Ulysses 2.6: WordPress Publishing, Dropbox on iOS, New Typewriter Mode

Screenshot of Ulysses, showing this WordPress blog post in a preview window

Two and a half years ago, I took the plunge. I did what we were told not to do. I did what everybody who’s been in this business for more than two weeks knows not to do. I did it anyway.

I announced a new feature before it was ready for prime time.

To quote (oh, this hurts):

The next update will see us leveraging the metaWeblog XML-RPC API, to plug Ulysses III right into your favourite blogging engines.
So whether you’re running a self-hosted blog or […] WordPress.com, chances are high that 1.2 will allow you to publish your work directly from within the app. No more copy and paste, no more switching between browsers, you know the drill, you hate it as much as everybody else.

It doesn’t matter why we couldn’t do what we set out to do, or why we announced this in the first place. And today nothing of this matters anymore (it still hurts, trust me). Because today, we finally deliver on this promise I made two and a half years ago.

Today sees the release of Ulysses 2.6 — on Mac, iPhone and iPad. And one of its main features is WordPress publishing — on Mac, iPhone and iPad. Yes, it took us two and a half years to deliver, but we believe we do deliver. This is the good stuff. This is real. This is probably the nicest and easiest way to publish your stories this side of the WordPress front end.

What you’ll get:

  • Post to self-hosted blogs or blogs via WordPress.com
  • Add as many blogs to Ulysses as you have
  • Publish as draft or published, immediately or scheduled
  • Set (or auto-set) categories and tags, excerpts and featured images
  • Set post format
  • Set slug and title link
  • Publish as HTML or Markdown
  • Preview in Ulysses
  • Set post-publishing actions, i.e. open the WordPress editor or WordPress preview, after the post has made its way from your device to your blog

Of course, all of Ulysses’ main features are fully intact when publishing to WordPress: Use images, block quotes, inline HTML, comments, lists etc.; publish multiple sheets as one, leverage keywords and note attachments; seamlessly and transparently sync your posts. So start on your Mac, continue on your iPad, and hit “Publish” on your iPhone — yes, it sounds awesome, easy, and believe me: It is.

I think you’ll love this. I really do.

Dropbox on iOS

Of course, just adding WordPress publishing wouldn’t make the headlines in this day and age, and it’s no different with Ulysses. Heck, we just won an Apple Design Award, so folks are expecting more from us than just delivering on a two-year-old promise.

And there’s another promise we made some time ago: Adding the same level of Dropbox support on iOS as we do on Mac. And with 2.6 we do just that. You can now link your Dropbox account(s) and have any folder show up in Ulysses on iPad and iPhone, and use it just like you would Ulysses’ native iCloud/local storage. You get filters, manual sorting, all the markup, and, best of all, full search across all your linked folders.

Which leads me to yet another promise (Three’s the Magic Number, no?)…

Quick Open aka Global Search on iOS

Ulysses 2.6 adds a feature that’s very popular on the Mac: Quick Open. It lets you search your whole library, all your texts, whether on iCloud or Dropbox, with just a single tap. And as on Mac, we show recently edited sheets, if there’s no search term specified. Quick Open is available pretty much everywhere, and it’s fast and direct, and if your device supports 3D Touch, it’s even available right from your home screen.

Typewriter Mode, VoiceOver

Another popular Ulysses for Mac feature also made it over to iOS: Typewriter Mode. But we didn’t stop at implementing fixed scrolling in iOS – we completely revamped the mode and added a much requested “highlighting” feature, also known as Focus Mode. Activating highlight will dim everything but the current line, sentence or paragraph, and we added this across the board, i.e. on Mac as well as on iPad and iPhone. We also threw our trusted “current line marker” into the mix, just for the fun of it.

Last not least, Ulysses is now fully accessible, thanks to the tremendous work done by our very own Lucas (give him a hug on Twitter @ancro). All versions can finally be controlled with VoiceOver, and we will continue to improve support and broaden its scope in the coming months. We care, just so you know.

And that’s more or less it. Yes, we fixed a couple of bugs, and yes, we probably introduced an odd localization issue here or there, and yes, we still have some pending promises – but then again, we can’t please each one of you at the same time. It would be spoiling. We shouldn’t spoil you. We’ll get to deliver on what’s on your list eventually. Probably sooner than you think.

As always, thanks to the team for being awesome, and thanks to our users for their ongoing support. Much love.

Now go and update.

Have fun,
Marcus

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Marcus Fehn

Co-founder, interface designer and hot temper. Loves cats, hates dogmas. Schooled in the art of analytic improvisation. Favorite comic book character: Patrick Bateman.