Quip Brings The Word Processor Out Of The Dark Ages

Quip Brings The Word Processor Out Of The Dark Ages

Quip is an odd new app that looks like it could be incredibly useful. It’s billed as a word processor, but it combines text editing with instant messaging, change tracking and sharing — plus it has a very cool interface.

Oh, and it works on your iPhone, your iPad and your Mac (in the browser).

Just as a plain old one-person document editor, Quip looks good. An extra keyboard row lets you add pictures, links to other documents, tables, and people (yeah, adding people makes it less of a one-person document editor, but still). You can also add lists with checkboxes.

Once you add people, though, things get fancy. Each document becomes a thread, shared by anyone who you’ve added. The thread contains comments they make, and any edits that are made to the document. The thread is presented in a sidebar next to the main document, and you can use this sidebar as a chatroom at the same time.

Your documents can be organized into folders, which are represented on-screen along with readable thumbnails of the documents. There’s an in-line search on document titles, but no full-text search on documents. Not on iOS, at least.

It’s all incredibly slick for a first version. The obvious use case is for people who work together, bridging the edits and chat threads together with the documents. But it could also be good for a couple organizing a vacation, or looking for a new home. You could put all your family stuff in there and share the relevant parts with the relevant family members: timetables and schedules, cleaning rosters, whatever.

Sometimes I go out looking for an app to solve a problem I have. Other times a new app comes along that fixes something, and I take to it right away. Quip is the third kind of app, the kind which is so neat and so well designed that I start finding all kinds of new ways to use it. All I need is for Killian and the rest of the CoM team to answer my sharing requests…

Quip is free

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

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