am on my computer. In part because of less distractions, but also because the times when I find I’m most inspired to write are when I’m away from my laptop.

    I would much prefer a separate mobile app to having to run through the browser for one reason: memory. Using the browser uses way more of the device’s memory then running a separate app (depending on how well made the app is anyway. I find gmail’s app usless that runs better for me through browser). Anything I do through the browser on my phone slows it down so much that trying to type because pointless but typing through another writing app on my phone works no problem. My tablet isn’t as bad but I would still prefer a dedicated app over having to run the browser. I might be able to use novlr on my tablet through the browser already (I have tried, but it runs most websites well) but the other thing is that an app would allow me to use it offline because my tablet doesn’t always have internet access. With just the web browser access I’d have to be connected to the internet to at least start using it and the way my tablet tends to load things, if I minimized the app at all I’d have to connect to the internet again for it load the page when I go back to the browser app, even if I haven’t actually shut the app down.

    Reply
  19. MG says:

    Also, I’d really like an app with the same set up as the website because they way you’ve designed it is EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to find in a writing app. I’d like to have the same interface and access on my tablet that I do on my computer and have the data synced between them.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      So pleased it is what you have been looking for MG – We’ll be creating the app in the new year so collecting everyone’s thoughts is great to know what you guys want. Thanks!

      Reply
  20. holly says:

    I’m supporting the “separate app with productivity features” idea.
    I just took a part time job almost an hour from here. (One of those “I can’t believe they pay me to do this” kinds)
    It would be GREAT if I could dictate into my phone on the trip and get some “writing” done.
    Then once I got home I could dump / upload the stuff and do a little editing.
    But if you do decided to do a full blown app, you’ll want to have the option to “work offline” so our batteries aren’t drained into oblivion.

    Reply
  21. Pamela says:

    I would definitely use a companion app for notes, taking pictures, and if it had a sound record functionality. I wouldn’t use a full on writing tool if it were on mobile, but then again, that’s just me. I liked the idea above of a commenting and review function, rather than a full writing function. It would be really useful to reorder passages, comment on additions or reviews needed at a later time, or even just to reread and highlight things while on a commute, even if it didn’t allow for major changes.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Pamela. It’s good to know you wouldn’t use your mobile for full on writing and that a companion app would work well for you 🙂

      Reply
  22. Ana says:

    I can’t imagine myself doing actual writing on my iPhone, but I would love an app where I could jot down notes and see (and maybe make minor edits on) what I’d previously written, while on the go. On the other hand, I do write a lot on my iPad (I have a Logitech bluetooth keyboard that I love) which requires wifi – an app where I could do regular writing in offline mode, and later sync to the cloud when I came back to wifi, would be amazing. So if this was somehow being designed just perfectly for me, I’d say a tablet-able full version app with offline mode, and a phone-able version for notes, revision, minor edits, or whatever.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Jeffrey. Thanks for your comment. A mobile app is what we will be looking at for the future. Let us know what you would like to see within it or what you would want it to do. Thanks!

      Reply
  23. Kendra Payton says:

    What I would love is somewhere that I can just type when I can’t be at a computer but it will show up when I log in. I don’t need a whole bunch of fancy features in the mobile app. I just need somewhere I can type when the muse strikes me so that I can get it out and then I can sit down at my laptop and it’s right there. This feature is something I am looking for in a writing program.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Kendra. Thanks for your comment! This is exactly what we would be looking into so it is great that this could work for you. It won’t be for a while but it would be great to know any other suggestions you have for the possibility of an app. Clare 🙂

      Reply
  24. MG says:

    I’ve been using Novlr on my tablet a lot today just in the browser and I find it so much easier for me to write productively on my tablet with a bluetooth keyboard than on my laptop. I haven’t gotten much done at all since I turned my laptop on.

    Novlr works fairly well on my Nexus in the chrome browser for just typing. I can change novels ok, the only issue I’ve run into is that when I pull up the chapter list, I can scroll it on the tablet (so I can only see as many chapters as fit on the screen), but other than that, the main section works fine. The settings section, on the other hand don’t work right on the tablet at all. Again there I can’t scroll which I think is the main problem.

