Drafts 5 Overhauls Note-Taking App With New Themes, Editor Options and Action Features

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A new version of Drafts, the simple note-taking app from Agile Tortoise, was released today. Drafts 5 stays faithful to its predecessor's primary goal of allowing users to quickly jot down text, thoughts, ideas, and notes, and builds on these functions by introducing a ground-up rewrite of the app with a raft of new features and customization options.

    Agile Tortoise has opted to release Drafts 5 as a standalone app, which means it doesn't replace Drafts 4, but installs alongside it, allowing users to migrate previous drafts, actions and keyboard customizations from the earlier app.


    Once they've done that, long-time users will find a raft of new interface theming options, like the ability to switch between light and dark modes, and granular control of a host of draft appearance settings in the new editor. These include the ability to adjust margins, line height, line numbering, auto-correct, smart quotes/dashes, and more.

    Drafts 5 also introduces new organization options with multiple tags, which can be used to filter the draft list and queries for all inbox, archived, and flagged drafts. A new Focus mode disables the automatic creation of new drafts after a specific time period, allowing users to continue adding to drafts long after they were first created. Siri integration is another new addition in this version, so users can add a note to Drafts by just using their voice.

    Elsewhere, there's enhanced support for inline syntax highlighting for several different types of markup, interactive to-dos, drag and drop support, multiple extended keyboards for grouping actions into categories, a new Action Directory, and automated backup. Small changes have also been made to improve the Apple Watch complication of Drafts 5, which allows dictation and note-taking from the wrist, as well as flagging and tagging of drafts.

    The comprehensive list of changes and improvements can be found on the GetDrafts.com website. Drafts for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch is a free download on the App Store [Direct Link], while Drafts Pro is a universal subscription ($20 per year / $2 per month) that unlocks more features. These include themes, custom icons, editing of actions, saving workspaces and more. According to the developer, Draft 4 will continue to be supported and available, so users can choose to migrate to Drafts 5 if and when they feel they are ready.

    Article Link: Drafts 5 Overhauls Note-Taking App With New Themes, Editor Options and Action Features
  2. spazzcat macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2007
    I know MR has to make money, but the best note taking app is MS OneNote. It is free on all platforms and works with the pencil on the iPad.
  3. jedwards87 Suspended

    May 21, 2015
    Wow. So your opinion if fact ? Good to know.
  4. eltoslightfoot macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2011
    By this token, we shouldn't be talking about OneNote because Apple Notes does the same thing now that you can view them on the web. If you don't like the article, don't click the link. I like hearing about new stuff.

    You know these type of responses get so old. How in the bloody blazes is MR supposed to know what every person finds useful?
  5. mdbradigan macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2014
    Nashville, TN area
    I love Drafts... Agile Tortoise is a great developer and makes great tools. But the move by *every* developer shop to a subscription model is just a horrible paradigm. I'd gladly pay for Drafts - it's a great app. But not annually. It is not a "service", it is software. This shift is dangerous, and must be fought, IMO.
  6. zchrykng macrumors newbie


    May 31, 2017
    Fully agree. I am seriously hitting subscription burn out. There are only so many services/apps I am willing to pay for regularly.
  7. AppleInLVX macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2010
    I am officially done. Every app that I use on at least a weekly basis that went subscription I have sucked up and paid for (although I do this grudgingly, no longer evangelize the products like I used to, and will jump ship the first time I find a suitable replacement, or they up their subscription price). Now it's like if I don't use it at least weekly, you can forget it--it's gone. Drafts falls into that category. If I need to note something, I'll use Apple's notes; it's just as good. And as for all the new ones who use subscriptions, I will never know how good the software is because I will never allow myself to get trapped into an ecosystem like that again.

    f subscriptions.
  8. spazzcat macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2007
    It isn't just my opinion...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 19, 2018 ---
    MS OneNote doesn't have a subscription...
    --- Post Merged, Apr 19, 2018 ---
    Apple notes isn't even close to same as OneNote. Isn't the point of these post for people to share what they use and find helpful to help others?
  9. spicymeatballs12 macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2018
    Anything Micro$oft releases is utter trash. I'm glad MR is promoting other products that are no doubt 10x better than anything like OneNote.
  10. HappyDamnSam macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2018
    OneNote isn't the best note app at all? Evernote is lightyears better than OneNote. Besides, what I prefer as a note taking app doesn't matter. I think it's great that MR is writing about every single note taking app or any app thats made for apple products. If you take notes that much then you should look into this app more and maybe pay for the premium because it does more than OneNote not just dismiss it because "MR has to make money"

    If you found the perfect app for you great then don't read this article
  11. Mike Oxard macrumors 6502a

    Mike Oxard

    Oct 22, 2009
    Drafts is more than just a note taking app, read the review on Macstories for better detail on what it can do.

