Stop Deleting and Start Writing With First Draft Mac App

December 31, 2015 - 2 minutes read

“Stop deleting and start writing” — so reads the tagline behind a compelling new app called First Draft from the app development team at 96 Problems, a creative app development company.

First Draft will be familiar to iOS app users in particular for its similarity to other minimalist writing tools favored by iPad app developers, Medium scribblers, and everyone else with a few things to say and an eye for sleek UX design.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the app is its deliberate use as a “first stop” in the writing process, rather than a one-stop-shop like more robust writing apps such as Scrivener. While minimalist iPad apps like Writer from iA have similar focus features like blurring out all but the current line, First Draft is the first app to our knowledge to disable the delete key altogether. In First Draft, deleting strikes through text rather than deleting, creating an effect similar to writing by hand — or on a typewriter for the analog crowd.

Similar to more robust writing app solutions like Ulysses, First Draft features a dynamic file control structure, allowing app users to cut their manuscript into pieces and control the ordering of sections or chapters by drag-and-drop.

Overall, First Draft embodies a smart strategy in profitable app development — focus on tiny problems, ship fast, and only expand if the minimum viable product gains market traction. Said co-founder Dave Smith in a discussion with TechCrunch, “First Draft is a place to start. It is not a replacement to a text editor or word processor. In fact, it’s probably the world’s worst text-editor. That’s because it’s only for writing,”

In an App Store crowded writing apps from every San Francisco mobile app developer with a smart idea, 96 Problems just might have the back-to-basics strategy necessary to rise above the competition and achieve their goal: a viable, profitable, and most importantly useful iOS app.

First Draft is free with a $15 premium version that allows automated exporting to other writing apps like Scrivener and Medium. It is currently available for Mac and will be launching for iPad and iPhone in November.

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