I find the features offered are nowhere near where I could use it -- yet. So I continue to use Scrivener or MS Word. I find even MS Word much easier to use than Manuscripts, in particular for academic manuscripts.
I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on what are the main sticking points for you are?
On the specific point of multiple editing windows you raise as one: take the 1.0 of any of the writing tools you have used – did they have this feature at 1.0?
We have discussed this feature and in particular as the need for an auxiliary window elsewhere on the forum (so that there is a primary editing window and one which you can keep focused at a different part of the manuscript, for instance bibliography or another section you are comparing and contrasting with, etc). We're totally open to feedback and do our best to be responsive to constructive feedback.
I started trying Papers again, from the same developers. Papers 3 has now matured into a decent application, with a wonderful interface. I might go back to EndNote again, but that's an emotional reaction to Manuscripts (including the marketing by the developers with the claim that their users, which logically means all of them, are happy with the product. I use many apps, but I am not used to such marketing. And it makes me feel bad, even when using Papers (which is a great product!).
User testimonials by means of direct quotes is bad? We have an open forum to receive feedback from our users and we post updates to the app out pretty much every 2nd day… You'll find us just about as genuine and directly in touch with our userbase as any developers, that I must say I take some pride in even if we don't have support for multiple editing windows at 1.0
My basic question is... Where is Manuscripts heading? I decided to pay for the app, to be one of those motivating the developers to stay on track. But I feel I am wasting my time when trying the app. I still find it quite dysfunctional, in its 1.0 version it is not oriented towards productivity IMHO. (A very basic start would be to allow at least two windows for the same document.)
You'll find a lot of the future directions already stated on the forum:
- collaborative writing, not necessarily involving an app installed on all co-authors' devices.
- further integration with referencing tools.
- deeper support for research fields with different referencing and other needs (we do better with natural science than humanities at the moment).
- additional export options.
- additional kinds of content in the manuscript: block quotes, code blocks, …
- further planning, outlining, project management features.
- direct journal submission support where possible.
Having said all of that, there are many definitions to productivity and as with Papers (a product of a separate SpringerNature owned company by some of the same people, in contrast to Manuscripts which is built by an independent company) we very much base what we work on to responding to feedback we get from our users. Auxiliary editing panel for instance (what you describe as multiple windows) for instance is something that doesn't necessarily fit as one that I would include as a separate bullet point in a short list like this, but of course we write with this tool ourselves and see the need for it.
So... is your aim something similar to Scrivener (but more targeted towards academic papers and simpler, adding much better handling of tables, etc)? Where is your inspiration, do you intend to compete with Scrivener? If so, you might have a great advantage if you are able to develop an iOS app before the lovely people at Literature and Latte (Scrivener) finally do.
As I've noted in some other forum posts, there's inspiration in Manuscripts for sure from creative writing tools like Scrivener, but also from LaTeX, LyX, the general philosophy of clean separation of content and presentation that HTML and CSS used for building web pages promotes. I do think Manuscripts is already a great solution not just for scholarly writing, but other kinds of complex documents too (and our users are telling that too). At the same time I also think a good tool solves the problems they've been built for first, and only then expand, so you'll indeed find us primarily focusing on better and better support for academic and education related content.
Regarding an iOS version, we have made the technology choices with an iOS app in mind certainly. I can't promise any specific release date, but we absolutely see the importance of it.
CEO & Co-founder of Manuscripts.app Ltd