Clearly some creative thinking is needed to get Final Draft onto Android

Opening of Relativity

Project I’ve written using Final Draft 7 on Windows.

Those of you who know me reasonably well, know that I like to write stuff. Like the short film script pictured above or the odd comic. And I don’t like using a basic word-processor when writing scripts for screen or comics, I like to use programmes such as Final Draft. I have a laptop PC and a tablet with a keyboard.

The laptop is a heavy hitting, multimedia machine that’s built for gaming and audio-video editing. I do take it out and about sometimes, but it’s not travel friendly. Then there’s my tablet, which I can do a lot of things with: casually game, organise my life, watch videos, social media, blog – a gentle mixture of fun stuff and work.

But it’s an Android tablet. And Final Draft is pretty much refusing to work on an Android version of their software. There’s an iOS version, because (as far as I can tell) a) the screen sizes are standardised b) American creatives do appear to obsess over Apple products.

To be honest I could go and buy yet another portable device, like a notebook, but then again FD could just pick out the screen sizes of the high end, best selling, Android devices and programme for them. Like what’s been done for Grand Theft Auto III, which is compatible with my tablet. I don’t even mind paying a bit extra.

Anyway, here’s a conversation I’ve had with Final Draft over Twitter, during the past day:

Final Draft not on android 1 Final Draft not on android 2 Final Draft not on android 3 Final Draft not on android 4

Basically – if there was a will there would be a way, but I don’t think there’s currently a will. And I do think that due to the obsession the creative industries (especially in the US) currently have with Apple systems, other operating systems are being overlooked. But this is short sighted, because market share figures are not clear cut and shows that other formats need to be considered.

Seriously – pagination? Uh, what the heck did they use to do with different desktop screen sizes, resolutions, zooms…? I’m sorry, but Final Draft’s reasons are not good enough for a professional company explaining the absence of their software on Android.

UPDATE 21/03

Final Draft not on android 5 Final Draft not on android 6

Still not good enough.

UPDATE #2

Final Draft basically just jumped around my suggestion of having a report function in the Android app that would translate what the Android app displays into some stats that say what it is equal to on desktop or printed. All smelling like money, and while iOS is dominant, it’s not completely dominant, especially outside of the US.

Final Draft not on android 7 Final Draft not on android 8 Final Draft not on android 9 Final Draft not on android 10 Final Draft not on android 11 Final Draft not on android 12

They really, really didn’t understand my solution. It doesn’t matter what was displayed on the Android tablet’s screen, what would matter is a report back function to say what it was pagination would be like on desktop or printed.

Meanwhile, someone’s put this on Reddit and the debate is ongoing there.

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4 thoughts on “Clearly some creative thinking is needed to get Final Draft onto Android

  1. I understand that they need to maintain standards, but the fact that they haven’t even tried to tackle the issue means losing support from non Apple users. It’s a nonesensical move. They didn’t even imply that they were looking into the problem and trying to create a fix for it, instead waiting for something to happen on Android’s part.

    It’s not impossible to sort out. Why are all other companies paying attention, when Final Draft isn’t. Surely it’s more difficult to get 4oD on Android than Final Draft, and low and behold, they’ve actually done it! Took them a while, but at least we knew it was in development.

    • “Why are all other companies paying attention…?” Have you seen the Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite apps on Android? There’s a reason so many commercial grade apps aren’t on Android: it’s a fragmented beast of a platform to develop for. I don’t blame any commercial software developer for avoiding Android if the vast majority of their users are on a combination of Windows, Mac and iOS.

      • It really isn’t that hard. What Final Draft are saying is rubbish and their excuse is laughable. Take websites for example, they display at all different resolutions and show different amounts of the page. Just because an entire page of script may or may not fit onto one screen, who cares? The important thing is that you can tell where the page ends, not that it fits on a single screen. My word.

  2. Why isn’t anyone mentioning DubScript? It’s on the market and imports/exports Final Draft? (Maybe not at the time OP originally wrote it, but it’s true now…)

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