Tag: Text editor »
Popular iPad blogging app, Blogsy has just been updated to version 4, adding a variety of new features. This update comes only 2 months since the last major update, which worked hard at making Wordpress functionality work even better for users. It should prove a fine update for users not quite satisfied with the previous build.
This time round, there's support for new platforms such as Squarespace, MetaWeblog, Joomla and Instagram. New for all services include image captioning and word count checking facilities. It's also possible to adjust video alignment and size, with it generally much easier to deal with videos on the whole. WordPress features now include the ability to deal with post excerpts.
Numerous bug fixes have also been included and while it's not quite perfect yet, Blogsy is a much more attractive proposition to bloggers who are regularly on the move.
The Blogsy update is freely available now for existing owners. New adopters can pay up $4.99 for the privilege.
Designer and writer, Brett Terpstra, is looking to make things easier for writers who use their iPads for heavy daily use by compiling a spreadsheet and database that keeps track of iOS text editors and their features.
Terpstra is using a web community and a Google Doc spreadsheet to keep track of the features, price, and device compatibility for as many iOS text editors as possible. He’s also verifying everything on the spreadsheet as often as he can. The site is also compiling the App Store reviews and information about each app.
The spreadsheet keeps track of whether a feature exists and if that feature is available as an in-app purchase. Feature categories tracked include syncing, exporting, and other features. Some of the features include TextExpander, Markdown preview/export, search and replace, character and word count, and web browser.
It's time for text editors to kick it old-school, before graphical user interfaces were the bomb, as Vim is now on iOS. This is not a text editor for the newbie user. In fact, this probably isn't meant for anyone who isn't comfortable with mucking around in command line interfaces. Vim is what is described as a modal editor, where there are different modes to operate in; text can either be entered directly in Insert mode, or commands can be entered in Normal mode. Do not try to jump into Vim without reading about what it is and how to use it. Here's a newbie guide to get started.
Vim can be used for purposes such as typing in code, and text can be highlighted in different colors. As well, by typing in the :new command into Vim for iOS (which is a universal app), two files can be edited simultaneously. Files can be exported and shared through iTunes file sharing. Note that some changes needed to be made to Vim's interface in order for it to work on iOS: in particular, the escape key is now mapped to backspace. Otherwise, typing in ":help ios" in Vim will pull up iOS-specific help.
Vim is an important part of computing history: this is based on the Unix vi text editor, and is a piece of free, open source software available on any platform that it is ported to. It is the text editor used in Terminal on Mac OS X, so it is software that is continuously used to this day.
Vim for iOS has been released by Applidium, who previously released a port of VLC for iOS in 2010. That was pulled in January 2011 due to issues with DRM on App Store downloads violating the GNU Public License - or at least according to Remi Denis-Courmont who complained to Apple about getting it removed. Vim is released under a license that is compatible with the GPL, but under its own license entirely. In this case, Applidium may know what they're doing in order to make sure that free software crusaders can't try to spread the message of free software by having it pulled. Still, interested parties might want to download this one while it's still available.
As a writer and iPad owner, I'm always looking for ways to use my iPad to write effectively. I do not need complex word processing software for my work - I just need simple plaintext editors that can sync with Dropbox, as I need a way to get my text on to an actual computer! Wordpress is still a pain to use effectively on mobile, though an app like Blogsy helps out tremendously. Here are my favorite 4 solutions for cloud-based text editing on iOS.
iA Writer: This text editor's greatest strength is its simplicity: pretty much the only setting that needs to be configured is Dropbox syncing, because it's the only setting. Files can be saved anywhere on Dropbox, and there's even iCloud support, which works with the Mac version of the software. The focus mode makes it much easier to just type without distraction, and the additional controls above the software keyboard make typing and editing text on the iPad screen far easier than any other app.
Notesy: This app's strengths are twofold: first, it features great automatic saving to Dropbox. While it only can sync up to one directory for saving files, it does have subdirectory support. The app also offers universal support, something that iA Writer lacks, which makes it easy for me to type up articles on my iPod touch when I'm not near my iPad, or in a situation where it's easier to use than the iPad.
Daedalus: What this app does differently is that it uses a stack-based interface, where text documents can be stored in logically-arranged groups of files. This works well for multitaskers who need to work on just specific sections of text at a time, like when composing lists, or for those who want some kind of visual arrangement of their work. Daedalus also has multiple display themes, customizable buttons above the keyboard, and multiple file export options.
Nocs: This app is designed for those who use Markdown; while it does type up plaintext and support editing of txt files in Dropbox, what this app brings to the table is the ability to convert Markdown to HTML easily. For those unaware of Markdown, it's essentially a variety of HTML formatting commands that are designed to be easier to type in than most HTML formatting is, and to look presentable when viewed as plaintext. Nocs can convert Markdown-formatted text into HTML files, suitable for pasting into Wordpress or anywhere else needed. Did I mention it's also free and universal?
There are a lot of text editors out there for the iPhone and iPad. I should know, considering I have 4 on my iPad vying for my attention on a regular basis. Elements is the latest addition, thanks to a new update which is clearly setting out to be ahead of the rest.
Recently reaching its 2.0 release, Elements offers a lot above what we saw when we last looked at it. Besides the basic functionality that all text editors tend to provide, Elements allows users to edit Markdown formatted documents also. It stores all its data on the user's personal Dropbox account too ensuring that all data is accessible from any device at any time. 2.0 has also added support for other sharing methods with the ability to publish articles as a text post on Tumblr or as a note on Facebook. Evernote exporting is also now available. Support for exporting files in both HTML and PDF formats is available too. Finally, Elements has also benefited from a redesigned UI making it that bit more pleasant to use.
Elements is out now priced at $4.99. Previous owners can of course download this update for free. This seems like an ideal time to return to it.