    If you could fix the scrolling issue in the chapter menu, I’d be happy with being able to type on my tablet as is right now.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Mg, thanks for your comment. Novlr isn’t optimised to work on mobiles or tablets at the moment, therefore we can’t change that. However, when we look into the app for mobiles and tablets, we will make sure this works correctly. Thanks again, Clare

      Reply
  25. Brenda says:

    This is my first attempt at writing a novel (I am doing NaNoWriMo) and I am LOVING your site! I will be a paid member when my trial is up. Yesterday, I spent 2 hours in a car as a passenger and I wrote 1200 words on my phone using Byword, then I emailed them to myself and cut and pasted them into Novl’r. I wouldn’t want to write an entire novel on my phone but it was very productive. I can see myself doing this often during downtime at my work, which prohibits use of my laptop. I would love to write directly to novl’r so I can review what I have already written and where i left off. I like the look and feel of your site so keep up the good work and thank you for a fun experience.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Brenda! Thank you for your lovely comments. We are really pleased you like Novlr and are looking into continuing to use it. Thanks for your input, we will be looking into creating a mobile app soon so it’s great to know what our users want out of it. Clare

      Reply
  26. Michael Gray says:

    I’m sure I’m echoing everyone else here but: I’m a full-time writer, shipping (between paid articles and independent novellas) about 5,000 to 10,000 words a day.

    For me, being able to work seamlessly across all my devices (iPad, iPhone, Mac) is essential. When the kids are home and want Daddy’s attention, I head off to the pub with my iPad. If I’m sitting in an office waiting for something, I do edits on the iPhone. Etc. etc. The ability to always be working is what lets me hit my word count and ship dates.

    I love the Novlr system. It focuses on what’s important without complicating it. However, it is admittedly a little clumsy on the iPad, which is a big draw back for me. Office 365 is comparable and Word works shockingly well these days.. So for the price point, not being able to seamlessly use the iPad and iPhone to work is a deal breaker.

    That being said, if I COULD use Novlr (especially given word stats, etc) seamlessly, Novlr would by far be the better tool for creation.

    This is probably a little more text than you needed, but I wanted to explain my thoughts on the issue. The biggest drawback to the system as-is on iPad is the disappearing/mini cursor. Other than that, the mobile website is just fine. That rogue cursor is the problem and is the difference between my $120.

    (If I were able to be 100%, I’d pay the $120 instead of $100 because you’d deserve it.)

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Michael. Thanks for taking the time to comment. This is what we want to create. Something you can use anywhere that will then sync up to your computer when you get home. We are looking into developing this soon for you guys to be able to use it and have more writing options. We really appreciate your feedback and thank you for your kind words 🙂 Clare

      Reply
  27. Erika says:

    I actually would like a way to make sure I don’t booty delete my story. I am a SAHM and while working on word I put my phone in my pocket. 12 pages just up and went away. It auto saved. Luckily I had backed up 10 pages, but it was still painful. I now use a messaging app, then send myself the text transcript. It’s clunky. Only write 1-2 paragraphs at a time But by this process write over 3000 words a day. This is something I have been looking for.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Great to know that this app would work well for you Erika. We’ll make sure your words are safe even if you do put it in your pocket!

      Reply
  28. Clare says:

    Twitter suggestion from Tim: barebones version. No toolbars, settings etc. Just a white page on which to type and keep in sync online.

    Reply
  29. Clare says:

    Twitter suggestion from Lisa: definitely love the talk to text feature and so a notes app would be great. Make it work for an iPhone. Love Novlr!

    Reply
  30. Graham Brand says:

    I realise that I’m probably in the minority here, given the popularity of this feature request, but I expect you’d like to hear a few opposing views for balance.

    I don’t have a problem with the concept of a mobile app, but I’m concerned that it would take the focus away from developing the features for the main Novlr web app. I can see a lot of development and support time being sucked into a separate mobile app (on multiple platforms) – as opposed to optimisation of the web app to work with multiple mobile browers.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      We love that you have spinned it around Graham! We are planning on getting all of the little bugs sorted on the desktop version of Novlr before we release the Mobile App to ensure we can provide equal support on both platforms. With your amazing support with helping us fix things, we can do this!

