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.
Top Rated Comments
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.
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 ('https://mjtsai.com/blog/2017/09/04/congratulations/'), 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.