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Ulysses for iPhone review: Anything but a plain text editor

Michael Simon | March 10, 2016
Everything that makes Ulysses great on the Mac is concentrated in the exquisite iPhone version.

Swiping left on the editing window brings up the attachments pane, where you can add keyword filters, set goals, take notes, and attach images, power-user features that make Ulysses feel more like a miniature OS X app than an iOS one. And you can customize it with a dark mode or one of four tasteful themes, with many more available for download in the Ulysses Style Exchange (though you’ll need the Mac app to install them).

iCloud keeps documents constantly synced across all three platforms, and you can import files from Dropbox, One Drive Google Drive and a variety of other locations. Those concerned about the reliability of Apple’s servers can rest their minds; Ulysses for iPhone utilizes the same local backup system as the Mac and iPad versions, letting you browse previous version in the event a document revert to an outdated version (which happened once or twice during testing). Exporting is no slouch either, with settings for HTML, ePub, Medium and DOCX.

Ulysses is the first text editor that truly seems built for the iPhone 6. It doesn’t need the big screen to operate—and surely iPhone 5 users won’t regret the purchase—but Ulysses is right at home on the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models (and takes full advantage of the S’s 3D Touch as well). Dedicated users of the iPad app will no doubt find themselves reaching for their tablets far less often, and won’t freak out if they forget to pack it. Ulysses is the text editor iPhone users have wanted for years, and like the rest of the suite, it was well worth the wait.

Bottom line

Everything that makes Ulysses great on the Mac is concentrated in the exquisite iPhone version, so much so that you might actually prefer writing on a five-inch screen.


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