Writing is bliss, all the more if it is un-distracted. No menu-bar, no tool bar, no buttons- absolutely nothing; just plain white sheet welcoming the flow, catalyzing the creation- from mind to words to paper, un-disturbed, smooth, natural- like the formation of a rainbow or the gentle drops of the spring rain - peaceful and melodious.
One of the ipad apps that makes the writing experience so wonderful is iA Writer. The app offers a neat, uncluttered, plain white surface to type on. No buttons to obstruct your flow, no formatting to be done, just write - write to your heart’s content.
Word Counts, Syncing And More
The app gives you the word and character counts every time you let the type pad go out of view- a great facility for keeping yourself within the word count limits or meeting your target of number of words written in a sitting as practiced by some of the writers. If you just touch tap these count figures, it will show you the reading times for the entire text as well as till the point you have placed your cursor at.
The app offers syncing through icloud or Dropbox. It has an advanced file browser to enable you to organize all your texts. Auto-correction is a great help - silent and un-distracting.
The app uses Markdown formatting, allowing you to format your text merely by adding a few simple characters, such as for emphasis and importance.
Undo and Redo is a breeze. Just tap the page and choose Undo from the popup menu — you can also Redo from the same menu.
Starting a new document is as simple as touching the plus sign- a whole new neat white plane appears for you to begin your writing.
You can also attach an external keyboard if you want to, though I have felt more comfortable with the on screen soft keyboard.
The app is localized for Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese.
The Star Feature-Focus Mode
The feature that really won my heart is the small focus button on the top right- just touch it and the app switches to the focus mode; the entire writing fades except for the couple of lines you have placed your cursor at. This is a great help to really focus on your writing at that point- even your own writing is not there to distract you! A super-cool feature.
Processing And Exporting
Once you are done with your writing, you can further process it using:
- Open In option to open your work in a word processor of your choice such as pages for formatting, etc.
- Print option to get it printed for you to take further actions such as making improvements, annotations, etc. on paper, the old fashioned way. You can print directly on an air print enabled printer.
- Copy option to copy the plain or the formatted text, or just the link to the shared copy or the HTML code.
- Email option to email in-line the plain text, or send an attached copy of the text with your email or email the formatted text.
- Preview to simply view whatever you have written in an optimized font and point size. This is specially helpful when you have written a long piece.
Simply put, this app is a true pleasure to use. An app worth its price- every penny of it.
Download Link: iA Writer by Information Architects Inc. (itunes.apple.com/pk/app/ia-writer/id392502056?mt=8)