Recently I wrote about the problems Texpad is likely to encounter in the App Store after the 1st June. This has prompted concern that we are planning to drop Texpad entirely and move onto other projects. Having just spent 6 weeks rewriting Texpad almost from scratch for the v1.3 update, I can assure you we don’t intend to forget about it.

Unless Apple change their Sandbox policy, it is unlikely that we will be able to continue distributing Texpad through the app store beyond 2012. However, anyone who has bought Texpad App Store will receive free updates if we are forced to distribute through our webstore.

Texpad 1.3, which should be available in the App Store any day now, is a substantial rewrite, but most of the changes are internal refactoring, the intention being to sort some persistent issues and tidy up the codebase ready for the next phase of development. 1.3 fixes many BibTeX and typesetting issues, adds support for Lion Versions and autosave, adds support for Paper’s magic manuscripts, and there has been a reworking of the user interface.

The aspects we intend to concentrate on in the 1.3.x series of updates are global search and autocompletion. With 1.3’s better LaTeX backend we are in a position to autofill tags such as \bibliographystyle and \documentclass by looking for .cls and .bst files in the latex search paths.

Our big plan for Texpad however is to cover more of an academic’s workflow. When writing a paper one is constantly referring back to other papers, wouldn’t it be great if that happened in the right hand pane of Texpad? The first step will be improving BibTeX parsing and adding a bibdesk-style editor for .bib files. Once Texpad knows what papers you are interested in, it can give you the option to view those papers (downloading them if they aren’t already installed). Eventually by just entering an arXiv number and a citekey Texpad can download the paper, display it for you, and add an entry to your central BibTeX file.

In the meantime Texpad 1.3 has been stuck in the App Store review process for longer than usual, but it should be with you any day now. I hope you like it.