      Reply
  31. Karen says:

    I mainly write on my laptop, however I have done some of my writing this year using my Kindle Fire (which has its own browser – Silk). It is not ideal for novlr because all the stuff round the edge of the screen converges, and when the touchscreen ‘keyboard’ is in use it makes the visible writing space very small. However, although it was slower and more fiddly I did still manage to get quite a lot of words written this way and will continue to use it. I would definitely be keen to see an app or mobile version that would make novlr easier to use in this way.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. Great to know it would be useful. It will be a lot easier to use an app in the future as you say, the screen isn’t quite right as it isn’t optimised for mobiles or tablets yet. If you have any suggestions on layout or design, we’d love to hear them!

      Reply
  32. Andy Roberts says:

    Hi

    I was an original backer on Kickstarter for Novlr, as I am a huge believer in what you are doing. I have, though, had to stop using Novlr for my writing, as I do nearly ALL of my writing on an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard, now. If the website worked with my iPad, then I’d be a happy little soul but, at the moment, Novlr does not do what I need it to do, which is disappointing. Please rush through iPad compatability for the website. That is the most important thing.

    Thanks

    Andy

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Andy, thanks for your comment. We are looking into the mobile app and making Novlr compatible for tablets and iPads at the moment. Please let us know of any suggestions you have of how you would like it to work and keep an eye out for when it comes out to test it.

      Reply
  33. Brandon L Steffy says:

    I’ve read through some of the comments and replies so if any of my ideas has been covered, I apologize. I was wondering if you’d be able to create two separate apps. One could be a companion where you can take notes (voice-to-text would be a wonderful tool to add) as well as show your stats. The other app could be a more encompassing version where those of us with tablets can have full access to features as you would have on a browser. In both apps you should be able to export to a choice in the type of file.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Brandon. Thanks for your comment. We’re leaning towards the tablet being just like the desktop and the mobile app being a complementary app to use out and about which then syncs up to your desktop/tablet when you return. 🙂

      Reply
  34. Joe Adams says:

    I would use a mobile app if A) I could read my works in progress on it, and B) at least be able to type in the notes section for later use.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Joanne. At the moment, we are leaning towards making Novlr fully optimised for Tablets and iPads so it will work as normal and then a compatible app for mobiles as there are quite a lot of features to fit into a small screen. It’s a lot of work but we’re up for the challenge! 🙂

      Reply
  35. Christina says:

    I would like the app to be available on the Windows store as well. That or the mobile site to be able to function with the Windows Edge on their phones.

    Reply
  36. Anna says:

    I am unhappy with Scrivener for this exact lack of functionality. I want a software program that I can use on multiple devices. Perhaps I am in the waiting room with my kid and I want to take out my Android tablet and keyboard and type up a few paragraphs. Or I am at home and get an idea for a problem I got stuck on, I want to pull out my Android phone and record the idea. Then a robust program that receives all this information automatically, without me having to spend a lot of time going to Google Docs to copy over notes and figure out where I wanted to put them etc.

    I put it all here because most mobile “apps” are supposed to work on phones AND tablets, correct?

    Tablet: Access to what I have on laptop. I want to be able to add new content or edit what is there. I should be able to generate the story or sections of the story if I want to do editing. I should be able to create new scenes/chapters etc.

    Phone: I wouldn’t want to do extensive work here. I would want to capture ideas/notes and attach them to different locations (Note folder, Chapter 1, Chapter 2 Scene 2, etc). I might want to do small amounts of writing, say a paragraph or dialog I thought of. I would use the voice feature on my phone to dictate it and then attach it to where it belongs.

    And the more platforms you can use, the better. Android and Apple are big ones. But I see someone else mentioned Windows too. I don’t want to think “will my writing software work here” if I am looking for new purchases. I want to have cross platform functionality that makes transferring to a new system easy.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Anna, Thanks so much for your comment. We really appreciate the detail you have gone into. We are looking at optimising Novlr fully for tablets and iPads so it will be just like using it on the computer and then creating a compatible mobile app for the mobile which as you say, will include limited features but that will be able to sync up to other devices when you come to work on them. It’s great to hear from a users point of view how you would like each one to work. Thanks again! 🙂

      Reply
  37. Danielle says:

