Quip is stepping into the ring with Microsoft Office.
This week Quip released a desktop native version of its word processing and spreadsheet software, giving Mac and PC users the ability to modify files with Quip while offline.
When a user logs into Quip Desktop, the app downloads all their files locally. When a user logs in later, any changes will sync with the copy that’s stored on Quip’s server, and push out to anyone that the document has been shared with. Just like in the mobile app, users on shared documents will be able to see where their collaborators are editing in real time and send messages back and forth.
Push notifications are available to keep users updated when a new document is shared with them, or when another user sends them a message inside Quip. On Mac there are a few extra features: Quip Desktop works with Apple’s Spotlight search to access their personal documents, plus the documents shared with them. It also works with the Handoff feature, allowing people to pass a document back and forth between devices.
When it was launched two years ago, Quip was only available on the web, iPhone and iPad as a collaborative word processor. Since then it has added support for spreadsheets as well as Android devices. The addition of a native desktop app stems from a surge in usage on the website, roughly half of all usage, which is up from 20 percent when Quip was introduced.
In a post on Medium, one of the founders claimed that the app, which is free for personal use, can open documents faster than both Word for the Mac and Google Docs. But considering the fact that Microsoft will bring online collaboration tools to their desktop productivity apps with Office 2016, Quip’s desktop app may not have the impact the company hopes.