If there’s one thing bad about being a tech blogger, it’s that you’re constantly exposed to new and exciting hardware and software. More often than not, a first glance at an app turns into a buying opportunity, and the next thing you know you’ve spent anywhere from $0.99 to “a big amount” on the latest and greatest.
That was the situation I found myself in with an OS X text editor called Ulysses III (US$39.99) after Megan Lavey-Heaton wrote about it. Well, it turns out that I’m now using Ulysses every day for blogging, and that it also has a companion iOS app named Daedalus Touch ($4.99, universal), which of course I had to buy.
Both apps are products of German development house The Soulmen GBR, and there are some similarities between the two. Both work on the concept of stacks of sheets of paper and both are amazing plaintext editors. Install Daedalus Touch on your iPhone or iPad, choose to sync it with iCloud, and a Daedalus folder shows up in Ulysses III on your Mac.
One of the features of Ulysses III that I appreciate so much is the “fourth pane” that can be added to the app window that provides one-click access to just about every Markdown style. While Daedalus doesn’t supply that pane, it does support export of Markdown style conversions from the app. However, I made up for the lack of that pane by just creating a text document with the Markdown commands I use most often.
Like Ulysses III, there’s a row of customizable shortcut buttons that appear over the top of the iOS virtual keyboard. That keyboard row also displays a character and word count, perfect for authors who are tied to a specific document length.
Daedalus Touch can import files or folders from Dropbox, WebDAV, and Box.com, and even opens zipped text files. Documents can be exported as single or multiple sheets, or entire stacks of sheets. The export options available include emailing as TXT, PDF, RTF, and zip archive, creating an ePub ebook file (including asking for a cover image and meta information), printing, converting Markdown styles, copying to the iOS clipboard, or opening documents in other iOS apps.
There are four different color themes, including modes for editing at night, and three nice typefaces. One of my favorite features in Daedalus Touch has to be its excellent use of gestures for navigation in the app, many of which are included in the video embedded below.
Another nice touch is a web browser built into the iPad version of Daedalus Touch, which makes it quite easy to do research without having to leave the app.
The Soulmen GBR have created a winner with Daedalus Touch, and if you’ve already succumbed to the charms of Ulysses III, do yourself a favor and get the iOS app.