Drafts 2.0

As I have written in my reflection journal last month, Drafts has been a mainstay on my iPhone and my daily workflow ever since my wife reviewed it. I still use it each time I want to write e-mails or posts to social networks whose clients are not as powerful as Tweetbot.

Today, a new version of Drafts 2.0 was released along with a new version for the iPad. While I can't see myself using an iPad for jotting down notes while on the go, I really could use the new features the iPhone version has. Here are four of them that I fell in love with.

Drafts 2.0 review - New version adds new custom fontsDrafts 2.0 adds new custom fonts

FF Celeste Sans over Thonburi

I love beautiful fonts. Previously, I used Thonburi as the default font for writing posts in Drafts. With the new addition of three new custom fonts, i.e. FF Tisa, FF Celeste Sans and Inconsolata, we're no longer limited to the default iOS fonts. I immediately switched over to FF Celeste Sans as the default font.

Drafts 2.0 review - Set the delay before creating new draftsDrafts 2.0 allows you to set the delay before automatically creating new posts

Set delay before auto-creating new drafts

One thing that irritated me about the previous version of Drafts is how it almost always created a new draft by default each time I switch back to it from another app. This was really annoying when you were trying to focus on your writing. Having to research for something in Safari was already a speed bump, so adding two or more taps because of Drafts' default behavior really hampered your speed.

Fortunately, the new version adds this much-needed setting. I've set it for 5 minutes delay now, and I will revisit this to fit my workflow. If I get distracted by push notifications or researching in Safari for more than 5 minutes, I guess it would be fair enough for Drafts to automatically create new drafts for me. The new version also lets you to turn it off completely and never have Drafts create new posts automatically.

Drafts 2.0 review - Read drafts in full screen landscape modeIn Drafts 2.0, you can now view your drafts in full screen landscape mode

Full screen landscape mode for reading

When you want to publish your writing (to e-mail, social networks, or your own site), you'd probably want to preview it first. In the previous version, the only way I could view it in full screen is by selecting the Markdown Preview action. The new version adds a way where you can swipe down the toolbar to view your writing in full screen mode.

This new version also allows you to change your device's orientation to landscape. It can support both full screen mode and the standard mode with the keyboard (or the draft/action lists) on. Similarly, you can swipe up the toolbar to view those lists in full screen mode. I personally prefer reading in full screen landscape mode.

Drafts 2.0 review - You can now sync drafts to SimperiumDrafts 2.0 adds cloud sync with Simperium

Cloud sync via Simperium

There has been a discussion among iOS developers recently regarding the difficulties in getting iCloud running smoothly across various iOS devices (and possibly OS X devices too). Developers are actively looking for alternatives in Dropbox and a new service called Simperium. Built by the developers of Simplenote, Simperium aims to remove the iCloud complexity from the end users and have the app developers factor in the monthly hosting costs to their cost calculations.

Drafts developer decided to embrace Simperium data layer in this new version. As an end-user, I can signup for free and have all my drafts synced across my iOS devices. I've tested this with my wife's iPhone and it worked perfectly. My wife and I are grateful that we can now share simple notes and to-do items in Drafts. A problem that I never imagined to be solved by a note-taking app.

Drafts 2.0 review - Link mode enables you to view hyperlinks in DraftsDrafts 2.0 adds plenty new features, including link mode for viewing hyperlinks


While there are still plenty other improvements in this new version such as appending to a Journal.txt file in your Dropbox and a link mode that allows you to view links and addresses as hyperlinks, I personally find the four new features above to be crucial enough for me to highly recommend this app to both new and existing Drafts users. Drafts has been a mainstay in my iPhone and in my daily workflow, and I believe the 2.0 version will have more impact in my life due to its new cloud sync feature.

I can't recommend this enough. Drafts 2.0 is the best note-jotting app that you can find in the App Store. If you're an iPad user, you can also get the iPad version instead.

Get Drafts on the App Store.