September 13, 2015 ☼ Article
It is safe to say that me and my favourite text-editor iA Writer have a somewhat of a history, at least it was the first text-editor on iOS that I was completely hooked on. Since then the app has seen a quite few updates and iterations, versions and controversies but even after using other editors, I always came back to it found myself at home with it.
Now a new version, iA Writer 3, had been released and it is a merger of the previous and original iA Writer and iA Writer Pro. From my understanding there is from now on only one version of the app. iOS and OSX versions are almost identical in features and definitely feel and behave the same. You know, how much I enjoy writing on the iPad with an external keyboard and often prefer it over working on the desktop and since it feels like a desktop-app on iOS I don’t miss anything there[^1]. The newly added desktop-y toolbar adds to that desktop-like feel.
The iOS version also gained a customisable extra keyboard row, which is another nice addition to the app.
But talking about the desktop…
The new, completely overhauled OSX version of the app, has seen some very nice additions. First, and most obvious the file browser is now built-in, which is something that I hoped would happen one day. