Drafts 4.5.1 is now approved and should be starting to appear on the App Store soon. A couple of important notes to start, then more details on some of the new features below.

  • Drafts for iOS 9 is a free update for anyone who has purchased Drafts 4 or greater.
  • Drafts 4.5 and greater require iOS 9. The update is, however, sync compatible with version 4.3.2 running on iOS 8. It is recommended you update all your devices to iOS 9 for the best experience, but no need to do them all at once for Drafts to continue to sync.
  • Apple Watch app has been temporarily removed! Drafts has an all-new native watchOS 2.0 app ready to ship. Due to Apple’s delay shipping watchOS 2.0, I have temporarily removed the watch app from Drafts. I will immediately be re-submitting an update with the new Watch app, ready for the release of watchOS 2.0 – but if you rely on the old Drafts watch app, you may want to wait to update. I did not want to hold the entire iOS 9 update due to this delay, so I hope Watch users will be patient with this brief interlude. Trust me, the watchOS 2.0 native performance and more reliable dictation will be worth it! Also, you can capture to Drafts with Apple Watch using Siri and Drafts’ Reminder integration, so you might consider setting that up in the meantime.
  • If you post to Google+ with Drafts, please see an important note at the end of this post.
Spotlight support

iOS 9 added the ability to integrate third party app content with the system-wide Spotlight search. Drafts takes advantage by indexing the full text of any drafts currently in the inbox. When searching in Springboard on iOS devices, the system will return matches for full text searches of the contents of drafts in the inbox, and tapping on one of those results will launch Drafts direct to that draft, ready to edit.

Siri “This” Support

Drafts already supported Handoff, so this is not technically a new feature of Drafts, but through Handoff support Drafts works nicely Siri’s new context features on iOS 9. For example, when editing a draft, if you trigger Siri and say “Remind me of this tomorrow at 2pm”, Siri will create a reminder in the reminders app linked directly to the current draft. When that reminder triggers a notification, and you tap on that notification, it will launch Drafts directly to that draft ready to act on it.

iPad Multitasking

Spotlight support

iOS 9 adds new multitasking features to newer iPads and Drafts works great with these features. Slide Draft into the split view side bar to use all Drafts features along side other apps!

Spotlight support

iPad Shortcut Bar

Another new iPad only feature in iOS 9 is the Shortcut Bar. If you use “Predictive” word suggestions on iOS 8, you are already familiar with this additional space over the keyboard. iOS 9 has added several system shortcuts to the left and right sides of this row, but Drafts now allows any custom keyboard key in Drafts keyboard extension to be enabled to appear on this row as well. To add keys to the row, edit the keyboard extension. When on iPad, each key has a new selector to assign the key to appear on the Shortcut Bar.

Still working on additional documentation on this feature, but it’s pretty neat. If you want more keys, but don’t use the “Predictive” words feature, you can tap and hold on the globe key in the keyboard for options and disable predictive. If you add more keys than iOS can fit, they are collapsed into a popup menu automatically.

watchOS 2.0 App

As mentioned above, the 4.5.1 update does not contain a watchOS app. Draft’s Apple Watch app has been rebuild for watchOS 2.0, and a 4.5.2 update should follow as soon as watchOS 2.0 is release and feature key improvements:

  • Much better performance.
  • Capture, append and prepend while disconnected from the phone (as long as the Watch still has dictation access). Changes made on the watch which have not yet synced to the phone are indicated in orange on the watch.
  • No annoying dictation timeouts when the watch goes to sleep.

Thanks to Apple Watch customers for your patience in the brief transition period.

Other Stuff

  • Fix: New “System” font option – which resort to standard system font, which is San Francisco on iOS 9. Suppose it could be something else in the future, who knows…but for now, San Francisco.
  • Fix: Updated TextExpander integration to avoid issue causing a hang on launch for some users after refreshing snippets
  • Fix: Several Markdown syntax highlighting fixes of odd ball cases.
  • Lots of other minor improvements and changes related to the iOS 9 update.

Important Note for Google+ Users

There were some technical glitches encountered submitted this update to Apple, which stem from compatibility issues in the Google Plus SDK provided by Google. In order to get this release uploaded and approved by Apple, I have temporarily disabled the ability to post to Google+. I will be revisiting this and hope to have the issue resolve in an update soon.

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