Customer Spotlight: Ulysses, the Award-Winning Writing App

Ulysses, the winner of the Apple Design Award 2016 and the Best of App Store 2016, is an app that empowers people to write. With a sleek and distraction-free design, Ulysses offers a pleasant, focused experience through fast syncing, effective folder organization, and flexible export options.

Max and Marcus

The core vision of the founders of Ulysses, Max and Marcus, is to enable writers to do what they didn’t think was possible. Writers often face a unique set of challenges beyond simply writing, including finding the time to write and working without distractions. As a direct response to these pain points, Max and Marcus created a tool that offers an efficient, seamless writing environment for users.

Ulysses was introduced in 2011 as a relatively simple app, and over the years, more features have been added in response to user needs. When Ulysses was being developed for the iPad in 2015, users expected the ability to preview and export to PDF, but the solution for implementing this feature was ambiguous.

Max and Marcus

It was clear to me that it was going to be difficult writing the code to preview PDFs myself, said Max, who is also the company’s Head of Development. There are a few things you wouldn’t want to do on your own, and previewing PDFs is definitely one of them.

Max checked the available open source options and concluded they wouldn’t solve his problem. He elaborated, saying:

You would first need to fix their bugs and then maintain the code yourself indefinitely. It’s a lot of trouble, and we needed something that can be licensed, is maintained, keeps working, and stays reliable.

As the release date of the iPad app grew nearer, Max realized he needed to find a solution soon, so he reached out to PSPDFKit.

Integrating PSPDFKit

Integrating PSPDFKit took less than an hour, Max said of the experience. Initially there were a few bugs because it hadn’t been tested in the way Ulysses uses the framework, but the PSPDFKit team fixed it quickly, over two to three small releases within two weeks’ time.

When using the app, it’s easy to understand why Ulysses has won awards: It has a high-quality feel, with a simple and intuitive design, smooth animations, and robust functionality.

PSPDFKit meets our standard in all those regards; there is simply no comparison, Max said. I don’t have to care [about PDF]. Whenever there’s an issue with an Apple update, I just update the framework and everything works!

Ulysses on macOS

Since its release, students, authors, and bloggers have praised Ulysses on the App Store for its excellent features and thoughtful design. Ulysses is a powerful app for both professional and personal writing because its was born out of a writer’s struggle to find a suitable writing tool. And just as Ulysses solves this struggle for writers, PSPDFKit solves the struggle for developers.

Max concluded:

PSPDFKit does everything we need, because it’s everything we want from a framework. If you need PDF, you need PSPDFKit.