Popular Mac Writing App 'Ulysses' Makes iPhone Debut

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Ulysses saw its first universal app for iOS hit the App Store today, bringing the popular distraction-free Mac writing software to the iPhone for the first time.


    Ulysses Mobile for iPhone and iPad features cross-platform iCloud synchronization, Spotlight integration, iPad Pro optimizations, and support for 3D Touch, Split View and Slide Over on compatible devices.

    Surprisingly, the 2.5 update also brings many of the text editor's desktop features to all iOS devices, including dark and light writing modes, text statistics, writing goals, tools for Markdown, footnotes, code, annotations, and sort/split/merge options for sheets and groups.

    Both iPhone and iPad users can now add pictures, links or notes to their text, customize the color palette, and export from Ulysses' unified text library in a range of formats, including DOCX files, ebooks, PDF, and online publishing platform Medium.

    Automatic scheduled backups have also made the port, while a sharing extension has been added allowing users to send content from third-party apps directly to the app.


    Additionally, desktop and iOS users can now import text created with Word into their Ulysses library, so that text elements such as headings, emphases and footnotes remain intact.

    The cross-platform update also brings under-the-hood improvements to the Mac app, enhancing speed, stability, and iCloud integration.

    Ulysses Mobile is available on the App Store at an introductory price of $19.99 ($24.99 thereafter) and as a free upgrade for existing users. [Direct Link]

    Ulysses for Mac is available on the Mac App Store priced at $44.99. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Popular Mac Writing App 'Ulysses' Makes iPhone Debut
  2. MentalFloss macrumors 65816


    Mar 14, 2012
    I hope they also fixed the bugs in the iPad version. I just spent four hours writing on the iPad, and I had to kill and restart Ulysses three times, because the cursor started jumping around randomly.

    Would also be nice to finally have some basic features... like having Ulysses remember where exactly I left off from one to the next writing session.
  3. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    $45 + another $25 for the whole device lineup of a barebones text editor? Hipsterdom at its finest.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I think I can wait for Scrivener to come out soon for iOS (Currently it is in internal beta according to the developer).
  5. MentalFloss macrumors 65816


    Mar 14, 2012
    Ah... no... usability still doesn't seem to be a priority. When I switch from one sheet to another and back, I still have to look for the location where I left off. So if I am writing in one sheet and take notes in another, then jumping back and forth between them is still annoyingly difficult. Ulysses is now so feature rich for an editor that is supposed to concentrate purely on enabling the writing part, but such simple features that would actually make writing much more fluent still don't exist.

    But hey, let's waste time on creating an iPhone version that probably nobody really needs.
  6. ReneR macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
  7. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    When it can allow me to write screenplays and plays as easy as Scrivener is the day I switch.
  8. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Same here. I always thought that Ulysses was expensive for no reason. It's clean and looks solid but not worth $40 when it's just a few steps above TextEdit.
  9. sashimimi macrumors member


    Oct 22, 2015
    What's $45 when you own a >$2K laptop ? Heh.
  10. Simplicated macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to MacRumors, where you have to complain about EVERYTHING.
  11. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    I would't call it bear bones. I have been using it for over a year for lecture notes. That's not an *intended* use according to the developer, but I have been able to customise it so well that it has been PERFECT for my lectures.
  12. StephenHowells macrumors newbie


    Mar 9, 2016
    Who knew MacRumors commenters hated software so much? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  13. AntonLee macrumors member


    Nov 23, 2015
    Don't need don't want
  14. artfossil macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2015
    I was a Scrivener user for years. And I hated the interface. When the iPad became my primary writing device, I jettisoned Scrivener in favor of Ulysses.

    For me, Ulysses is a terrific writing tool--portable, powerful, elegant, nimble. And now it's gotten even better. It's a pleasure to use and always available and that's had a huge impact on my productivity.

