Good, but missing a piece
Drafts 4 is missing one critical function, but it has satisfied a good chunk of my basic writing needs until now. Clean interface, useful special keyboard row, works well with Apple wireless keyboard. I have tried more than a dozen writing apps, including some of the pricier offerings, but Drafts 4 and 1Writer lead my list. Drafts is not a publishing tool, but it presents a full list of fonts, while 1Writer's developers short-changed that app with fewer than 20 typefaces — about one-third of which are monospace; go figure. So I have used Drafts 4 regularly. My one major criticism of Drafts 4 is the absence of a Search function. For me, this omission weakens the app for pieces any longer than a page. I'm switching to Drafts 5, which has Search and Search-and-Replace, and I'll probably buy the Pro version for its enhanced interface and extra tools. (Hey, the subscription model is the only way professional developers can economically justify long-term support and continued app enhancements. Yes, I like one-and-done software purchases, too, but I also like my software to be supported for many years. The subscription model helps with this, and it is here to stay. If you write daily, as I do, what is a $20 annual subscription? It's a nickel a day — or a half-ounce of your venti Pike Place.)
My Most Used App
Obviously I'm in the minority because I do not use the popular markdown features but it is great for jotting down quick notes that one can save or send as emails, messages, social media posts and even add tasks to Omni Focus. You can use it as a search engine, dictionary, thesaurus, and in conjunction with other apps to create larger, more elaborate compositions. Drafts is really very versatile and there is really no other app that can currently match Draft's abundance of features. The app is also universal which is a huge plus if you toggle back and forth, like myself, between my iPhone 8 and iPad Pro. *UPDATE: Already a whole year since the last review and still, as always, this app is best in class and I try new productivity/note/journal/ writing apps on almost a daily basis and run them through all of the important tests and use Drafts as the measuring rod. For big epic ramblings you want to jot out before sending it as text to be formatted elsewhere or simple notes, messages, emails, social media posts and todos, Drafts has you covered. The keyboard is best in class as well and for those that don’t want to be distracted by toggling around for characters, this keyboard beats them all.
I’m still finding new ways to use this great app after years of use.
Revised Review, May 3, 2018:
To be fair, Story Planner is NOT a subscription-based app, though it does update every couple of weeks with a few bug fixes. Its developers should be commended for that. A good example of subscription-based con is Ulysses, which I also love.
It sends out a few fixes and some very minor feature changes about once a month. 3 months since the last update, however. Look at version histories in app descriptions and you’ll see the pattern.
Four stars is my rating for Drafts 4, a fine app as is.
To answer one reviewer on the Drafts 5 app site: I LOVE DRAFTS ALSO but I haven’t downloaded the new Drafts 5. I see so many sellout reviewers there—one wonders whether Mr. Tortoise shouldn’t simply charge $100/year as the subscription rate, whether the overall profit margin wouldn’t be even higher since many consumers seem as gullible as naive teenage girls on Spring Break.
Will it be 6 months or more—half the subscription period—between updates, like so many subscription-based apps, or will these developers roll out a few bug fixes every two weeks or so, ala Story Planner. I wonder whether the SUBSCRIPTION MODEL TOUTED BY SO MANY DEVELOPERS AND NAIVE CONSUMERS isn’t just another BS con to grab money. We see this in virtually every aspect of our lives these days—from the fake-religion industry in Tulsa, OK, to the Mammon-loving political leaders we entrust with our children’s futures.
I love Drafts, it makes automating so many writing related endeavors possible. I am glad that Drafts 4 will remain supported for now. Unfortunately, the developer has decided to take the short sighted approach with the new version of Drafts by opting on the soon to be disastrous results of the Subscription Based Model. Can't fault anyone for grabbing an opportunity, short term or long term, no matter what it's lifespan may prove to be.
As an analyst paid to provide trend forecasting data for Fortune 500s, its intriguing to discover the type of businesses that have been drawn into what market insiders know as the "sucker bet" business model. Ironically, some market analysts are predicting the "subscription based model" will be remembered as an "opportunistic infection," that ultimately "contributed to the implosion of" & "giving definition to" Web 3.0
The #subscription_economy, deceptively posing as viable business model, is unsustainable. Those who implement this approach do so by dropping half of the equation, the reasoning mind of a consumer/user. As the mounting data has already begun, it clearly demonstrates dedicated subscribers realize the unmanageable number of subscriptions and "real products acting as pseudo-services" have only complicated their daily life and they quickly opt out for a more traditional, less - time consuming and fiscal draining approach. With this epiphany realized, it is nearly impossible to justify only the most necessitated of basic needs. As an app developer as well, I better have considered just how much of a basic necessity my work addresses because I've narrowed the return on my seriously invested development time.
A capture tool that is truly functional
Many moons ago before iOS I used an app on my Palm tx called ‘SLAP’ that served a similar function. It was my daily capture and organizing tool. Drafts is a great app by itself, however with drafts’ apple watch ability this has become my obviously updated daily go to app.
Love this app
This is my go to app for quick notes.
The new payment model means this will go from being an app I use multiple times a day to being one I won’t use at all. What a shame. This feels like a betrayal given the investment one makes in creating actions and such ... but i suppose it ought to be familiar to us by now since it happens to every single app. So long, Drafts.
By Clams Maloney
Wish the new app wasn't a subscription but this one is great
Excellent Elegance for Note Taking
By I like to calculate
This app is the most pleasant and efficient way to take notes while reading books on my iPad with Kindle or iBooks apps. It allows me to copy quotations and store them all into a single repository (or multiple ones if you desire). Quotations may be edited, abridged, or otherwise altered before storing.
While there are of course many ways to copy text from a book and store it elsewhere, the elegance of this app minimizes the hassle and effort required. This results in a much more pleasant reading / note-taking flow than anything else I've experienced. It easily justifies the insignificant cost of this brilliant app.
My compliments to the talented designer(s)