Posted in App, Commentary

Drafts Receives High Rating from MacWorld


Drafts for iOS 7

Drafts is a “different kind of note taking app.” In April, iPadnotebook.com reviewed Drafts. MacWorld has now awarded the app its highest rating of 5 mice. There are two different versions of the app, one for the iPhone and one for the iPad. (To learn more about syncing between the two apps, read the support page.)

iPad Screenshot 1

The idea of Drafts is simple. Capture ideas, email, messages, notes, tasks, etc. in the app and then use the app to send the information to another place to act on. The time savings of not having to open multiple apps and transfer information manually can be well worth the small price of the app to increase your efficiency.

iPad Screenshot 3

You can read more about the app from the developer.

The developer describes new features and abilities of version 3.5.x as follows:

  • “Post to Google+” action. This uses the SDK provided by Google. It is not quite a seemless as Twitter/Facebook posting, but it is the only method currently supported. When you run this action you will leave Drafts (either to the Google+ app, or Safari if the app is not installed) and get a share screen, you will still have to confirm the post (and select circles, if desired), but you will return to Drafts when done.
  • Magic + Button. The new draft button still functions as it always did, but now you can tap and hold on the “+” button to get new draft options, including the ability to create a new draft with the contents of the clipboard, or using the current selected text.
  • “Import from Dropbox”. If you have the Dropbox app installed, when you tap and hold on the new draft button (see above), you will get an additional “Import from Dropbox” option which allows you select files from your Dropbox and create a new draft with their contents.
  • Most actions can now be run on an empty draft. This is useful for a number of circumstances, such as a case where you have actions that rely only on the [[clipboard]] tag, or if you simply want to use Drafts a launcher for other apps, quick emails, etc.
  • “Show status bar in editor” setting allows hiding of the status bar on iPhone.
  • Tags now work in Email Action recipient (to, cc, bcc) fields, so you can use values in the lines of your drafts to address messages for actions.
  • “Notebook” field in Evernote actions now supports tags, so you can dynamically route notes to different notebooks in Evernote based on values in the draft.
  • New action tag: [[selection]]. Inserts the last text selection used when editing the draft, or the full draft if there was no selection.
  • [[line|n]] tag now supports ranges using the “..” range syntax. Such as [[line|2..4]] for lines 2, 3 and 4, [[line|2..]] for line 2 through the end of the draft, [[line|..3]] for lines 1, 2 and 3.
  • Option to show number of drafts in the inbox as an app badge.
  • Settings > Sync and Storage > “Archive Inbox Drafts” function moves all drafts currently in the inbox to the archive.

Misc. changes and improvements worth mentioning

  • “Copy” buttons in tag help views now dismiss tag help after placing tag in clipboard.
  • Allow tweets with >140 characters if they contain URLs that will be shortened by Twitter and result in a total of less than 140 characters.
  • Added Helvetica Neue-Light font, because, you know, iOS 7.
  • Added OpenDyslexic font.
  • Added tab key to extended keyboard.
  • “Markdown: Preview” action now works properly with URL callbacks. It always should have, but didn’t. Useful if you want to use Drafts as a Markdown preview tool from another app.
  • Improve Markdown preview with new CSS.
  • Setting to disable/enable TextExpander expansion as you type.
  • Improved accessibility in several areas of the app, partially due to VoiceOver fixed in iOS 7.

TextExpander Integration

Drafts has always had support for Smile Software’s TextExpander Touch, a great utility that allows you to create text shortcuts that expand when typed. Changes in iOS 7 have required TextExpander to change the way they go about sharing data other apps that integrate with it. Be aware that for TextExpander to work on iOS 7, you will need to update to the latest version of TextExpander and re-share your snippets. TextExpander will request access to Reminders and store its snippet data there. You will also have to be sure you have allowed Drafts access to Reminder (iOS Settings > Privacy > Reminders) and have turned on the new “Expand while typing” setting in Drafts. Once you have done these steps, TextExpander integration should work well in Drafts 3.5.

Conclusion

If you feel you are constantly opening different apps to type in information just to close that app and open another to type something else, check out Drafts as the focal point app to type your thoughts and have the app send the text to another app to increase efficiency.

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