We’ve always lamented the loss of Wordstar
A very interesting development in the world of mobile software has surfaced with the release of a new wordprocessing app called Quip. You can download it from Google Play (for free) right now from here. Alternatively you can find it on the iTunes App store here. However, The Android app comes with an enormous proviso that it is just a preview and intended for early adopters of the web app. The most newsworthy point to Quip, however, is the pedigree of its two creators. They are: - FriendFeed founder and ex-Facebook CTO, Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs, founder of Google App Engine and Google Suggest.
The whole point about Quip is that it has been designed with mobile devices – such as the iPhone (and now Android) and tablets (both OS) in mind.
This has meant stripping out all of the complexity which has been forced onto desktop wordprocessing users.
GoMo News was always a big fan of Wordstar. It didn’t sport all of the complex features which have more to do with desktop publishing rather than creating a document.
However, it was muscled out of the market by Microsoft with Word/Office. We’ve simply found ways around Microsoft’s latest docx format.
Anyway, Quip isn’t merely a stripped down wordprocessor. It more of a means of sharing documents with mobile communications firmly built right in.
For example, there’s an ability to offer to share a document via text. Quip’s cloud based service defaults to thinking you are in the USA, so Brits should drop the zero ’0′ at the start of their number and add +44.
Quip is also about collaboration. With Quip you can turn lists into checklists; which transforms meeting notes into a shared task list; and you can link to other documents or reference people using @mentions.
You can, of course, log onto Quip’s cloud based service – http://quip.com and create a document on a desktop PC or Mac.
One hot tip from us. Initially, we couldn’t work out how to get to the Style menu which sports a paragraph style icon until we worked out exactly which key is the ‘back tick’ key. On our PC keyboard it is above the Caps Lock key.
Anyway, as Bret Taylor says, “Regardless of how far apart you are or what device you’re using, we want using Quip to feel like two people sitting next to each other at the same table, writing on the same piece of paper.”
He continued, “It should remove the need for countless emails and multiple versions of the same file.”
Kevin Gibbs, commented, “Tablets have become a real part of everyday life, even in businesses. The expectations of users when creating documents on phones and tablets are far too low.”
He pointed out that, “For many new cloud-based services, why is the ability to work offline still seen as a luxury – a feature you have to turn on or pay for?”
Gibbs claims, “We set out to break all these conventions and create the first word processor for the tablet generation.”
Incidentally, Quip is free to use for consumers and costs $12 per user per month for businesses.
We reckon that Quip has created something more than just a tablet friendly wordprocessor.
The company has probably heralded in a complete rethink of software usage where ‘mobile first’ is the key criteria for a business application.