  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    These two posts pretty much sum up how I feel about software and subscriptions. Mainly it comes down to cost and how much I use the app. I have moved to the free version of Evernote and will be getting off that platform shortly and the big issue I had with them was, they increased the price and they made it a real pain to get any notes out.

    Give me a one time cost for a product especially software.

    While I have not used Drafts, a lot of folks who do use it really like it, but I won't get it, even the free version because I don't want a subscription.
  13. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    Tried to parse that a couple times, doesn't work.
  14. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    I use Evernote, and I'm deeply engrained into it. I really wish they would update their software so I could just annotate with the apple pencil on the iPad. Super annoying system right now - especially for how much I pay per month for it.
  15. rhett7660, Apr 19, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018

    rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    LOL.. I meant to say, I don't want to get the free version, want to do a specific thing, have that specific thing only be in the pro version, which means another subscription which I don't want. Not to mention, I already have a note app, that I am trying to find a replacement for, but I have done the subscription thing for notes and to me it isn't something I want to do again.
  16. spazzcat macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2007
    I used Evernote when I got it bundle server years ago, it was nice, but I come back to OneNote after subscription ran out.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 19, 2018 ---
    Used Evernote in the past.
  17. AppleInLVX macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2010
    What it boils down to for me is want vs. need.

    If I NEED the software to do the things that I feel enrich my life or make me money then of course I pay for those and I always have. I used to look forward to new releases and it didn't matter that this also meant paying. Now for those I subscribed to, it's nothing but annoyance, and the trickle of features whenever the devs please to offer them does nothing for me. I can't wait to get out of it if I can.

    I used to buy software that I WANTED too. If someone said some bit of software was good, I'd want to give it a shot, see what it was about, maybe incorporate it into my life if it made things better for me. But when faced with a subscription, my wants are overridden by the stronger desire to stay out of a situation where desirable features are always present but unavailable and nags won't let you forget it, or where my data is held ransom for a monthly or annual extortion. No. That dev may have gotten my money if I wanted to try, but now they will never get it because the software isn't a need. I pay for heat because I need it, I don't pay for a freakin' text entry field and routing capabilities because I need those.

    Gah. Sorry. This topic really burns me. Will shut up now.
  18. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    Doesn't sound like you have much experience with the note-taking apps that are available out there. Either that, or you must have a unique definition of what "best" is. But you're delighted with OneNote, rock on!
  19. f00f macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2009
    New Yawk
    MR editors: the article is tagged AgileBits but this is an Agile Tortoise app. Small mistake? Or did one consume the other?

    I'm not thrilled about the subscription IAP model. As one of the App Store reviews describes it, it went from a single 5$ purchase to a $20 per-user rent. So while my wife and I could Family Share the legacy version for a single $4.99 purchase, we'd both have to sub for $19.99/yr which is a crazy markup. What's the value-add? I'm not sure the answer here, but it remains that core features from Drafts 4 -- like creating/editing actions -- are now behind the subscription paywall.

    Drafts is indispensable. It's much more than just a note-taker since it is programmable. I'm sure there are other options out there, and I'll have to search them out. For now, sticking with "legacy" Drafts 4.
  20. eoblaed macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010

    The initial pushback on your first response wasn’t because you were sharing the fact that you like OneNote, it was because you begrudged MR talking about Drafts at all.

    Everyone can talk about whatever app, but people start to get twitchy when someone else attempts to invalidate any opinion other than their own.
  21. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I completely agree!

    Software developers have gotten far wealthy and moreover very greedy for what is becoming less strenoeus time and work coding apps vs games that require serious coding and development time. I’m seeing a LOT of the heavy lifting in code being shared on gitHub making standard apps with a little weight lifting like note taking getting better yet a LOT more note apps fighting for their relevance against a see of competition.

    Considering the wealth of competition developers see the subscription model as a reasoning proposition for their continued bug fixing and further development.

    On the other side is the sale of apps with a life span of one to two years (the second half only fixing bugs vs introducing better performance) while the second year a new verisimilitude of the same app is released with better performance slightly new features that is most requested giving uses a sort of “choice” to upgrade to the newer app every year at the same price offered. Ahem, Tweebot. Fantastic app but I caught on CERY quickly to how that developer is doing busy and hey it works he has talent in coding and offers a great product, just he angle I’m not liking.

    A new paradigm not yet thought about, IMHO, is this:

    Any internet or social service that has their own application that is yet duplicated or refined or ones offering a wealth of better features and functions expanding on the original should be contacted by the original service provider to these developers and have them contribute code for a specific task throughout the lifecycle of the service and newly created app.

