Drafts Update Somehow Manages To Make Great App Even Better

The iOS 6-compatible updates continue to deluge our App Store apps, and the latest is Drafts, the excellent inbox for almost everything on your iPhone or iPad. Drafts takes plain text (or Markdown text) and pipes it to any and every place you could possibly need it.

The update adds support for the new tall iPhone, as well as a whole bunch of neat iOS 6-only features. Let's take a quick look:

First up are a few new actions. Reminder turns the current note into an iOS reminder, and sends it (in the background) to the Reminders app. And from here, any app tying into Reminder also gets the update. So if you enabled Siri support in OmniFocus, the note will be in your inbox next time you launch OF. It sounds convoluted, but is in fact the opposite.

Also included is the native sharing dialog. This duplicates some of Drafts' own export options, but some might prefer it as a space-saving popup.

There's also a new item called "New," which is in the popover that appears when you highlight a word. Alongside the usual copy/paste, "New" takes the current selection and turns it into a new note. Handy for braking up long texts.

The other biggie is that you can choose to have the first line of a note become its title, when certain export options are used. In Dropbox export, this replaces the current date-based titles, and in apps like Evernote and OmniFocus it means you get a meaningful title.

There are other additions, including a new font, and support for new apps. Check out the blog post for the full rundown.

Drafts remains the most useful app on my iPad, sitting in the dock ready to take my orders. With this surprisingly big update, it got even better.

"Share" action. iOS 6 only: iOS 6 introduces a new sharing system that hooks into system accounts for sharing. Many of the options in this panel duplicate existing actions, such as Twitter and Facebook – but also adds things like Sina Weibo, and might be a good choice for those who don't use these actions as often and want to save space on the action list with a combined entry.
"Reminder" action. iOS 6 only: iOS 6 added a way to programmatically create reminders in the Reminders app. This action does just that. At the moment it creates a list entry in the default list. I am still researching the best way to add more flexibility to this action (such as attaching alerts, selecting lists, etc.).
Added "Avenir Next" to font selections. iOS 6 only: It looks good, too.
"> New" item in selected text menu. Select a section of text in a draft, tap "> New" in the text menu and a new draft is created with just the selected content. Great for breaking up longer texts for editing and sharing.
"Use First Line as Title" preference on actions. This is still a bit experimental and not supported by all actions. If enabled, the first line of text in the draft will be split out and used as a title, subject or filename where it makes sense for the action. For example, if enabled on the Email action, the first line will become the email subject. If enabled on the "Save to Dropbox" action, the first line will be used as the filename instead of a timestamp. If enabled on the "Add in OmniFocus" action, the first line will become the task title and the remainder of the draft used as notes on the task. Feature is currently enabled for these actions: Email, Save to Dropbox, Save to Evernote, Add in OmniFocus, Send to Things, and many of the Send to… actions for writing apps.
New Markdown engine. Eager to hear feedback on improvements or regressions in the quality of the Markdown output. This fixes a number of known Markdown rendering issues.
"Markdown to Evernote" action. Passes draft through Markdown renderer before saving to Evernote in HTML format to maintain formatting.
"Send to Poster" action. iPad Only: Poster is a great WordPress editor for iPad, this action forwards to it.
Misc. bug fixes, etc.<

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About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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