Out Now: Ulysses 2.1 for Mac and iPad


Whoops, there it is – the Backup Update. And the DOCX Update. And the Collapsible Folders on iPad Update. So it’s three updates rolled into one, on two platforms. That’s quite a confusing set of numbers, and I could go on and on and babble about math and stuff, when all I really want to say is: “IT’S OUT! GO GET IT ALREADY!

But you knew that when you scanned the headline, so what else is new?

Ulysses 2.1 is a major release, for us anyway. The switch to DOCX has been a long time coming, and Rebekka wrote a whole post about it and how we got stumped by that dreaded Pages release back in the day. There were some questions on Twitter and elsewhere about why we didn’t keep RTF alongside DOCX, and we might reconsider our stance on this, but for now, 2.1, we’re doing DOCX and DOCX only – it’s in and RTF is out.

Backup has been an often requested feature also, and we went through quite a lot of concepts and iterations before we settled with the current, simple implementation. Since this has also been brought up: We originally built the system and UI around user-definable backup locations. However, this opened up a can of worms, and the worms just continued to spill out. Removable media, cloud storage providers that can’t handle the backup file format, deleted backup folders, fallback locations… the list goes on and on. We might, at some point, introduce selectable locations, but as with DOCX we’ll keep it simple for now and see how it fares.

On iPad, we finally have collapsibe folders. Yes, yes, thank you, we know, we know, you can stop cheering now. Of all the recent features, this one was a true beast to implement. It won’t be obvious now, but once you start collapsing (which is non-standard on iOS, there’s no precedent, nothing to copy from), you run into issue after issue for which, again, there’s no precedent, no default, nothing. Granted, most of it has to do with how we display nested groups in the first place, but from creating sheets to moving groups, from the supposedly simple action of collapsing and uncollapsing to how you’re supposed to drill down, and drill down further, into a three- to four-level nested hierarchy, the whole undertaking was far from trivial. We believe it turned out quite cool, so go check it out, if you haven’t already.

Now, as always (even though we tend to forget), I’d like to thank all our beta testers for their invaluable feedback and support. Thank you! I’d also like to thank our users all around the globe for their passion and dedication towards Ulysses on both Mac an iPad. Thank you, this one’s for you!

Last not least, I’d like to thank the crew for being awesome. Götz, Friedrich, Rebekka, Lina, Frank, Lucas – none of this could’ve been done without you, and y’all tend to get too little credit most of the time. So thank you! :)

Oh, least I forget, Goals are now available on iOS, too. FWIW, this post was set to have about 2,800 characters, and since I already overshot a little, I’ll end now by stating the obvious… again: “IT’S OUT! GO GET IT ALREADY!

Cheers, have fun!

Marcus Fehn

Co-founder, interface designer and hot temper. Loves cats, hates dogmas. Schooled in the art of analytic improvisation. Favorite comic book character: Patrick Bateman.