iA Writer. iPad App Review
Developer: Information Architects Inc
Version Reviewed: 1.0
iPad Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
iA Writer. is another drop-box enabled text editor for the iPad, however the developers have done an extraordinary amount of work to ensure that it works by letting you focus on what is important, your text. There are no fancy display options, no settings (other than the Drop Box enabling) and just a single document for instructions. It adds a little, but offers a lot, for a simple Text Editor.
The theory behind being able to quickly and effectively write is that you can stay focused. What iA Writer does is create an environment where you simply focus on what you're typing. The "Focus Mode" fades everything but the last few sentences you wrote into the background so you can work on what you're doing at that one moment. The feature that I enjoyed most is that it disables all the cut/copy/paste popups and spelling correction popups so that you won't get distracted while you're trying to write.
The second thing I most liked about this App is the additional keys given to the top-row of the keyboard which include an automatic previous/next word and single character cursor movement buttons and all the extra punctuation keys not usually on the main iPad Keyboard (I especially appreciate the parentheses because these are particularly hard to flip back and forth to get, twice within a short period of time).
Once you set up your Drop Box account you can sync all the documents on your iPad. I'm so delighted that this is quickly becoming a default feature of text editors, becuase at this point I simply wouldn't use one that didn't have it, I've come to rely on it so much. However, I wish that the integration in Writer was a bit better. Firstly, you need to manually sync your dropbox whenever you want to upload or change a new edit. I'm not a big fan of having to manually sync -- though as there is no 'save' option, I see how implementing autosync could get tricky.
While I appreciate the thought and research that went into choosing the typeface, size and spacing for the App's actual look, I do wish that I had an option to edit the font display size. While it's big and clear, I find it's maybe a bit too big for me personally.
Overall, I do have to say that I enjoy the focused feel of this App, and I'm going to try and use it for all my mobile writing for the time being. The devs have gone out of their way to try to make writing easier, and I think they've at least succeeded at creating a decent, useful Text Editor - and those who will use and like this App will probably have a hard time going back to another.