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Drafts for the iPhone, just a few improvements away from being used every day!

I want to love Drafts for the iPhone, as I could really use the core features of the app. I already plunked down the money to buy it so I’m really hoping the developer ‘fixes’ it so I can get milage out of it. They have developed several apps on the iPad that I really enjoy using every day so I know they have it in them to create something great with Drafts.

The app is for taking quick snippets of text, not really notes, not tasks, rather reminders of an idea. Those ideas that will lead to something else that you don’t have time to think through. Drafts is  extra visual fluff, it has only the things you need. A clean area to add text to, a button to start a new draft, a button to see the list of drafts, a search, a button to share and a keyboard.

After you type a quick draft, tap the ‘+’ to start another, or select the paper icon to see and select-to-view a list of drafts done previously. Drafts presents each entry with a line of what action was taken on it previously such as sharing. This UI is where I start having issues. A lot of clunky feeling with the borders and oversized basic action icons. There is keeping things simple and there is no need to add bulk with visuals that look like the physical world, but the below screen feels very unfinished. It may seem silly, but that is what the iPhone is about, a finished user experience.

Choosing Drafts‘ share icon gives you options to send the text out through the iPhone’s build-in Twitter account or another one. You can also copy the text to use elsewhere, add it to a email or do multiple functions as MarkDown if that is how you typed it.

Around the office we are starting to use a lot of Markdown, especially for meeting notes done with our iPads. To use the Markdown language inserts (+, *), you have to go three keyboards deep. Wouldn’t it be nice if the bullet and bold tags where offered in the big empty space on the icon bar? Maybe make that an option in the app’s settings. Better yet, here is the developer’s chance to show everyone else how to make Markdown even easier, make those buttons Bullet and Bold icons that insert the Markdown instructions. They have taken radical steps on their iPad apps abilities, here is their chance to shake up the iPhone app world.

For me, I won’t be deleting Drafts from my iPhone, I just know they will be making it feel as well as it works very soon.

 

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