Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Drafts 5

Agile Tortoise (MacRumors):

Drafts 5 is being released as a new app. Drafts 5 does not replace Drafts 4, but installs along side it. Drafts 5 can migrate drafts, actions and keyboard customizations from Drafts 4, but data does not sync between the two apps and they can happily co-exist on the same device.

Drafts 5 will be a free download. Drafts 5 is a free download, with a generous feature set. The free version is a great way to test drive Drafts 5, and will offer full support for creating, editing, syncing of drafts and built-in actions. You can install and use actions, but editing actions is part of Drafts Pro.

The subscription is $20/year, whereas the previous version had a one-time $5 charge 3–4 years ago. So this fits with the pattern of switching to a subscription model and increasing the price at the same time.

It’s not a great fit for the way I use Drafts, frankly. I really like the app but am a light user of it. The new features sound great but are not ones that I would use (unless I start using the app for more than I do now). Yet the free version is inadequate because I do use a bunch of custom actions.

Tim Nahumck:

There are few apps I’ve ever used which made a lasting impact on my daily workflow. But for years now, the singular app that’s been the foundation of my iOS use has been Drafts. The app has lived in my dock since I first picked it up, it’s the single most important app I use on the platform, and it’s the only paid app I mandate to anyone looking for must-have apps on iOS.

Drafts is the bedrock app from which I build all my productivity. It’s the single point of text entry that shares to any app, whether through the share sheet, a simple action, or a custom and complex action. Any time I have an idea, I put it in Drafts. Tasks to add to my task manager? I do that from Drafts. Something I want to write about on my blog? That idea starts in Drafts too. It’s the focal point for everything I do.

David Sparks:

Drafts doesn’t just let you type, it also lets you dictate, and through some smart programming, it gets around the usual 45 second Siri Dictation timer. With Drafts, you can dictate as long as you want to Siri Dictation and it just keeps going.

One of the nice things about Drafts is that because you go straight into writing, you don’t even have to have a clear decision about where the text will end up when you start writing. Maybe these words will end up an email, or an OmniFocus task, or a Ulysses project, or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter; I just need to write.

Update (2018-04-28): Gabe Weatherhead:

On its surface, Drafts is just a note app for iOS. What sets it apart from other options like Apple Notes is its fast launch to an empty document, ready for me to type. The speed of entry on Drafts is the biggest reason it’s in my dock. It’s the fastest way I have to write words on a computer. There’s no save button. Nothing to confirm. Just launch and write. I do this a dozen times a day.

Update (2018-06-02): Gabe Weatherhead:

Drafts can be difficult to grok. Maybe the best way to get a feel for what it does well is to hear from people that actually use it. Here are a few of the latest things that have given me ideas and a few laughs.

Update (2019-04-11): Greg Pierce:

Closing in on a year since the release of Drafts 5.0. This is the 26th update of the iOS version…oh, and I shipped a Mac version. Thanks to all the Pro subscribers that make this level of active development possible.

Update (2019-05-09): Greg Pierce:

A few weeks in to the first round of annual renewals for Drafts Pro. Retention rate hanging at around 73%. I don’t have a lot to base it on, but that feels very strong. Guess I get to keep doing this for a while. :-)

Update (2023-04-26): Greg Pierce:

Hit the five-year mark since @drafts switched to a subscription model.

Subscription growth leveled out a couple of years ago, but I think I’ve proven the concept that an app business does not need to be focused on growth to be successful. You can reach sustainability by serving a niche and keeping them happy.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Adrian O'Connor

How do they get around the Siri dictation limit? Anybody have any ideas? Is it likely that they're not using up all of their Api limit across all users, so send a few back-to-back?

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