Popular Mac Writing App 'Ulysses' Makes iPhone Debut

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 app
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.

iPhone Ulysses
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]


Top Rated Comments

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10 months ago
$45 + another $25 for the whole device lineup of a barebones text editor? Hipsterdom at its finest.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
10 months ago

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.

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.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
10 months ago
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
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
10 months ago
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.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
10 months ago
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.
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago
Welcome to MacRumors, where you have to complain about EVERYTHING.
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago
I think I can wait for Scrivener to come out soon for iOS (Currently it is in internal beta according to the developer).
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
10 months ago

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.


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.
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago

Don't need don't want


And no one cares that you don't.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
10 months ago

I think I can wait for Scrivener to come out soon for iOS (Currently it is in internal beta according to the developer).


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.
Rating: 1 Votes
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