Anything that Drafts 4 can that the non-pro Drafts 5 cannot?


I read that article on The Sweet Setup.

It is just saying that most things are already contained in the non-pro version.
It does not argument towards or against subscriptions in general.

And don’t get me wrong, I wrote about my feelings and fears in regards to a world, where then ALL apps use subscription models!


I’m down to 619 apps :slight_smile:

I cleaned them down from having initially installed ALL apps I ever bought on this iPad.
I have one Apple page, one production page, one painting and photo page, three musical pages and 2 pages with games. Most pages contain lots of folders, sorted by app type. Want Screenshots? :smile:

But I have 0 subscriptions

May I ask which subscriptions you could cancel after Drafts 5?


It sounds like if you don’t want a subscription model you should stick with Drafts 4 or one of the other text editors that you purchased.

You could also try just using the non-pro Drafts 5 which is already quite capable.


I tried to read more into the differences between 4 and 5, and it seems that tags are new in 5.
Tags would be an invaluable addition to me.
So it seems I should forget about Drafts 4 and try my luck with the non-pro version of 5.


The link to the Sweet Setup article was simply to provide an independent view of someone who seems to have started out with the same view, but then through the course of trying the application revised their position. I didn’t intend it as a for or against, just to highlight that it might be worth trying it for a month to see if your view changed like the author’s did.

As you note, it does point out that most of the functionality is in the free version of the app. Note that should you subscribe and then lapse your subscription, you would not lose anything save for the features you gain through the subscription. You would not ‘lose the app’ as you stated above.

Greg has been developing applications for iOS now for quite a while. I’m pretty sure that since his livelihood probably had a dependency on it he might have run some figures to work out what would and would not work. Therefore unless you had the details of the figures and analytics he has to draw upon for years of Drafts development and sales then you have to admit you are working on assumptions. Again, go back to what Tim (@nahumck) referred to about Greg actually talking and writing about this publicly. All the points you are putting forward have come up before. Look to discussions about TextExpander, Microsoft Office, 1Password (though I realise they offer a choice here … based on features), etc. that have occurred over the last few years and it’ll sound quite familiar in terms of the pros and cons.

Back in February you bought Drafts 4. That app still exists and has not lost any of its functionality. You still have what you paid for and you can still make use of it. It is no less of an app than it was previously. If it helps frame it for you, why not imagine that the developer of Drafts ended its development and a new developer came along with a similar idea but it is subscription based. How would that change your views? Not at all, or does it counter the historic version references entirely? I’m not sure.

Remember. You don’t have to spend any money at all to get Drafts 5 and run it alongside Drafts 4. You only have to spend money if you want to use any of the subscription features.

In terms of subscription overload then that is a very real thing for most of us. As a result I would imagine most of us look at the subscriptions we have and review if they offer us the same value as they did when we chose to sign up for them. Over time that has not been the case for me and when a subscription has ceased to be of enough value I have cancelled it or let it lapse. I have a finite amount of money and every subscription has to earn its place. For now, Drafts has. That may not be true next year of the year after. Time will tell, but I’m pretty sure Greg will be working hard to try and retain every subscriber he can. But as it is we are not in a world where all apps are subscription based. We have arrived in a world where apps have gone from tens thousands of pounds (my first copy of Microsoft Office Pro for Windows 95 was well over 500 GBP) to ‘the price of a coffee’. Many of the ‘coffee’ apps have now been abandoned and where I used them I’ve moved on. I’m actually happy to see an app like Drafts (which is now offering a free non-pro vs. paid pro scenario) not be counted in the ‘coffee’ category any more. It gives me more confidence in its future.

From everything you’ve said, and your economic assumptions aside, I’m not convinced at this time you would benefit from the subscription.

I still think you should check out Drafts 4 and Drafts 5 and see if there is anything that makes you want to try the subscription out at all. If there is, then maybe next week or the week after you might try just a month of the subscription. After that you really get to decide on what the return on investment (both service and in Agile Tortoise) would be.


Dear sylumer,
i realy did not intend to start some fight here!

I just came to get help in regards to using either Drafts 4 or 5 (non-pro).
After reading what was written and reconsidering the options, i think i will start with Drafts 5 and just skip Drafts 4.

I do fear that at one point i may feel the need to get the subscriptions features.

Subscriptions in general:

What i wrote about subscriptions is my deeply felt opinion and everything i wrote was just an argument against subscriptions in general.
It was not a bashing of the developer of Drafts!

Subscriptions will hurt the customers and finally hurt most of the developers.


There is only one economic model that works - the model that always worked for everything:

You have a competition of developers and you have a market for their apps, where a certain amount of money is available in total and then you have the customers, that finally distribute that money.

And all of this only works when customers finally get what they want and in turn provide enough money to the developers.

That means that there are good reasons to have the developer STAY in competition.
And the subscription model is breaking this. It bind the customers money to some few developers and in turn removes the competition from the developer, as he get´s money anyway.
This is bad!

iOS ecomonics:

In the low-price world of iOS, developers can only get new money for new Apps or from new customers.

So far, the normal model was “buy once, use forever - including any updates and fixes”, as we know it from Windows.

This needs to change to “buy once, use forever - including necessary fixes, but without major additions and major new features”!

This is the only economic model for iOS that reaches those two goals:
Have a competition between developers and fix the problem that developers could only get money from new customers or from totally new app.

Subscriptions at Drafts:

And now returning to Drafts and it´s developer:

You are right, we don´t know his economics in regards to this app.

But i can only image that the list of subscribers is by far fewer that the list of customers who bought a former version of Drafts.

