Alex Guyot writing for MacStories:
Drafts 3 was an app that had reached its maximum potential. Having led the URL scheme craze to the very limits of the protocol’s capabilities, there wasn’t much more for Drafts 3 to do. Drafts 4 has taken the amazing foundation of Drafts 3 and evolved it to a higher form, setting it up to be able to grow in a new era of iOS automation.
The original Drafts was the first iOS productivity app that I became obsessed with. The premise has always been simple: the app allows you to quickly write down any text and then, later, figure out what you want to do with it. I agree with Alex’s assessment, however: Drafts was growing stale. Like many automation-friendly apps from the pre-iOS 8 era, Drafts was beginning the lose its luster during the opening volley of iOS 8.
Thankfully, Greg Pierce had a battle plan all along. Drafts 4 is an amazing update that carries the app into the new world of iOS 8. Some of my favorite features so far:
- Multi-step Actions. In Drafts 3, actions were limited to performing one task; now, an action can contain any number of steps. Feel like sending a URL, copying something to the clipboard, and thenrunning a URL scheme (all in one action)? Go for it.
- More Semantic Grouping. Drafts 3’s focus on grouping actions into I, II, III, IV, and Hidden always struck me as odd; should I contain all my most-used actions? What should go in III or IV? Drafts 4 fixes this by coming with a default set (Services, Markdown, etc.) that make more sense. The best part? Groups are completely customizable.
- Action Directory. Little more needs to be said: Agile Tortoise now has a true action directory where users can submit and share Drafts actions. Hallelujah.
- Share Extension. Arbitrary text from arbitrary apps into Drafts. Woohoo!
Automation is definitely changing in the iOS 8 world and old-world apps need to innovate before they’re left behind. Drafts did this, and more: it reignited my passion for what’s possible on iOS.