Using Ulysses for iPad

Yes, I wrote just a week or so ago about using IA Writer. Then I tried Byword, then I went back to Scrivener, and then, in a peak of frustration at trying to find a workable portable writing solution, I got Ulysses III for my Mac and Daedalus for the iPad.

Then I actually started doing a lot more writing. Those two apps – really Daedalus – got me going. I had a few bumps, was pretty impressed with the support I received, and kept going. It was strange at first, the concept of sheets, and so on. After a while I realized that when I was writing if I had an idea for another part, a scene, another book, or whatever, I could just type a cmd-N and get a new sheet and type away. Then option-cmd up arrow got me back to what I had been working on. For me, this is golden.

One thing that had me a bit queasy at first, and still gives me a little pause, is iCloud. Ulysses and Daedalus store everything there. Sometimes it has taken a while to sync. But, I now know where to find the actual files that are being saved on the mac, and I know they are being backed up by time machine. So I have the ability to go back in time to restore things if they go to hell.

I kept meaning to write up my experiences with the two apps, but I kept getting distracted by other things to write. Yesterday the new version of Ulysses for the mac came out, and also Ulysses for the iPad. So far, I’m happy. Quite happy. And, since I so rarely am ahead of the curve, I thought I’d better write this now!

Overall Ulysses on the iPad is pretty much the same as Ulysses on mac, but with some navigation changes and a few unimplemented features. I like it more than Daedalus, I think. I have to be careful because I’m still working out how to consolidate the stuff that I had in both apps into one set of files, and that sort of problem always unnerves me a bit and it might be clouding my judgement here.

One downside is that Daedalus is available on the phone, but Ulysses is not. So when using Daedalus I can see everything everywhere, but now it’s just iPad and Mac, unless I put something in Daedalus. But seriously, writing on the phone isn’t really a solution for me, and I can live without it. 

I figure Scrivener will come out with their iPad app just about the time I get fully immersed in Ulysses, but by then it may be too late. This app gets me writing.

If you’re looking for a good way to write long form work on your iPad along with your Mac, have a look at Ulysses. Together the two apps will cost ~$65, which is not much for tools like these. If you’re not looking for all the features of Ulysses, Daedalus is still very good, and it has most of the magic I’ve found here, at a much lower cost.

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