Out Now: Image Previews, Drag and Drop, iOS 11

So today we have released Ulysses 12. And as is good tradition around the house, I’d like to talk a little about what’s new and improved. And since this release is mostly about changes to Ulysses on iOS, I’ll start with a cross-platform addition, so Mac-only users can go home early…

Editor Image Previews

One of the most requested features among our users has always been the ability to view images within the editor. I don’t want to bore you with the specifics of why it took us so long, because it doesn’t matter anymore — it’s finally here.

By default, images that reside in their own paragraph, will be rendered as black & white thumbnails, while images that exist within text passages, will continue to be rendered as our beloved IMG-bubble.

Why black & white? And why just thumbnails? To keep you in the text. During development, we found that normalizing all previews will increase text immersion, while still providing enough context. This is especially true for colorful themes in the editor, which tend to easily clash with full color images and thus require users to tinker with formats etc. — something we wanted to avoid in the first place. We are aware, of course, that our approach won’t fit all uses (diagrams come to mind), so consider this a first step, and we’re gladly awaiting your feedback.

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Coming up: New Library, Multi Pane Editing, iOS 11 Drag & Drop

Yesterday, Apple released iOS 11. Needless to say, we’re hard at work bringing Ulysses to Apple’s latest and greatest, but we’re not quite ready yet. So I’d like to tell you a bit about what you can expect. Release? Soon.

As you may know, iOS 11 has a strong focus on iPad — from revised Multitasking to Drag and Drop, it’s all about the big screen. Since we had to change quite a few things anyway (large table headers, spring-loading groups, yay), we took the opportunity and updated Ulysses’ interface in various places.

The first thing you may notice is how several buttons are gone or have traded places. We’re now much more compliant with how iOS handles things, which is a good thing, even if it takes some getting used to, if you’re a veteran user.

Most of these changes were a long time coming (e.g. “Edit” on top), while others were logical results of adopting iOS 11 (three-pane editing on iPad Pro). But we’re also introducing several deliberate changes and fixes to make working with Ulysses even more streamlined and, ultimately, more productive.

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Ulysses Now Fluent in 10 Languages

어서 오십시오. Добро́ пожа́ловать! Bem-vindo!

We have just released an update to Ulysses both on macOS and iOS adding localizations to Korean, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese.

In the Ulysses office, our native languages are German (11), Dutch (1), Spanish (1), and Chinese (1). Our English is good enough to handle our blog, website and the more formal communication. But while our personal knowledge of Russian, Korean, and Brazilian Portuguese reaches from a smattering to non-existent, Ulysses itself now speaks these languages fluently. If you’re a native speaker from either of these countries: Welcome, enjoy writing with Ulysses!

Russian, Korean, and Brazilian Portuguese add to the existing localizations to English, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Japanese, making Ulysses truly multilingual, while we, the mere mortals, still cram vocabulary.

As always, we would love to hear your feedback. Also, if you’re still missing your native language, please feel free to drop us a line!

Ulysses Switches to Subscription

We have just released a new version of Ulysses. With it comes a switch to a subscription model, which unlocks Ulysses on all devices. As an existing user, you are eligible for a lifetime discount, and, if you have just recently purchased Ulysses, we are offering free-use periods to compensate for your previous investment.

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Time to Say Goodbye, Daedalus

Starting September 28, 2017, Dropbox sync in the text editor Daedalus Touch will cease from working, for the ultimative changeover to Dropbox’ API v2. As a consequence, we decided to discontinue Daedalus Touch. This post explains our reasons, and what Daedalus users should do now.

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Ulysses 2.8 – Touch ID, Group Statistics, and the Return of Clarus the Dogcow

Touch ID

Hey there, friends. Ulysses 2.8 is upon you, and I’d once again like to take this opportunity to shed some light on what’s new, and why we thought the changes and additions were great ideas.

Touch ID

The most prominent new feature is Touch ID and Password Lock. It’s also the easiest to explain and rectify – locking was requested roughly a gazillion times, and seeing how Ulysses has moved to mobile devices, and how these device are oftentimes shared among family and friends, privacy is a major concern, and little if anything is more private than your writing (check your photos, though).