    Twitter. The original app is just so basic by comparison to a plethora of other apps that offer uniqueness in their own right>

    TweetBot has a nice fluid UI and swipe actions. Let that developer contribute code to the original newly created Twitte to come. Other tweet apps that have other best in class unique refinements and features can contribute to the overall unique app experience. Each perfects their code. They all collaborate to tighten the or stall project which could park amazing new ideas and then an even better service and app altogether.

    Each developer spends less “time conpelting a “whole” product yet just the component their hired for. twitter coders in this example would spend the most time fully working on the whole. Each developer is guaranteed a minimal pay for an entire set period for coming onto the project - a sort of guarantee in cause the root company/service tries to modify their contributions to “own”.

    What benefits to the freelance/hired developer in this scenario? They can work on any other project they wish - more time. Their not signed to any NDA and they can use the code they’ve contributed to any other product yet CANNOT BE nor BE SUED for using such code they’ve contributed or modified in any final project in/out.

    To the service owner/originator/employer .... they do t have to fear direct co petition because said developer will not see the entire product nor code from others pariticipating or until the final product ships. Their the first to ship such complete oneness to features or performance in an app.

    Maybe XCode needs to be modified to allow this in a “hosted sense” to work - I don’t know if it has already.

    What do you all think of this?
  22. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Drafts 4 will continue to be available. From reading your message, you were a user of Drafts. Just use that version -- and stop complaining. :)
  23. AppleInLVX macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2010
    My complaint is about subscriptions in general. Drafts is just the latest. The complaint isn't that the older versions stopped working (in this at least they are better than some), it's that eventually, it'll stop working. Why would I keep using something that's doomed? But yeah, I'll quit complaining. It does nothing. The only way to get heard on this is to vote with the wallet. Money is all that matters anymore anyway.
  24. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Anyone paying attention would notice: drafts is doing it differently. If you already have Drafts 4 -- as the story implies you do -- then nothing should change for you.

    If support is dropped for 4, you can complain. But that hasn't happened.

    OK. You are "voting against" Drafts 4 -- even though you already have a copy. What exact pay-once app are you choosing? And how can you possibly guarantee that any pay-once app will eventually stop working?

    The Drafts-world sounds pretty good: a new app to fund the enterprise; a really good existing app for those who don't want to pay a monthly fee. What specific alternative to Drafts is going to work better than that for you? What exactly are you voting for?

    Developers are unwilling to provide an app in perpetuity for one $4.99 fee. Anyone would be foolish to think that an app would run forever for one fee. TANSTAAFL.
  25. AppleInLVX macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2010
    Valid point. OK, I'll wait.

    Use Apple Notes. Or whatever native app does what you want it to. Most can do quick entry through force-touch now. There was recently an article about using native apps instead of the third-party ones, and how that, surprisingly, for the most part this is just fine. And I guess it's pretty likely that these won't go away anytime soon.

    Like I said, the native ones. I think for more people than you'd imagine, those ones will always be enough, always be there, always be free, and always work best with iOS. You could argue that Notes isn't a Drafts replacement because Drafts can do things that Notes doesn't. Fair point, but what does it do beyond removing a few icons from your home screen at the expense of another app you need to learn?

    This argument is one I don't get. Software designers have been going without a subscription model for decades. Recently, an article was published showing that three of the stalwarts, BBEdit, PCalc and Omni, have been around for years and still remain popular and profitable. NONE of those have ever been, nor are, subscription platforms. This subscription thing is a way to normalize incomes for software companies who cannot budget a sales cycle or do not want to work within a traditional software release cycle. It's foisting the responsibility of making an application sustainable to the user base rather than the developer. Is it really my responsibility that a dev can't make a software cycle work?

    NO ONE with any reason is expecting a free lunch. It's been said hundreds of times by scores of users that I've read (and I count myself among them) that there's no issue in buying the software. In fact, there's no issue in buying the software at MORE than reasonable prices. The issue is, people like me want to OWN the software, not rent it. Software is a tool used to get a job done. In the same way I will go out and buy a hammer so I have something to drive nails, I buy a word processor to write essays. It is total BS to have someone come and reclaim not only my hammer, but sometimes even the stuff I built with it because I didn't pay the monthly hammer rental fee. I have always been happy to pay full price to own software that is useful to me, AND I have been a true cheerleader for the software I find useful when others ask about it. I do not want a free lunch. But every time someone takes away ownership over SaaS, they either lose me, or lose my devotion to the product. That's not the way to run a railroad.

    /off my soap box.

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