Most apps that offer project collaboration come with some sort of messenger-like capabilities. In the past, we have seen services like Grid and Basecamp on iOS, with each having some exclusive advantage of its own over competitors. While Grid focuses more on media sharing, Basecamp is pretty powerful when it comes to collaborating on files belonging to varying formats. The newly released Quip for iOS (and preview version available for Android, with a stable release coming soon) is another player in the same genre, but it focuses on documents and messaging, making it a simple solution for teams working on any project involving a lot of writing or documentation. Having said that, Quip isn’t limited to just text, as you can also create tables, share images and format documents within the app. The icing on the cake is the app’s ability to let each project’s participants interact using messaging threads that come with all ongoing projects in Quip.
When Quip is launched for the first time, it shows a really detailed tutorial, although the app is fairly easy to use. First of all, users have to create a new account by providing Quip with their email address. Once logged in, you’ll be shown an inbox containing some example messages and projects to help you get started. To get the most out of the app, you should invite some of your friends to start using Quip, since that is what the whole ‘collaboration’ part is about. People who are already on iOS are not the only ones who can use the service; Quip is available on the web, and an Android variant is in the works too (with the preview already available).
To create a new document, swipe down the inbox and hit the blue ‘+’ button from the next screen. It is really easy to start working on a document in Quip; just define a title, and begin typing. The formatting options available include adjusting paragraph alignment, creating tables/lists, and choosing heading styles. Users also get to add images to their docs, or tag a contact within a document for easy editing.
Whenever a document is created in Quip, an accompanying messaging thread appears next to it automatically. Even if you are not collaborating with anyone on a project, the messaging area can be used for commenting and maintaining additional notes. To invite other Quip users to collaborate, hit the top-right icon on the messaging screen and provide the app with their email address. The app is really thorough when it comes to collaboration options, with read receipts, notifications, and activity logs available for all involved parties.
Quip is a free app and comes display-optimized for all iOS devices. The full Android app is expected to be released soon as well.