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Ulysses on Setapp

Our friends over at MacPaw have just launched Setapp – a permanent, subscription based, ever-growing, curated app bundle for Mac. And Ulysses is in it from day one.

Setapp is $9.99/month, currently offers 60+ apps, among which are such greats as Hype, Rapid Weaver, Aeon Timeline, Marked, Screens and Clean My Mac. It’s an awesome package of immense value, and since this is just the beginning, it will get insanely better over time, just by design.

You can read all about Setapp on their page, so I won’t bother you with subscription details or update policies. Instead, I’d like to be pre-emptive for once and answer some of the questions that are surely infiltrating your minds right now.

Are you leaving the Mac App Store?

No. We are not leaving the App Store at all. We see Setapp as an interesting opportunity for a certain kind of user, and we want to be part of that opportunity. Our goal is to reach as many users as possible, and if you find Setapp attractive, if you have use for the included apps, if maybe these apps are all you’ll ever need, then you may be happy to have Ulysses included. For us, Setapp is just another way to get Ulysses into the hands of users. It’s an option.

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Improving Ulysses’ Touch Bar

Two weeks ago, we released Ulysses 2.7 with support for Touch Bar on Apple's latest MacBook Pro. When we started work on Touch Bar, we only had Xcode and some third-party apps to do very basic emulation: showing keyboard and Touch Bar on an iPad Pro, for example. You can’t fully test, even less appreciate a new input device via emulation, though. So we eagerly awaited the arrival of our own hardware.

And when it finally arrived, we only had three days between unpacking and the 2.7 release. This was barely enough to go through quick “yes, works” test-runs – and even during this time, we already realized how some of our ideas wouldn’t work that well and needed a proper revisit in due time.

So since then, we have taken another look at our initial implementation, came up with new ideas, and shuffled around some buttons and options. Today, we are releasing Ulysses 2.7.1 with an updated take on Touch Bar, and I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about the biggest changes, and our Touch Bar approach in general.

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Ulysses 2.7: Touch Bar, Sierra Tabs and Then Some

Today we’re releasing Ulysses 2.7 on the App Store. It’s a rather big release, even though there’s not that one major headline feature, like… making coffee or such (though, boy, this would come in handy now). It’s more of a foundation release, with tons of fixes, under-the-hood changes and improvements to keep Ulysses’ code base fresh and… juicy. Yes, juicy. There, I said it.

That’s not to say there aren’t any new features, mind you. Though “new”, as is the case with any adjective claim, lies in the eye of the beholder, but more on that later.

Touch Bar Support on MacBook Pro (2016)

To get this one out of the way quickly: Ulysses 2.7 now supports Touch Bar, Apple’s latest take on humanizing hardware interfaces. It’s brand-new, obviously, so there isn’t much (if any) experience with how users expect this thing to work, but we took the time and implemented what we believe is a solid first take on awfully promising technology.

The primary focus for our initial Touch Bar support was, of course, the editor, and you can now access Ulysses’ markup features right from the Touch Bar. Yay! But since markup is based on keyboard input anyway, and since the most common definitions are so easy to type (headers, emphasize etc.), we didn’t just populate the Touch Bar with a scrolling list of tags. Instead, we took a page from our iOS implementation, and are offering logical markup groups alongside dedicated buttons for three of the more complex (but widely used) definitions.

Ulysses' Editor Touch Bar

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“Do You Have Plans for November?” – “I’ll Write a Novel.”

The founders of NaNoWriMo chose November wisely for the challenge of writing 50,000 words (a novel), instead of August or March. November is best suited month for such an undertaking, at least in the Northern hemisphere: Wrimos are not as tempted as in other times to let the 50,000 words alone and go swimming or make a barbecue instead. Luckily, because they need an iron will to follow this project through – they can’t make use of temptations.

“What’s the Tool You’re Writing Your Novel With?” – “Ulysses, of Course.”

Wrimos can make use, however, of a tool that helps them tackle this challenge: Ulysses. Read …