/ iOS

Editorial for iOS

I've tried a few incarnations of my blogging workflow for iOS over the years. For various reasons, none of them have stuck, and I end up moving back to the Mac each time.

I don't blame the apps for this problem. The heart of the matter is that text editing on iOS is hard: it's hard for the user doing the editing, and it seems to be hard for developers to make apps that make editing as smooth as it can be on the Mac.

But I don't want to give up on finding a reliable writing workflow on iOS forever.

As of a few days ago, I am trying Editorial for iOS. I haven't used the app enough yet to say anything definitive about it, but there are a few reasons I am optimistic: snippets, workflows, and scripting.

Snippets let you map chunks of text to keyboard shortcuts (in the form of user-defined strings of letters). Editorial will even show you which snippets are in the ballpark of what you have already typed:

Workflows are in-app Automator-like automation, created in the GUI, and scripting is... scripts that the user can write in Python. These are the two features I'm most interested in, but have had the least amount of time to explore so far.

Snippets, workflows, and scripting all appear to be big wins in terms of both their functionality and their implementation.

Here's the thought that sits in the back of my mind as I play around with snippets, workflows, and scripting in Editorial: I would rather be storing this work at the OS level. If for some reason I choose to switch writing apps in the future, or if Editorial goes away, my automation is trapped.

Which is to say, the app I'm longing for that cannot exist on iOS today in any powerful way is a scripting and snippets manager that works across the OS.

TextExpander does handle snippets for iOS, but last I tried it, the snippets were only available via TextExpander's custom keyboard. I'm not a huge fan of custom keyboards due to their inherent security risk, slow load times, and tendency to crash. Plus, I already use 4 system keyboards as it is, and I don't want to add to the list:

Despite these misgivings, I'm quickly becoming fond of Editorial.

If I get to point where I have any Editorial scripts or workflows worth sharing, I'll post some on this blog. If there are any Editorial scripts you love, please do share.