Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.
Quip is releasing a product update today to its word processing application. Users can now import documents, apply new filters to their app inbox, implement a focus mode, and tweak notifications. In addition, Quip now allows anyone to use the service without needing to create an account.
Three months ago, Facebook’s former CTO Bret Taylor and ex-Google’er Kevin Gibbs set out on a mission to reinvent how work was done no matter the device. The company’s first foray dealt with the problem around creating documents. You can read our review about it here, but suffice to say that it offers users collaboration, interactive, and mobile features that are simple and easy to use.
Since Quip’s launch, hundreds of thousands of mobile documents have been created and millions of chat messages have been sent. The company says that half of its users are on iPads while 40 percent use multiple devices.
Creating more content on Quip
With Quip 1.5, a missing feature has been added, that being the ability to import documents. Until today, users could only create and edit Quip files, not any other file from Microsoft Office or other productivity software. The new version of the app supports documents from Microsoft Word, Dropbox, Google Drive (Web only), and Evernote. Once a file has been imported, it will be converted into a Quip document.
Since the application works both on the Web and mobile, the experience is the same, for the most part. The one exception is the manner in which files are imported. On the Web, users can drag-and-drop them right from their computer. But on mobile, there’s a menu button that reads “Import Documents” that offers instructions on the process.
And while this is all well and good, the one pain point users might have is they can’t export files from Quip to use in other services.
Other improvements in how you work
The new version of Quip also includes a feature it calls Inbox Filters. These filters will sort through all the documents you have access to and surface the ones that need to be read or have been updated. Additionally, if enabled, a filter can also display only those authored by a user and are private.
Being able to focus on what you’re doing is also a priority for Quip. Version 1.5 offers a mode where it hides the real-time chat threads from collaborators. This removes a potential stumbling block that could affect a user’s productivity so that the document gets completed on time. Interestingly, the idea for this new mode came about thanks to a suggestion from Threewords.me founder Mark Bao.
Notifications have also been updated so users can now manage whether they receive push notifications about activity to their documents and folders or simply hide a document from their inbox. This move takes the communication structure away from the team and more to the individual author or contributor.
Lastly, in an attempt to better appeal to potential users, Quip is allowing anyone to use its service without an account. According to the company, some people prefer being able to use it without having to register and provide the necessary information. So now, no matter if you use Quip on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, it’s easy to use without a potential obstacle. If you need collaboration functionality, then you will need to register your email.
➤ Quip for iOS | Android (preview release)
Photo credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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