Scribe Review
iPhone App
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Scribe Review

Our Review by Arron Hirst on January 22nd, 2014
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GOOD, BUT LIMITED
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Scribe's innovative use of Bluetooth LE to allow the transfer of data between Mac and iOS is refreshingly awesome. Sadly, this also comes with its limitations.

Developer: Hippo Foundry Inc
Price: FREE (+ $2.99 for the Mac client)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5s

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Scribe is a new utility for the iPhone that gives users the ability to copy data snippets from their Mac to their iOS device without the need for a Wi-Fi connection. It uses the Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) profile supported by most of Apple's current-generation devices and Mac systems to send small snippets of text, URLs, and small photos over the air to one's iOS clipboard.

Using Scribe for the iPhone is as simple as making sure the Bluetooth setting is activated. This can be achieved by heading to Settings > Bluetooth > On. Users will then need the Scribe menu bar client. This is sold separately and available on the Mac App Store for $2.99. They will also need to ensure that they have a supported Mac. Scribe currently supports the Macbook Air (2011 or newer), Macbook Pro (2012 or newer), iMac (Late 2012 or newer), Mac Mini (2011 or newer), Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer), iPhone 4S or newer), iPad (3rd generation or newer), iPad Mini (all generations) and iPod Touch (5th generation or newer).

Using Scribe is pretty intuitive. The initial setup process requires installing and opening Scribe for Mac, then launching Scribe for iPhone. The app linked with my iPhone in seconds, then proceeded to walk me through the three different methods I could use to send snippets and images. The first is using the universal keyboard shortcut of “CTL + SHFT + X.” Alternatively, users can also use the built-in OS X “Services” menu, which is viewable with a right click on the item that they wish to send to Scribe. Or those who prefer to copy and paste first can use the “Send From Clipboard” option from the Scribe menu bar in OS X.

Overall, the app works as one would expect. Successfully copied snippets were marked with a visual notification on iOS, and opening Scribe on the iPhone from this notification provided all the necessary options to e-mail, copy, and share the snippet to the iOS clipboard. Scribe appears to work especially well with contacts, links, and small snippets of text - although not so much with transferring photos and images. I'm not sure if this is solely a limitation of using Bluetooth LE over Wi-Fi, but Scribe itself says it will currently only transfer very small images. That could be a major drawback for some. Transferring something larger than what Scribe can currently handle, results in the following error (with mixed results).

If it wasn't for its limitations regarding the transfer of images, Scribe would probably be in my top ten iOS utilities to take advantage of on a day-to-day basis. As the app currently stands, and without the option to use Wi-Fi for data transfer, I could probably leave it. That said, those who rely on transferring small snippets of text - in quick succession - will likely love Scribe.

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