It’s app of the month time again, and this time we’re looking at ‘Quip’: ‘a modern productivity suite’, which allows you to share documents, tables, checklists and more so multiple people can edit and discuss together in a single, shared workspace. Quip has been with us since 2012, with the latest version ‘Quip 2.1’ being released in July 2014. Quip featured in MIT Technology Review’s 10 breakthrough technologies in 2014, so we thought we’d have a play around with it and see what all the fuss is about.
Our initial impression of Quip is that it’s great for people working on the move. So if you’re looking for an app that will save you time, allow you to edit work on the go and receive instant feedback, then read on to find out how to use Quip, and the benefits it can bring.
What is it?
Put simply, Quip is an app that allows you to keep documents and messaging together, in a single chat-like thread. It works across a range of mobile devices including iPhone and iPad, as well as on desktops through the web.
How does it work?
Once you have downloaded Quip, you’ll need to create an account to go any further. To do this, launch the app and you’ll be asked to enter an email address. Fill this out and create a password and you’re up and running – Quip style. The first screen you’ll encounter after logging in is your home screen, known on Quip as your ‘desktop’.
On the desktop you’ll see to your left, a column that gives you quick access to your documents, and to the right (taking up most of the screen), you’ll find all your folders. Click on the speech bubble with the ‘+’ inside to see your contacts. Find the people you’re looking for and start sharing documents and chatting with them.
When a document has been created/uploaded you and your other participants can chat freely and even edit the document. New edits will show up in green down the left hand side of the screen, for everyone to see, and are referred to as ‘diffs’. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find that you can use Quip to share folders with your family or team, create and share lists, see whose online and what they’re up to, get notifications sent to you to let you know when documents have been opened and access your central inbox where you can track what you have and haven’t read.
Who is it for?
Anybody with a Google account who wants a basic portable word processor, with document sharing capabilities and conversational threads. Quip is great if your editing needs are confined to adding headings, images, tables and lists. If you don’t mind the absence of features like a word count, spell checker, different fonts and font sizes then Quip is right up your street.
What are the best features?
There are plenty of good bits about Quip. We couldn’t pick just one, so here’s a list of our favourite features:
– Multi-platform. Quip works on a range of devices including desktops (PC and Mac), iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and tablets.
– Messaging. Every document has a chat thread, which is a great way to stay in touch with people and keep your conversations organised by document.
– Offline mode. Means you can edit documents anywhere and everywhere, as all the changes will be synchronised with the server immediately after re-connecting to the Internet.
– Diffs. It appears creating new words is no barrier for Quip, they’ve even gone as far as creating the word ‘diffs’ to refer to any edits made to a document. Whatever they’re called, we think being able to see who has made what alterations and where in the document is great.
– Read receipts – So you can check whose read your edits (or as we should now refer to them, diffs).
How much is it and where do you get it?
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