Major update to Quip word processor brings the Like button and ‘fun’ to business documents

by David Needle

March 20 2014

Quip released version 1.7 of its innovative word processor for Android and iOS devices today, adding a number of features designed to make using it more social and, as cofounder Bret Taylor puts it, “fun to use.” 

In an era of collaboration and increasingly shared digital documents, the addition of the Like button is a way to simply and directly acknowledge in the document an accomplishment like someone completing a revision or project on time or making a great suggestion without, for example, having to create a separate email, or just not bothering.

“The Like button is something you don’t associate with office type products, Taylor told TabTimes ahead of the announcement. “But our philosophy is that the products you use at work should be as fun as the ones you use at home.”

The other big differentiator to established word processors is that Quip integrates messaging with the documents as they’re created. “It’s like you can see a news feed of changes to the document, and track them,” says Taylor.

Other new features include Comments & Highlighting, Themes (which offers a set of professionally designed type faces with “a range of personalities”), and Document Versioning which, as the name implies, lets you restore the doc to any earlier version all the way back to whenever it was created.

With Comments & Highlighting you can highlight a specific part of a document and have a conversation about it. A message bubble in the margin lets you know a comment has been left which you can read on your desktop, tablet or smartphone and comment on from within the document.

Quip said this ability to have inline comments has been the most frequently requested feature from customers.

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iPad leads the way - surprisingly

Taylor said he’s been surprised that the iPad remains the most popular device among Quip users. 

“We knew the tablet was our hero device, we just weren’t sure the numbers would reflect that, but they have.”

And why's that? 

“I think it’s because people who have tablets want productivity and they seek us out,” he added, noting Quip is optimized for iPad as well as Android tablets, not just smartphones.

Quip also has a version for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. Quip is free for individuals, while there is separate pricing for the Quip Business and Quip Enterprise versions.

(Where and how can tablets replace laptops for work will be one of the key topics of discussion at the Tablet Strategy conference in New York on May 6). 

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