    Having the ability to jot my notes into Novlr when I’m away from my laptop would be awesome. That’s really the only way Novlr could be better for me personally. I don’t know how much actual writing I would need to do from my phone, but if I could put my notes and ideas into it from my phone, that would be great.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Danielle, Thanks for your comment. Glad you are enjoying using Novlr and would like to see a compatible app. Thanks for letting us know what you would need out of it. It’s all really helpful for thinking about what we can do with it 🙂

      Reply
  38. Eleanor Konik says:

    There have definitely been times when I’ve wanted to write on my phone, and continue writing my document on my phone. More importantly, there have been many times when I wanted to be able to READ my novel on a phone, while I handwrite or reference at a party or whatever, which thus far is really awkward because it’s horizontally wider than my screen and not responsive.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Eleanor. Thanks so much for your comment. It’s really useful to know what our users would primarily use the app for. At the moment we are leaning towards a compatible app so it wouldn’t have all the features included in the app as there are quite a few to fit into a small screen 🙂 Thanks again!

      Reply
  39. Terri Pray says:

    I’m on the road for conventions (Sci-Fi/Game/Fantasy) and family trips a couple of times a year. Having the ability to write on my Samsung tablet (have a decent keyboard with it) would be ideal for me. I’m one of those lucky people for whom the cons is actually a part of my work, and I’d love to be able to use those quiet moments at the booth to be able to write without dragging the laptop with!

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Terri! We will definitely be looking to make Novlr fully optimised for tablets and then a compatible app for the mobile as the screen is a bit too small for all the features to fit nicely on. Thanks again!

      Reply
  40. Nick says:

    I’d love a Novlr iOS app as my only portable computing device is an iPad and Novlr doesn’t really work very in either Chrome or Safari on iOS.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Nick, thanks for your comment. We’re leaning towards making Novlr fully optimised for iPads and tablets which will be exactly the same as the desktop version as the screen is big enough and developing a compatible app for mobiles. Seeing as the screen is considerably smaller, with the progression of development and more features in the pipeline, we don’t want it to be too heavy on a mobile screen! Thanks again 🙂

      Reply
  41. Heather Meloche says:

    I would love – I can’t stress that enough – LOVE a full on Novlr app. Why? Because I do 90% of my writing on my iPad (with keyboard) while commuting, and unfortunately I haven’t been able to really use Novlr much because the offline mode is very unstable in browser apps on the iPad. I’ve lost a few things that way, which made me stop using it. I love how Novlr works online, though, and I would love to have it be both offline and STABLE on my tablet. Please?

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Heather, thanks so much for your comment. What we are planning, once we have the funding to do so, is to make Novlr fully optimised for ipads and tablets and havea compatible app for mobiles, so you will be able to use Novlr as you would on the laptop/desktop 🙂

      Reply
      • Tim says:

        Hi

        Would the mobile companion app still have full novel writing functionality?

        I appreciate that writing on a phone isn’t what everyone wants to do, and won’t be as good a user experience as a tablet, but personally I want to be able to do everything on my phone. My MacBook Pro is more ideal, sure, but often I don’t have it with me, and sometimes I’m using it for something else. So I’d want to always be able to access my novel whenever I want to jump in.

        Thanks
        Tim

        Reply
        • Clare says:

          Hi Tim, thanks for your comment. Not having looked at the development side of the mobile app much, means we don’t know exactly how it would work. We’re always open for suggestions on here though and will be taking them all into consideration to bring you the best feature we can. Thanks again 🙂

          Reply
  42. Kelsie says:

    I like the ideas for a companion app and a full-on app. A suggestion for both apps: include functionality that allows for both keyboard and narration writing. That would address the concerns I read about mobile keyboards being too small. Also, a suggestion to alleviate the constant 3G drain: use Mel’s suggestion about local saves and options for uploading content via wi-fi and such.

    As for me, I do most of my writing on my Macbook. I have a cheap Android phone and have wished multiple times that there was a way for me to make notes on my story without eating up my internal memory or opening Google Docs every time. A companion app with functionality that would allow me to make notes on the run, upload them to Novlr via automatic wi-fi synching, and access the last few day’s worth of notes offline would be great, especially if the app cleared its storage bi-monthly. That would give ample time and opportunities for wi-fi synching and keep the app from growing too large.

