Madeira, Portugal-based indie developer Paulo Freitas’ scriptus was already an extraordinary and innovative text editor app for iPad that deserves to be better-known than it is, and it’s now even better.
scriptus is like an iOS notepad on steroids, with a raft of cool features unmatched by many ostensibly full-featured iOS text editors. Just-released version 3.0 makes it even more extraordinary – especially for writers and others who work a lot with text. Upgraded features include an enhanced keyboard, more ways of exporting and synching files, and availability of a large number of fonts.
In addition to text notes, scriptus can also save audio notes, even with the application in background, and its Autosave feature means you don’t need to manually save your notes. It’s good that figuring out scriptus is pretty intuitive, because documentation is on the light side, consisting of a few short paragraphs in the settings window and an infographic.
scriptus’s version 2 interface was already easy on the eyes, and has become even more so with the 3.0 upgrade, with more appearance options. There are now 22 different appearance themes with a wide selection of different background theme choices, note page tints and text ColorSync.
I’m partial to dark blue text with the default background or one of several brown or wood grain-toned background themes. Comfort food for screen-jaded eyes. You can also choose among all available iOS fonts.
However, scriptus’s main distinctive feature in my estimation is its bank of hidable extra shortcut keys for text input, the likes of which I’ve never experienced in any other app, and which function superbly. I usually don’t much like gesture-based stuff, but these shortcut keys containing five characters each work like a charm, and are far superior to having to shift to an alternate keyboard to enter characters like numbers, n-dashes, parentheses and such.
It’s a much more useful and convenient keyboard than the iOS default, with a row of five-option keys for numbers and special characters (including superscript 0, 1, 2, 3, and a) that eliminate the need for most keyboard shifting, and the latest Scriptus version 3.0 adds a Forward Delete key, which I have missed terribly on the iPad. Now if only they could add a case/capitalization toggle key like the ones in Infovole’s text processing apps Textkraft and Easy Writer, and there would be little left wanting in Scriptus keyboarding.
Another keyboard enhancement in Scriptus 3.0 OS that the former emoticon palette, a largely useless feature, is no longer with us, having been displaced by the Forword Delete key, and it won’t be missed by me in that upper right-hand corner of the keyboard where I used to hit it inadvertently a lot.
Access to your available files, withe separate columns for text and audio, and the Settings options are in a slide-in drawer column at the left.
scriptus has multiple ways to export your notes, including printing, copy, email, text, TXT, PDF, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, “Open In”, WiFi, iTunes, message, AirDrop. Dropbox synchronization is carried over from previous builds.
Also new in Scriptus 3.0 are:
• A new Search Text feature – very handy.
• Two-finger move cursor and select text, which I think will be a nice addition once I get used to it.
• Text-to-speech in multiple languages, rate and pitch. I virtually never use text-to-speech, but if you do it’s an enhancement.
• Status Bar on and off toggle
• Auto-Capitalization on and off toggle
• Auto-Correction on and off toggle
scriptus has a handy Undo/Redo system. You can Increase/Decrease text point size using your fingers (spread or pinch gesture), and tap with two fingers to select text.
scriptus supports note-synching with Dropbox, which is a non-negotiably essential feature for me to take any iOS text-crunching app seriously. I don’t use iCloud, and am much more partial to Dropbox, although I hear that the Cloud synch./storage service Sugarsync has some interesting functionality to offer iOS users that I want to check out (but SugarSync is discontinuing it’s free level, and the paid options are costly). There are multiple ways to export your notes, including printing, copy, email, text, TXT, PDF, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, “Open In”, WiFi, message, and AirDrop. Dropbox synchronization is carried over from previous builds, and you can also copy your scriptus notes to your computer via iTunes. or share notes over a local Wi-Fi HTTP server.
All iPad screen orientations are supported, and you can control screen brightness without leaving the application.
There are word and character counts at the tap of a toolbar icon.
My list of criticisms/suggestions is pretty short. I’d like to have the aforementioned case toggle kty, and a manual Update to Dropbox button that didn’t require a visit to the Settings window would be handy to have as well. I also wish there was a button that would return you to previous cursor positions, and ones for Home and End. With the keyboard open there is only a very small view of your text, although that’s not an issue unique to scriptus. It’s also an extreme fullscreen app, concealing even the iOS’s vestigial menu bar. I really detest fullscreen, and like to monitor what time it is, how much battery charge I still have left, and the strength of my wireless signal at a glance.
However in summary, I really like scriptus, in fact I’m kinda’ blown away by it. scriptus has been one of my productivity suite of mainstay tools for some time now, and I expect I’ll be using even more with this latest upgrade.
• Requires iOS 7.0 or later
• 2.8 MB Free Space
scriptus sells for a very reasonable $0.99 on the App Store, and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category
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