A Look Inside Final Draft’s New iPhone App

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by Emily Jermusyk (@EJemily24)

Last week, Final Draft finally released a new app for iphones and ipads. It has been a long time coming, considering their reader app has been available for several years and Celtx has also had a cellphone application for some time now. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of this new app.

GETTING STARTED

If there’s one downside to Final Draft Writer, it is this initial set up. Final Draft does not have a cloud system, so in order to open files in the app, you will have to create/have a Dropbox account.

The Final Draft Writer app is hooked up to Dropbox, so you don’t need to have the Dropbox app on your phone. You should sync all your scripts on your computer to your Dropbox in order to get the most out of this app. Any files you create directly in the Writer app will be saved to Dropbox. (There is a step-by-step guide in the app to walk you through this.)

EASE OF USE

If you are a regular user of Final Draft on your computer, it will not be hard to get up and moving on this application. Once your file is open, you have the ability to make notes, switch views and styles, make character highlights, etc. You can even click on the scene heading at the bottom and pull up a scene-by-scene navigation.

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It is a little overwhelming using the app on an iPhone, simply because you will always use half of your screen as a keyboard. On an iPad, however, it is great for on the go writing. I definitely recommend this app for the iPad. For the iPhone, I would primarily use it for small rewrites and touch ups and less for creation from a blank page.

FEATURES

Here’s a list of the current Final Draft Writer features from Final Draft:

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  • Write using all the familiar Final Draft features such as scene navigation, ScriptNotesTM and SmartTypeTM.
  • With professionally formatted TV, film and stageplay templates, writers can easily get started on a brand new script right in the app.
  • Access and update existing scripts anytime by syncing with your Dropbox directly from the app.
  • Access familiar Final Draft tools without losing your place in the script.
  • Access all needed iPhone Menu Tools while still viewing the script file.
  • Bluetooth keyboard support.

REVISE

  • Character Highlighting adds color to your dialogue to make table reads a breeze.
  • Customize the type, color and name of your Scriptnotes.
  • Not only can you quickly switch from one revision set to another, you can also export a PDF with colored revised production pages.
  • Production features like Scene Numbering, Omit Scenes, Colored and Locked Pages are included.

REFINE

  • Export key information with Cast Reports, Scene Reports, Location Reports, and more.
  • Easily search the entire script for characters, locations or other script elements to quickly make changes.
  • The app remembers where you left off so you can return to the same place quickly and add those final edits.
  • Free tech support and the ability to send feedback directly through the app right to Final Draft.

OTHER THOUGHTS

Something that has come up in the reviews of the app via iTunes (but not for me personally) is tech support. Final Draft Writer was developed before the release of the iPhone 6+, so it doesn’t take advantage of the features that are only available on that phone. The developers at Final Draft tells us that they are planning to change this down the line. In my use of the app, I did not come across any of the technical glitches that a minority of people reviewing have brought up.

At $14.99, this is a more expensive app than most, but if you are writing on the go, especially rewriting on the go, I think this application is absolutely worth it. Writers have to be out and about, they have to be networking, taking meetings, and finding new experiences to put into their writing. But writers also have to have scripts, and any minute you can cram into getting your script ready is worth it.

So get the app, and get to work.

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