The Soulmen, developers of Ulysses III and Daedalus Touch, never fail to impress. They just updated Daedalus, the universal iOS text editor, to 1.7 and brought a slew of goodies to it. The headlining features:
- Daedalus Touch is now free with In-App Purchase
- Users who paid for the app in the past will get all features unlocked on download
- $2.99 gets you all of the features or you can piecemeal only what you need for $0.99 apiece
- The app requires iOS 7 and has been redesigned for the current OS as well
- Updated to the latest TextExpander1 SDK
- New support for x-callback-url
- The ability to customize fonts
I could go on and on about this app, but I want to just focus on the custom font selections as this is something that wasn’t immediately clear to me and seems revolutionary on iOS.
Daedalus Touch has always had three font choices: Classic, Modern and Mono. In previous iterations of the app The Soulmen bundled custom fonts with the app. Each sheet (or document) features a title line in a large, headline-style typeface above the body text.
In 1.7 Daedalus retains the names of the old themes but now relies solely on built-in iOS fonts: Cochin, Helvetica Neue and Menlo. Below the font options there is a toggle labeled “Custom.” Flip it and you now have the option of setting both the title and the body text to any iOS system font.
Now, this is cool, but it’s not revolutionary for an iOS text app to allow you access to the system font library. While I was enjoying myself flipping through different theme options, I noticed a tweet from the Daedalus twitter account.
For those of you fiddling with the fonts feature: You can have *any* font file (even .zips) “Open In Daedalus”. #daedalusapp— Daedalus Touch (@daedalusapp) December 19, 2013
Immediately I dropped a font into my Dropbox folder on my Mac and loaded Dropbox on my iPhone. I downloaded the font and used Dropbox’s share button to get to the “Open in…” dialog. Tap Daedalus and it will open up. At first it will be unclear that anything happened. Go back into the custom fonts selection menu and there, at the top of the list, will be your font.
Even better, as promised you can zip up all the weights of a font and open it in Daedalus. All of the weights will be available and organized.
iOS ships with a wide array of fonts that should keep most users happy, but it’s extremely nice to be able to load any font I want to write with. I loaded up my preferred monospaced fonts (and favorite of the dancing Couriers), Courier Prime and Pitch, both of which look gorgeous in Daedalus.
Many of the writing apps I love ship with custom fonts, some of which I love and wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.2 However, the ability to load your own fonts is a huge win from a consumer perspective. So many apps differentiate themselves on an array of features; I’d rather not have to choose app A solely because it has a font that app B doesn’t.
One final thought on the matter. Plain text editing is one thing, but imagine being able to load custom fonts in a layout app like Keynote or Pages or OmniGraffle. I really hope The Soulmen share this code and make iOS an even more customizable landscape.