Announcing Daedalus touch

Daedalus Touch Text Editor for iPad

Today’s the day! We’re announcing a new project: Daedalus touch — a cutting-edge writing environment for the iPad.

“Woah”, you say, “wait wait!!!”

Will it sync to Ulysses? No.
Will it have any desktop counterpart? No.
Will it, like… compete with Pages? We hope so, yes.
Will it allow embedding of photos? No.
Will it at least allow RTF? Hahaha, no, hehe.
Will it have semantic editing? No.
Will it have a fullscreen view? Uhm… sort of, yes. Or rather… no.
So it’s just a basic text editor, right? Right. But.
Will it have notepads and metadata? No.
Will it have folders, and collections and filters? Not… really.
Will it be a Wiki of some sorts, linking pages? No.
Then how will it be different from Notes? For starters: a legible font, no leather case.
And how will it compete with Pages? It’ll be for writers, not for designers.
And how will it be different from other text apps in the AppStore? A beautiful, clean and simple interface, specifically designed for the iPad.
That’s about it? No.
What’s that cutting-edge bit? You’ll see.
Anything else you want to share? Yeah.

After the AppStore/API desaster that was Ulysses mobile, we were close to giving up on iOS development, at least as far as text editors were concerned. That was until we got our hands on the iPad.

Skeptical at first, it quickly became clear that this is not just a “touchscreen-laptop without a keyboard”, but a true next-gen device, a class of its own. Not only in terms of tech specs, but more so in terms of philosophy and interaction — the whole experience.

For example, on the iPad we’re not watching movies on an LCD; we’re holding the movies in our hands. We’re no longer surfing the web; we’re touching it. It’s about direct manipulation and the removal of abstraction layers. And, of course, it’s about being permanetly connected, always online.

The iPad is a next-gen device, and Daedalus touch will be a true next-gen app. This is neither a port of existing Mac OS X software, nor are we shoehorning current desktop metaphors onto a touch-enabled interface.

From our perspective, “built from the ground up for iPad” should not mean “we used Xcode, Interface Builder, and targeted 1024×786″. Instead, it should mean we leveraged the iPad’s new and ground-breaking ways of interaction to create a product that would, or rather *could* not work on a different device.

And that it should rock.

And so we’re leveraging ALL of the iPad’s special features. And by “all” we do mean all. See, the gyrometer will control the insertion point and selection. GPS-enabled devices (iPad G3) will offer social network interaction with other Daedalus users in the vicinity.

Just joking.

But it will rock.
And we just can’t wait til you guys get your hands on this thing.

Any ETA? No. But it’s close.
Beta? Calm down, willya…

20 Responses to “Announcing Daedalus touch”

  1. Don Paul says:

    Damn! GIve it to me!

    Sound really great.
    If it’s just a little bit like your other products, it’s gonna be great!

  2. Flex says:

    AAARGoddammit! Yet another text editor for the iPad that I will have to buy. And it’s not even Ulysses Mobile, so I don’t even know why I’ll have to buy it, I just know that I will.

  3. bashosfrog says:

    What does this mean for Ulysses?

    • Marcus says:

      If you’re concerned about ongoing development: nothing, really. The next version is well underway, new exporters and all, so there’s no need to worry. We’re not switching to iPad, if that’s what you fear.

      But maybe I misread your post.

  4. bashosfrog says:

    Thanks, Marcus. Just wanted to be sure that Ulysses wasn’t being abandoned.

  5. lexm says:

    This is happy news. Can’t wait.

  6. Amaru says:

    This is great. I am sure Deadalus Touch will set the standard for iOS in the same way Ulysses set the standard for OS X. I can hardly wait.

    • Marcus says:

      Thanks for your confidence in our work. We hope you won’t be disappointed. And I think we’ll start showing some screens and discussing some of the underlying ideas and concepts early next week.

  7. Niklas says:

    Cool name by the way…

    Don’t own either iPhone nor iPad, so can’t get excited over much more than that at this point, really. But the name is indeed really cool…

  8. Gcl says:

    Posting from Daedalus touch browser. Congrats on the launch.
    Stunning brilliant editor. I never heard of you. After reading about your other products, now I understand your quality. I just posted a review and will submit reports soon.

  9. DPF says:

    Any chance of getting markdown and/or textile support / the ability to export markdown and/or html like Elements? I love daedalus – it seems like a shame that I have to export from daedalus to elements to check on my markdown or copy the html

    • Marcus says:

      We’ll support Markdown somewhere down the road. We might already start with 1.1 (undecided as of today) by letting you open/export .md, .mdown etc.

      We’ll add tagging later and then *maybe* put the built-in browser to some good use, but I’m talking second half of the year here.

  10. DPF says:

    Great – markdown/textile support will combine Daedalus Touch a fantastic UI with excellent and versatile text editing. I look forward to it. I’d love to make DT my primary iPad editor. Unfortunately without markdown or textile – I can’t do it yet.


  11. Rico Viejo says:

    Have Daedalus touch. How do I register to raise questions in the forum?

  12. Ben says:

    Hey, I really prefer to write in textile. Any chance of supporting it?

    • goetz says:

      We definitely have Textile on our list for Daedalus. It won’t make it into Daedalus 1.4, but stay tuned for the upcoming versions!

  13. Ben says:

    Google Drive!

  14. Jean says:

    I tried a lot of ones and I definitely prefer Daedalus. Anyway I’m missing a little features:

    * the opportunity to use the IOS font set;
    * a minimum comfortable readable preview;
    * subtile grey light rubbing out for the markdown code (à la *ByWord*);
    * the opportunity to navigate directly to titles in a file;
    * *fountain* screenplay writing format support with preview.

    I thought of the last feature just because I work with actors and I think this app could be really useful to edit, save, and read a scenario when working on scene with just an iPad; and of course to export to a dedicated application like *Final Draft*.

    Note: on my iMac I use and definitely prefer *ByWord*.