    Reply
  43. Noah Nichols says:

    I want a Novlr mobile app so badly that I’d actually pay for one if it helped the cause. There are times where I just can’t be around a PC or a laptop and I have to use my phone. Notes and Google Docs do not cut it. To put it bluntly, they suck. You guys care about what you put out there and I know that it’d be top quality material. Truly hope this sees the light of day in the near future.

    Reply
  44. Shannon Taylor Hodnett says:

    I think having a mobile app would be perfect! Even if it has less features than the website, it would be worth it. Like y’all said, having an app where you could just make notes and transfer them to the website is a great idea. ^_^ Personally, I love having an app version of the writing websites and other tools I use on my computer. I get so many ideas when I’m away from home…it’s nice to have something that lets me stay productive and keep in sync! ^_^

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Shannon. Thanks so much for you comment. We agree – an app will be great! It’s a beast of a task though so we will be looking into making Novlr fully responsive on tablets first and potentially mobiles for you to still be able to use Novlr on there. 🙂

      Reply
  45. Bev says:

    As an author and cover art designer, I spend a lot of time sitting. An app in which to dictate my book into iPhone and then a way ro transfer my words into Novlr on my iPad Pro would be the ideal solution. Walking and talking my book would be perfect for my health!

    Reply
  46. Tamara says:

    Please, please make a mobile app! I am in favor of having an app instead of a mobile site. I tried the mobile site on my iPhone and it just doesn’t work. I would use an app on my iPhone and iPad, for sure. I worked for a company that publishes municipal codes and they got a website and mobile app setup, and it had a smaller screen setup with lots of code text to scroll through and it worked great! I can definitely see this working with Novlr. And while I may not use my phone to write every day, necessarily, I would love to be able to go in and write or edit, or at the very least read what I have written from my phone easily. I would also be in favor of a manual sync from the app. Hope this happens soon…looking forward to it!

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      /thanks for your comment Tamara. We agree, it will be a fantastic addition to Novlr, but not a simple one, unfortunately. It’s great to hear things like this though as it will help us for planning and developing it when we get round to it – thank you! Clare 🙂

      Reply
  47. Kimber says:

    Another vote for a limited mobile version – I couldn’t stand to try and type anything of significance on that teeny tiny screen & with those teeny tiny keys, but yes, I’d like to be able to review and possibly make notes on my ongoing docs via my phone. I don’t really see it being worthwhile to do a full version for mobile, but that’s just my opinion. 🙂

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Th mobile site at the moment isn’t the prettiest! It’s good to know where all our users stand with the full version/compatible version though so thanks for your vote! 🙂

      Reply
  48. Marcus says:

    This would work wonders for me!

    I really like writing during some idle moments when I’m not home. A mobile version would be great!

    Reply
  49. Dalton says:

    I saw a couple posts for a limited feature app or a companion app, and love that idea, especially when considering some of the other features that are currently in progress on in the pipeline (Character Maps, storyboard/timeline, notes). I would also like to say that whenever you do create an app, not to ignore windows phone like so many other companies. I use primarily windows devices (including windows phone) and it would be nice to have the same functionality in apps as the android and apple users.

    Reply
  50. MG says:

    On the topic of improving the functionality of the site on tablets: chapter rearranging is an issue. Drop and drag with a mouse is great, drop and drag on this touch interface is not really functional. If I try to tap and hold at all I just get the “right click menu” instead of being able pick up the chapter and move it.

    Love typing on my tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard because it’s far less distracting than my computer but have to go in on the computer if I want to move chapters. Not a big deal as I’m not doing that a lot but would be nice to be able to rearrange on here if I wanted to.

