Ex-Facebook CTO Bret Taylor and former Googler Kevin Gibbs have officially launched their eagerly anticipated new startup, Quip. (opens in new tab)
Identifying Quip's four core design goals as collaboration, mobility, interactivity and simplicity, the duo said that their "modern word processor" was intended to meet the needs of a new generation of users whose primary computing devices were tablets and smartphones.
"Quip is our perspective on how modern, mobile documents should work. We've re-thought everything — from the user interface to the underlying technology — to create the product that we want to use to get work done every day," they wrote on the Quip blog. (opens in new tab)
The pair added: "We think your time at work should be composed of the same delightful, beautiful experiences you've come to expect from modern mobile apps. We are starting with the word processor, but our mission is to eventually build the productivity suite for the mobile era."
Some of the features that help differentiate Quip from desktop-first productivity software include its use of threading. Everything pertaining to a particular document - related messages, edits, information on who has viewed the document - is integrated into a single, interactive UI. Quip documents are also annotatable in real-time and changes are logged via "diffs," which form a kind of news feed of document edits.
"Every time an edit is made to a document, a diff is added to the thread, which succinctly and visually tells you exactly what has been changed. When you're working with others or checking in from your phone, diffs make it easy to stay up to date, without re-reading the whole document," Quip explains.
Elsewhere, Quip will inform you via Push notifications when there has been a change to a document, while shared folders will help users to organise and share their projects with the relevant people, be they colleagues, friends, or family.
Quip is available to download now. Consumers can get the new product for free, while Quip Business (opens in new tab) offers a range of subscription-based packages to meet enterprise needs.
A full version of Quip is live on the iTunes store, (opens in new tab) while an Android Preview Release is available on Google Play (opens in new tab) to give users a sneak peek while some final "quirks" are ironed out.