Almost three years ago, Final Draft released its iPad app, Final Draft Writer, and now it's available for iPhone. If you already own Final Draft Writer for iPad, this upgrade is free and your download awaits you in the App Store. For new users, Final Draft Writer is currently $14.99 for a limited time (but we don't know the limit on that time).
You may be wondering how Final Draft Writer works on an iPhone. Below are screenshots from the app's welcome tour to give you an idea of how you access the features and functionality of Final Draft on the iPhone:
Here are some of the key features of Final Draft Writer for iPhone:
- Includes Final Draft scene navigation, ScriptNotes and SmartType features
- Dropbox sync capabilities to keep scripts up-to-date across desktop and iOS devices
- Access Tools Menu without losing place in script
- Bluetooth keyboard support
- Character highlighting in dialogue
- Create revision sets
- Export to PDF with colored revision pages
- Email FDX and PDF versions of the script
- Print script to AirPlay-enabled printers
- Includes scene numbering, omit scenes, colored pages and locked pages for production
- Generate and export cast reports, scene reports, location reports, character reports, script reports, ScriptNote reports and statistics reports
- Ability to search the script for characters or other scene elements
- App opens script where you last made an edit
- Free tech support
- Ability to send feedback through the app to Final Draft
Full disclosure: I own and use Final Draft 9 because I've been using Final Draft from the days when there was nothing else. I also own Final Draft Writer in case I need to edit a screenplay on my iPad, but I have to admit that I still only write on my MacBook. I have written about more affordable, more interesting and more collaborative screenwriting tools here on NFS, so I encourage screenwriters to evaluate all of their options. Fuller disclosure: I don't write anything longer than a text message or a short email on my iPhone, so I haven't been anxiously awaiting Final Draft Writer for iPhone for the past three years.
But since I already own FDW, I downloaded the app to kick the proverbial tires. I synced with Dropbox, opened one of my existing scripts, and was greeted with the message that Final Draft Writer doesn't support Courier Prime font, so the script would be presented in Courier Final Draft and pagination might change. Final Draft makes a big deal about pagination, so I quickly spot-checked the iPhone version of the script with the desktop version, and pagination seemed fine.
When I type on my iPhone, I prefer Landscape, and by holding it that way I discovered that Final Draft Writer essentially matches the flow of text on the screen with the text on the desktop screen. By this, I mean if an action text block is three lines on Final Draft desktop, that same action text block will be three lines with the same line breaks on Final Draft Writer on the iPhone in Landscape. I mention this because how scripts look on the page is important to make them easier to read. In Portrait, text blocks look long on Final Draft Writer on the iPhone, so I appreciate that Landscape essentially mimics the line breaks of the desktop version and iPad version.
Despite my curiosity, I really don't think being able to write scripts in Final Draft on my phone is a game-changer for me. So, this release got me thinking.
When would you use your iPhone to write your screenplay?
The most likely scenario I could envision would be when you had an idea for a specific line of dialogue or change to your existing script when you were away from your computer or iPad and desperately wanted to make that change before the idea slips away. Assuming your script was already saved in Dropbox (Final Draft Writer syncs with Dropbox, but not other cloud storage services), you could open the script and make the addition/revision. Or, you could just open Notes and jot down your idea. Personally, I honestly can't imagine writing scenes on my iPhone.
Then again, I'm not of the generation that has grown up with smartphones as the norm, and with the larger screens of the iPhone 6/6+, I imagine more people may want the capability of writing screenplays on their smartphones (if you own an Android phone, you are still out of luck). However, Final Draft Writer is optimized for iPhone 5, which isn't a big deal, but it means that the on-screen keyboard looks huge on the iPhone 6/6+.
Maybe the most interesting thing about this announcement is Final Draft Writer is now available for $14.99 at the App Store. That means iOS users can access virtually all of the major Final Draft features for $15, even if they don't own the desktop version, and they can export PDFs of their screenplays to email and Dropbox, as well as print screenplays straight from their iPads and iPhones. For writers who have migrated away from desktops and laptops to iPads as their main work and writing tools, Final Draft may finally have become an affordable option.
What do you think about Final Draft Writer for iPhone?