[This post originally appeared at ProfHacker on 2014-06-30.] There are a plethora of text editors on iOS. Just once glance at Brett Terpstra’s list of markdown editors can attest to the range of offerings available on the platform. Editorial stands above the rest. Combined with a well designed interface and incredibly powerful workflows built on Python and snippets, Editorial redefined the way I edit text on the iPad. More and more I find myself reaching for Editorial for text editing over anything else, including any apps on my Mac. And pairing it with a Bluetooth keyboard has, with the exception of Scrivener, made Editorial the most productive writing environment I’ve used. Editorial changed how I thought about my iPad. It had largely been about consumption – gaming, reading books and PDFs, catching up on RSS – but Editorial made the iPad a production device for me as well. Editorial is the brainchild of Ole Zorn, who was also behind the stellar Pythonista iOS app. Pythonista is a Python interpreter for iOS that takes advantage of iOS’s built-in functionality all while working with Python. Zorn has an eye for design and really seems to test the boundaries of what can be done on iOS. This shines through with Editorial. He leverages the same Pythonista environment combined with an Automator-like GUI that allow for building incredibly powerful workflows for writers. Editorial is a Markdown text editor that supports Dropbox syncing, a built-in browser, a Markdown previewer, a Python console, and TextExpander-like snippets that allows you to automate tasks within the app. The interface is excellent. To the left is a sidebar for viewing local files and Dropbox synced files. Along the top is a bookmark bar for quick access to Workflows, and the wrench icon gives you access to the Workflow menu. Tapping the left arrow in the upper right gives you access to the browser, Markdown previewer, and Python console. The keyboard also comes with an extra bar along the top for accessing snippets, an undo button, and common Markdown characters. The editing interface can be tweaked to your liking. Editorial comes with a light and dark theme, and you have control over font family, font size, line spacing, and text width. You can also display a live word count in the upper right.
[This post originally appeared at ProfHacker on 2014-06-23.] Recent announcements are showing a trend in cheaper storage solutions and cloud backups. Google recently updated its pricing for Drive storage and now offers 15 gigabytes for free and incredibly cheap prices for 100 GB, 1 TB, and 10TB+. At WWDC, Apple announced changes to its iCloud service towards a more Dropbox-like experience and revealed a new pricing model that includes a baseline 20 GB for $0.99 per month. And just this week, Amazon revealed its plans for unlimited storage for photographs for those purchasing the new Fire Phone. Cloud storage, it seems, is everywhere and dirt cheap. Allow me to throw another one on your desk to review. Among the newer cloud-based storage offerings is a service called Copy. I’ve been trying it out for the last few weeks, and so far I’ve found a lot to like. Similar to Dropbox, Copy syncs files from a local folder on your desktop to its cloud servers. So far, I haven’t noticed Copy being significantly slower than Dropbox. But the great advantage of Copy over Dropbox? You get 15 GB of space for free versus Dropbox’s 2 GB. And referrals grant you a whopping 5 GB per referral (versus Dropbox’s 500 MB) and, at least as of this writing, has no max bonus for referrals. If you need more storage, Copy’s paid plans start at $99 per year for 250 GB. Copy has many similar features to Dropbox, including easy folder and file sharing with collaborators. However, unlike Dropbox where shared folders within your Dropbox account also count against your storage quota, Copy has implemented what they call “fair share.” Fair share splits the size of a shared folder evenly across the number of people you’ve shared with. For example, a 5 GB folder synced between you and a collaborator counts at 2.5 GB per person. And like Dropbox, Copy syncs across various devices. Copy can be installed on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. Dropbox currently has the market cornered on integration with mobile applications, but hopefully Copy will soon come to other applications. On top of that, Copy also has a web interface that is well designed and easy to use. If you’re in the market for a new cloud storage service, I would give Copy a chance!