That may still prove to be OK for him, as the price is about 4 times higher than formerly and is returning every year. But that blocks out very much existing and future customers! That is not a Good Thing for a developer and his Apps. Even with subscriptions, you need to expand the market, continue to improve your apps and get more customers.

The other solution:

I am sure that he could increase this income when he - maybe addionally - offers major versions like 5, 6, 7, … at PRO level for a fixed prices, maybe even that of a yearly subscription!

This way, old and new customers could jump on the band wagon who never would consider a subscription!
And they would get a stable, supported version … until the next version arrives, one year later or even longer.

But they could continue to use their old version!
If the new version is good, they WILL finally buy it anyway.

And this is totaly conform with i wrote above, the ecomics are right and both customers and developers benefit!

So, maybe i could explain a bit better what i was trying to say :slight_smile:
Best wishes!




I’ve cancelled the following so far (there might be others in the future):

  • DayOne ($50/year)
  • Ulysses ($40/year)

Those apps are great, but I don’t need to spend the money for them because Drafts replaces it. Drafts also serves as a replacement for multiple single apps (too many to list here). Overall, it saves some money for me. That’s where I find the value.


Thank you very much!

I could not answer more early, as the forum said that i need to wait 13 hours - very strange idea :smiley:

I always was interested in Ulysses, but you know … subscription :smile:

But then, if Drafts even replaced Ulysses for you, maybe at one day i will be ready for a subscription too.
Time will tell.

I am currently reading lots of things about Drafts, Actions, JavaScript and start using Drafts 5, downloaded lots of actions and so on (totally confused) …

One sad thing is, that it only seems to support iCloud to backup stuff.
But then, i don´t like to store unencrypted things in the cloud anyway, so support for Cryptomator would be great :sunny: :blush:

Thanks for your attention and help!


the automatic backups are to iCloud but you can integrate actions with other cloud services.


Thanks …

BTW, I have already started my trial week … I was already missing Workspaces and different Themes.
I was falling more in love with every minute.

I think, this will be my very first subscription, even if my above (general) thoughts are still valid :wink:


Subscriptions are an app by app value proposition. We’re working hard to make a commitment to delivering that value. We hope we can for you.


for me subscriptions and their value are a case by case basis. I’m happy to support Drafts this way because I use it’s features, and while I may not be the most “power” of the power users, I’m definitely closer to that side than just what the free app does. So it’s a no brainer for me.

And really that’s what I think about with all subscriptions. I am subscribed to various services (like Dropbox and Netflix) but as far as regular apps, the only other two are Overcast (I’m listening to podcasts constantly and want to support the development ) and 1password, which is vital for me and my family. Had Workflow ever gone the subscription route I would have done that one too. That’s basically it for me. Its all about choosing on a case by case basis. If an app goes subscription and doesn’t offer the value for me, I just don’t get it. If it does offer value, then it’s a no brainer.


I balance my list of subscriptions accordingly. Like most, I can’t afford to subscribe to everything.

At the end of the day it is all about how you assign value. I don’t work for free, so I conversely don’t mind paying for top of the line work in return.

The bottom line for me is that Drafts 5 Pro doesn’t disappoint; it truly is a tool it saves me a ton of time, makes my life easier with key solutions for how I work on iOS. A yearly Drafts 5 Pro subscription is literally 0.05476; 5 cents (USD) a day.

And I can hardly wait for the upcoming macOS version that will be part of it all.

Best of luck!


I’m Windows based, so this is very sad for me.

But why I am constantly complaining about subscriptions, is not because I am not willing to spend money.

I think I wrote that 2 times above: There is a better solution than subscriptions to help out both customers and developers!

Subscriptions cannot work for all apps and developers - but this is what I see growing, which is very bad.

And I will be part of that, as Drafts will be my first subscription.


Subscriptions don’t work for all app, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t best for SOME apps. And having been a Drafts 4 user and a Drafts 5 user, it seems to me like this is a good fit.


Wow! I love Drafts, but I couldn’t ditch Day One for it!

Did not see that one coming!


I bought drafts 4 even when 5 was released. I had the chance Tibet’s test 5 but ran out of time to really tell if subscription was really worth it for me. So I paid the £4.99 for version 4. Now I’m aiming to use this more with no time limitation. I then will make the decision on 5 when I’m ready. I’m just not sure if I’d really get my money’s worth out of 5 especially since I’m still trying to work the use of the app into every day use cases.


Well coming from the dim and distant past I can remember when a copy of word, excel etc cost upwards of $100 each, Photoshop and the like were in the 100’s of dollars. The result (on windows) hundreds of cracked bug/virus ridden versions infecting peoples computers.

I actually can not see any difference between paying a small, come on it’s really is very little, yearly subscription and paying for a new app each year.

Software costs money to develop and the culture of a race to the bottom in price and quality benefits nobody, and devs need to eat and prosper. However subscriptions only work for certain apps, for me that is those that provide value in what I do, so I pay for Drafts, but I dropped Bear and Ulysses as they were not giving me a good return on investment. I also pay for Gsuite, inoreader, and a couple of others. I would also happily pay a sub for Omnifocus but they have a different business model. Drafts however is without doubt worth the money to me, even though I have probably not scratched the surface of what it is actually capable of.

Subscriptions can run away from you, but like everything its just discipline. The bottom line is if you want it be prepared or able to pay for it or you simply can’t have it, that’s life and really no good kicking too much against it. I would love an Aston Martin!

Personally I would rather have 10 apps that allow me to get done what I need, than 700 (which I really doubt its possible to use that many anyway) just sitting there. That said I do not play games, life throws me enough suprises and challenges without paying for more.:wink:


That’s my aim. Even 33 seems like a fine number. Somehow, I keep overshooting the mark.