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Quip: the word processor designed specifically for mobiles

  • Quip app
  • Quip

By Shona Ghosh

Posted on 31 Jul 2013 at 10:34

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."

Collaborative editing

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.

Quip

Interactive edits

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".

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User comments

Mobile?

"the word processor designed specifically for mobiles" but only available on iOS or the desktop!

Also, I'd love to see the software that they were using in 1983 that's the same as what's available today!

By mypointis on 31 Jul 2013

Mobile?

"the word processor designed specifically for mobiles" but only available on iOS or the desktop!

Also, I'd love to see the software that they were using in 1983 that's the same as what's available today!

By mypointis on 31 Jul 2013

For God's sake, PC Pro, when are you going to fix this broken website. This repeated comment bug has been there for as long as I can remember and now, as well as the annoying pop-ups that appear whenever I mouse over an underlined word (are those of use to anyone?), I am also getting a full screen pop-up encouraging me to sign up every time I open a new tab - even though I'm already logged in!!

By mypointis on 31 Jul 2013

So

Is the new business model to build social sharing into any app so you can await the call from the NSA who will give you some of your project funding in return for building a backdoor into your service? If this review were about how this system enables you to encrypt and protect your shared data then it would seem to me to be more relevant to the post-Snowden world.

By revsorg on 31 Jul 2013

reinvented wheel

They seem to have forgotten that the reason why word processors have all those unused features is that each of us uses a different 20 per cent of those features. Quip assumes that I don't need any real formatting control as long as I have easy collaborative features - but the reverse is true. I'll be sticking with OfficeSuite Pro, which contrary to the Quip claim was also specifically designed for phones and tablets - and supports all the online/offline cloudy stuff while giving me full control over it.

By tennyson09 on 31 Jul 2013

Try it

Quip sits applies to a slightly different use case from your traditional word processor - I think that's the point. A colleague and I have tried it out for a couple of things we're collaborating on (starting with a "blue sky" document and a task list) and it's actually really very good. Quip is a long way off replacing a word processor (no multi-level lists/outlines for starters) but it is an exceedingly useful tool in its own right. I've used it for 48 hours and I'm sold.

By RobPomeroy on 2 Aug 2013

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