Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

tombiscuit

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 23, 2015
84
67
UK
For a while now I've been trying to find some kind of word processing solution across Mac and iOS that features live syncing -- that is, I can switch instantly between devices without needing to save or worry about manually syncing.

Any suggestions? So far I've looked at and largely rejected Google Docs, which is otherwise ideal but lacks a native Mac app -- and it's painful trying to work inside safari. Quip is pretty good but is really for business docs and I'm doing long form writing (that is using the tab key to indent paragraphs etc).

Word is pretty awful at this. The iOS app doesn't even sync correctly to iCloud for example. Pages is equally bad.
 

Even Longer

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2012
486
440
Heidelberg
For a while now I've been trying to find some kind of word processing solution across Mac and iOS that features live syncing -- that is, I can switch instantly between devices without needing to save or worry about manually syncing.

Any suggestions? So far I've looked at and largely rejected Google Docs, which is otherwise ideal but lacks a native Mac app -- and it's painful trying to work inside safari. Quip is pretty good but is really for business docs and I'm doing long form writing (that is using the tab key to indent paragraphs etc).

Word is pretty awful at this. The iOS app doesn't even sync correctly to iCloud for example. Pages is equally bad.

Could you specify, what is so bad in syncing with MS Office or even iWork?
Desktop and mobile Apps from both were designed to sync with iOS and, afaik, MS Office syncs almost with everything including OneDrive, iCloud and Dropbox.
 

tombiscuit

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 23, 2015
84
67
UK
Could you specify, what is so bad in syncing with MS Office or even iWork?
Desktop and mobile Apps from both were designed to sync with iOS and, afaik, MS Office syncs almost with everything including OneDrive, iCloud and Dropbox.

It's a bit of a long story, and you ought just to try it out. Try editing a document on your iPad, and then try switching to editing it on your Mac straight away. If you've very lucky you won't get sync errors, but it's likely that you will. iCloud doesn't sync frequently enough, for example, so although you've saved it on one device you need to wait 5-10 minutes before editing it on the other -- or you'll end up editing an old version. Word's better because it does allow concurrent editing but I've found it to be slow and again sometimes it just doesn't work. I open the file on a different device and it's the old version of the file (that's using OneDrive). As mentioned on my iOS devices Word simply won't update iCloud, and shows a file listing a month old. It's also a major PITA having to click OTHER each time to load docs.

Only Google Docs is actually any good but as mentioned working in a browser window is a PITA. However, I've found something of a solution in App for Google Docs on the App Store. It's a very basic app that puts a frame around the Google Docs website, but can work as a menu bar app or as a traditional Dock app complete with icon. It's by a company that seems to specialise in nothing else but putting frames around online content so desktop users can access them. Therefore it's a bit cheap and simple, but it does appear to work.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,691
2,445
Baltimore, Maryland
Only Google Docs is actually any good but as mentioned working in a browser window is a PITA. However, I've found something of a solution in App for Google Docs on the App Store. It's a very basic app that puts a frame around the Google Docs website, but can work as a menu bar app or as a traditional Dock app complete with icon. It's by a company that seems to specialise in nothing else but putting frames around online content so desktop users can access them. Therefore it's a bit cheap and simple, but it does appear to work.

You can create apps like that yourself using "Epichrome" on the Mac.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tombiscuit

cdcastillo

macrumors 68000
Dec 22, 2007
1,714
2,672
The cesspit of civilization
If what you want is to edit/sync text documents, you have to try WriteRoom. It is one of those write-only focus apps, and has native iOS and Mac apps. I used it all the time syncing through DropBox, but have now switched to OS X notes.

However, it does not support heavy formatting up front. Have you tried iA writer, or some similar Mac App store editor?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tombiscuit

CYB3RBYTE

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2014
454
293
Midwest
For a while now I've been trying to find some kind of word processing solution across Mac and iOS that features live syncing -- that is, I can switch instantly between devices without needing to save or worry about manually syncing.

Any suggestions? So far I've looked at and largely rejected Google Docs, which is otherwise ideal but lacks a native Mac app -- and it's painful trying to work inside safari. Quip is pretty good but is really for business docs and I'm doing long form writing (that is using the tab key to indent paragraphs etc).

Word is pretty awful at this. The iOS app doesn't even sync correctly to iCloud for example. Pages is equally bad.

Well, what type of word processing are you looking to do? I use Evernote for notes in class, and it's an excellent note taking program. It's supported by basically anything with a power cord.
 

tombiscuit

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 23, 2015
84
67
UK
For what it's worth I ended-up going with Google Docs, which is getting pretty good nowadays. iOS is taken care of with the Google Docs app, as is my Chromebook, but on the Mac I took BrianBaughn's advice and used Epichrome to create a dedicated app. I've had a play with similar apps in the past and been disappointed (i.e. Prism), but Epichrome works really well, to the extent where I'm seriously considering abandoning Microsoft Word for all aspects of my work (I work as a journalist and novelist). Because it uses Chrome as the engine, you can also use the Google Docs extension to ensure files are synced offline.

My workflow is simple:

1. Create articles/work in Google Docs using the Epichrome app/iOS app.
2. When finished, click File > Download As, to save out the file as a Word doc for submission to editors etc, and to create a permanent copy on my disk.
 
Last edited:

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,691
2,445
Baltimore, Maryland
That sounds like a good workflow.

Not mentioned is the fact that Google Cloud Print can be used on iOS Google Docs to print to any printer that's setup on the Mac and has been added to Google Cloud Print.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tombiscuit

tombiscuit

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 23, 2015
84
67
UK
I really don't know why Google doesn't produce a Mac app. It could take a care of a few things Epichrome can't do, such as drag and drop support.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.