    Reply
  51. Jamel says:

    I would LOVE a mobile app! Like a ton of other people, I mostly write on my laptop, but whenever I’m on the train or just can’t get to it, I use my phone to write then just import it onto the doc. I’ve normally been using onedrive for this, but I would love it if Novlr did this. I really like your interface and moving it to a mobile form would be perfect.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Jamel – thanks so much for your support for the mobile app! As mentioned before, it is a big one and a feature we want to get just right so it is a little while off but we’ll be taking all of these points into consideration when we do begin the development. Clare 🙂

      Reply
  52. Whitley Abell says:

    I write on my phone a lot. Because 5 days out of the week, the only time I have a free moment to write is when I’m waiting a event to start or the person I’m meeting to arrive, and that means I typically only have my phone on me. I have a lot of issues with the screen and the cursor on the mobile site jumping around, so I can’t see what I’m typing or that I’ve suddenly started editing a different line than I want to be. I can use Word from my phone as a workaround and import when I’m back to my computer, but I can’t easily access chapters or flip back to my notes the way I’d like. I love Novlr because it’s easily accessible from any online device (and because it’s not blocked by my office’s firewall like Evernote or Microsoft Online). I get the worry about data usage with the constant save, but what if it saved locally until you tell it to save to cloud, similar to the way the site works offlne.

    Reply
  53. marie dees says:

    I prefer to travel with my Kindle (which is android) and use that for writing rather than the laptop. I’m also looking at the new Lenovo Book android as a laptop replacement. The main reason I haven’t be recommending Novlr to my fellow novel writers is because the darn thing doesn’t work on mobile and across platforms. If I need to be on a laptop to use it, then I’d rather stick with scrivener. Because the reason I switched from Scrivener to Novlr was Scrivener doesn’t work outside of a computer. Which means that I may be leaving Novlr in search of a program that will work across platforms because, yes, I do write on my phone and on my tablet and I’m tired of being tied to a computer.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Marie, Thanks for your comment. The mobile app is going to take a lot of time and money to develop. We are gradually building this up, but it is going to be a little while until it is released I’m afraid. We’re putting all our focus into making the desktop version the best it can be to build up our user base and then work on other devices. Thanks again!

      Reply
  54. Imola says:

    I see no point in a note-taking app. A billion of those exist, some of which people will already be using.

    A fully responsive website would solve your woes, though connectivity is of course a big issue. How does Google do it – in Docs you’re able to save changes and sync them online when you’re back on wifi / 45?

    My use case is this: I need to be able to write on the go so I don’t have to choose between writing or going to places. Time in transit is time wasted, and when I’m in the zone but I know the grocery shop will close soon I don’t want to drop the pen and go grocery shopping with guilt.

    Reply
  55. Matt Wilkinson says:

    I purchased the Scrivener iOS app, and find it a great tool for writing on the go, it’s a lot easier to use on a phone screen than you would think and is packed with features. If you could release a similar app, that would be awesome.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Matt. It’s really useful to know of other mobile apps that work well so that we can understand what our users want from an app. This way, we can build the best one for Novlr 🙂

      Reply
  56. Thomas says:

    I’m late on this discussion but I want to give my perspective on this question.. I think in today’s world mobile is absolutely critical. Having a mobile option doesn’t require anyone to use it.. but for folks like me that are thinking of 100 things a time we need mobile.. I currently have several pages on Evernote and other places because I cannot get to a computer. I write more from my phone than I ever do on a computer. Never still enough to just work on a project. Looking forward to seeing this come to fruition.. Either that or partnership integration with a mobile app..

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Thomas. We’re really excited for the mobile app – however, we’re going to focus on the desktop app for now and make that even better before focusing our attention on other devices.

      Reply
  57. Bruce A Silver says:

    Not having iOS and Android support is short sighted, I think. It isn’t a matter of writing a novel on my phone, bur rather on my tablet. It’s plenty of real estate with a 10 inch screen for writing, and I never take my laptop with me anywhere anymore – my tablet does so much. Please consider supporting full features, or at the very least, syncing with a more limited tablet version. I just want to be able to write and know it will be there when I’m back from travelling.

    Reply
  58. Anna says:

    As it’s 2017 now, I’m honestly surprised that there isn’t an app yet. Like a lot of people, my iPad is my primary device – so it really sucks that I can’t use novlr on it! Trying to log-in on safari does not work at all. Is there any progress on this?

