Quip: the word processor designed specifically for mobiles
Free productivity app offers collaborative editing, interactive formatting and more
Facebook's former chief technology officer, Brett Taylor, and ex-Google engineer Kevin Gibbs have teamed up to launch Quip, a free word processor designed for tablets and phones.
Battling what they describe as "tired" software, Quip is intended to be a mobile-first productivity app, rather than one adapted from the desktop. The pair point out that most word processing programs haven't evolved past their original design, despite the fact that many consumers use their mobiles and tablets more frequently than PCs. There are also few enterprise-friendly word processing apps available cheaply or for free on tablets.
"Most people in the developing world will access the internet for the first time through a mobile, touchscreen device without ever touching a PC," said the two co-founders. "Despite the magnitude of this shift, the software that we use to get work done has not evolved over the past thirty years."
Currently available for iOS and desktop only, the app's key features include the ability to co-edit documents with other Quip contacts and send them messages, intended to make the hassle of switching between emails and editing documents easier.
Users also get notifications when they've received a new message or when a document's been edited. They can also share work with non-Quip contacts, who'll receive an email or text message with a link to the document.
It's also possible for users to work offline, with Quip syncing changes when they next have a connection.
As part of an attempt to move word processing beyond "just typeset words on a page", Quip also boasts some interactive formatting features, such as turning bullet points into a checklist or turning meeting notes into a shared task list.
Users can also link to other Qype documents by adding "@" as a prefix. Documents automatically snap to whichever screen size they're on, meaning users don't have to resort to pinch-to-zoom.
Pricing and availability
Quip's free for personal use and for groups of up to five people, but to support more users you'll have to fork out for a business licence at $12 (£8) a month per person.
Android users can download a preview version of the app, with a full version "coming soon".