For anyone who’s missed it, Ulysses III is now available on the Mac App Store:
In case you’re unfamiliar with Ulysses: Ulysses is a Mac OS X app that provides a plain-text writing environment using semantic markup (very similar to Markdown), but allows you to write in small or large chunks and export them together or separately (although that brief description does not do it justice). If that last part sounds a little like Scrivener, then that’s because Ulysses 1.0, along with probably Z-Write and RoughDraft (the latter on Windows), was one of the first programs designed specifically for writers of long texts, and its early versions helped set the benchmark for long-form writing apps. It was also the first program to my knowledge to introduce a full-screen writing mode, which is now everywhere. Software doesn’t evolve in isolation, and certain elements of Scrivener - Composition mode, typewriter scrolling, document notes, label and status - owe a huge debt to those earlier versions of Ulysses. (In fact, if Ulysses 1.0 had been rich text and allowed hierarchical groups in its source list, I might never have written Scriv. )
With Ulysses III, they have redesigned it from the ground up to make it the ultimate plain text editor, and they’ve done an amazing job. (Although calling Ulysses a “plain text editor” is only as accurate as calling Scrivener a “word processor”.) I think it’s fair to say that some elements of other apps have now fed back in (and only fair that they took some things back!)–with a scrivenings-like capability and the ability to view research documents in floating windows, for instance–but as usual, they’ve created something unique and beautiful. It’s interface is Mail-esque but with an iOS sensibility, and it is very easy to use.
Now, obviously, I’m not so suicidal as to want to persuade our users to jump ship to Ulysses, but the apps are so different that I think it’s more likely than ever that they can live side-by-side. And even if not, I’d rather have happy users who chose Scriv after checking out the rest of the best writing apps out there. Either way, Ulysses III is definitely worth checking out.
All the best,