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Anna, thanks for your comment. We’re on the road to making Novlr responsive on tablets at the moment. It’s a big job that is going to take a little while, I’m afraid. We’re focusing a lot of our attention on making the desktop app the best it can be before moving on to other devices – but we’re determined to get there! 🙂

      Reply
  59. Emma Sousa says:

    Is a mobile app really necessary IF the web-based version works on the iPad or mobile devices and allows full access to all the features? If you can tell me that this app will work on my ipad pro and allow me access to all features, I say don’t waste time, energy or $$ on a mobile app and put your efforts into other great features to make the web-app better than it is.

    Reply
  60. Bruce says:

    Any update on this? I just don’t use a laptop anymore, and I’ve not been back to Novlr for awhile now, because it won’t work on my tablet. I don’t care whether mobile app or mobile browser support – I just want to be able to use in on my primary writing device – tired of other stop-gap solutions I’m using, but if Novlr doesn’t support tablets soon, I may have to abandon it, which would be a shame. Can you give a rough ETA for this feature?

    Reply
  61. Chris Davis says:

    It would really be nice to have some sort of connectivity via iPad. I currently use my iPad much more than my laptop, and even a note-taking type app which syncs up inside Novlr somehow would be helpful. That way, I can jot down things about my story or write a bit while on the go and then be able to log in and import it directly into my chapters.

    Reply
  62. Noah Nichols says:

    The only digital gift I want for this Christmas is a Novlr app. Please tell us that it’s coming within the next few years at least. Your loyal users—including me—are internally whinging!

    Reply
  63. Shenan Wilson says:

    Tbh if this is made moble while keeping as many features as possible I’d be all for paying for a subscription, being a phone user and dominantly writing on m pH seeing an app come on that I can write novels with many mini story’s appels to me specially if the app is intergraded to be on both pc computers and Android phones and able to be used offline like the website I’d be more then happy to move here and pay the $10 a month right now having to take my PC everywhere I want to write or trying to use the hard to see desktop version on my phone to write is very unappealing

    Reply
  64. Wajeeha says:

    There should be a companion app for Novlr on mobile.
    For example, making features like outlining, and an inspiration journal type feature, like notes or something, available. It would be nice for a change if I didn’t need to use multiple software for every device I own, for every feature I need to use.

    Reply
  65. Red says:

    I am writing with a Co-author and we both mainly use iOS either for our phone, iPad, or computer. It would be nice to share what we think of during the day with each other through Novlr….. the app. We both use the same iOS so collaborating is easy for us. He lives in England and I’m in the States. We’d gladly pay to have the ability to voice sync.

    Reply
  66. Tiffani says:

    I do typically write on my laptop or on my desktop, but I also do a lot of travelling. I am nearly always jotting notes down on my phone, but I do also write out entire scenes on my phone and my tablet when I can’t or don’t have my laptop with me. It is kind of a pain to use the notes feature for this purpose, and I have been using the Google Docs app for a while on both my phone and my tablet. I am travelling to Italy soon and it is a pain to take my laptop through customs, especially when travelling internationally, and packing light when I can just bring my tablet and folding blue-tooth keyboard. As I am paying for a Novlr subscription, and travel often, and will be taking more plane trips, it would be extremely useful for me to be able to write in an app version or a mobile friendly version of Novlr instead of having to transfer back and forth between Novlr and Google Docs and spend the extra time just trying to fix the formatting from exporting between the two programs.

    Reply
  67. Noah Nichols says:

    I’m in the same curiosity boat as Bruce…would really like to get a detailed response/plan for the mobile app deal! I think I can type for everybody when I say (type) that everybody who uses Novlr right now is craving this feature more than anything else on the still-have-to-create plate. Hell, I’d definitely be willing to pay a one-time fee for the app! Just having a functional one would be amazing. And I do know that it takes a lot of time and effort and money, but we’ll help. It’s been quite a wait already, so I’m pretty certain many of us would chip in at least five or ten bucks if it helped out in any way. We only want it all to move forward faster, because we love what you’ve done and continue to do with this platform!

    Perhaps you could even offer discounted lifetime memberships again? You got several people to sign up for that the last time you ran it and it did bring in a good chunk of change. Simply put, these are ideas that would probably go a long way in advancing app development…and that’s all we want to see materialize. So to Clare, Kim, Thomas…and even Mark (never have talked to you but I’m assuming you’re just as caring and cool as your peers), thanks for all you do!

    Reply

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