    I understand Scrivener's appeal and it deserves its loyal following. But for those who want to write on iOS, give Ulysses a try.
  15. RadioGaGa1984 Suspended


    May 23, 2015
    Some of these iPhone companion apps pricings are way out of control.
  16. elmateo487 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2008
    And no one cares that you don't.
  17. drewyboy macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2005
    Worst argument ever. Just because they may have the money doesn't mean they should spend on something that they feel isn't a good deal.
  18. AppleInLVX, Mar 9, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016

    AppleInLVX macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2010
    I've been using Ulysses for all of my writing for the past couple years, and it's been a terrific platform. I love the workspace, and it handles whatever I throw at it without issue. Also an export engine that while complex is way more powerful than I expected. I've written one NaNoWriMo using it, and a couple of other books with word counts surpassing 150K. I've found it to be a really solid and lovely writing environment. The fact that I can now make a start of my work on the iPhone and then move seamlessly to either iPad or Mac without thinking about it is pretty cool.

    FWIW, I totally recommend it. And if you saw me, the last damned thing you'd think would be "hipster". I can't even grow a beard. :p
  19. Mindcrime macrumors regular


    Oct 24, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I like bare bones mark down editors a lot -- got so sick of the bloated stuff like MS Word, which tries to be both a layout tool and a fancy "meets all needs" word processor. Markdown and full screen support are good enough for me for the composing stage. Whatever my editor or my producers need, I can easily convert to it.

    I write screenplays in Highland (fountain markdown), then output to FDX when they get optioned and go into production. At first I thought the various markdown/anti-GUI apps were expensive. But, when I am forced to work on my Windows PC and I cannot find anything that comes remotely close to the ease of use and functionality my Mac apps, I want to pull my hair out. (For screenplays I will use Fade In, which is cross platform, but my 1st drafts are better served by Highland.)

    All that said, Ulysses is a good app. It'a bit bloaty, and, at least on the iPad, how it handles remote connections like Dropbox (you can copy to ulysses, can't save out) is bizarre at times.

    My go to apps are IA Writer (despite their earlier kerfuffle with version 2.0) and Highland. I use Ulysses for fiction, where it is good for breaking up scenes and chapters; it's certainly much simpler than Scrivener, which I kind of love and kind of hate.

    That's a long 2 cents.
  20. MentalFloss macrumors 65816


    Mar 14, 2012
    Why shouldn't it be the intended use? I think the intended use is to capture the written word, so that would be the case for lecture notes. Of course, if you have e.g. a lot of hand-drawn illustrations, then it's probably not the best tool.

    I have a whole novel in Ulysses. A 100,000 word project which is basically "done" and going through the fifth revision now. I started out in Pages, but that children's toy became useless after about the third chapter. Ulysses on the other hand is a tool for serious writing, and the iOS to OS X synch made it more than worth the price. Only thing that bothers me is that some rather basic things are missing, as I mentioned before. I have a feeling that none of the Ulysses developers ever used their software for a bigger project themselves.

    In any case, I think all those $0.99 apps or IAP financed apps have made people believe that software shouldn't cost more than a few bucks. Wordstar 6.0 cost $500 when it was released in 1990! Even at two digit prices for a basic word processor, I feel we are living in a golden age of affordable software. I think people have no idea how many man hours of work go into a software like that and how often this kind of software has to sell at such low prices to at least break even.
  21. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Scranton, PA
  22. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    Well, another situation where if the shoe fits, wear it.

    If it doesn't, don't cram your foot in.

    Some folks think it's too expensive. Some love it.

    I'm going to wear this shoe. It's not cheap by any means, but then again, I think folks tend to quickly forget that developers actually spend time working and maintaining their apps. Everyone loves stuff for free until they need to buy groceries.

    So in other words, if you find value using this software, then buy it.

    Personally, time is money. I don't make a ton at writing, but I'm working on 2 projects.

    If I can fling an app open and whack the keyboard or dictate knowing it will sync, being ready for me to open somewhere else the next time the writing urge (or deadline!) hits me, well, then I'm a-ok with the price.

    Take the cost and divide it by how many times a day or month you write.

    Is it worth it?

    Oh and if you're writing for income, it should be a dead easy tax write off which means the cost just went down by about 50%. Just keep your receipt and hand it in to your accountant/bookkeeper/software of your choice :)

    = no brainer.
  23. pat500000 Suspended


    Jun 3, 2015
  24. kd5jos macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    My work flow works backwards of yours. I collect all my resources using Evernote, export to Ulysses and do my first draft. Once I'm satisfied with the draft stage I export to Pages for layout. I use pages for the final product and export from there. I've never run into the "children's toy" problem.

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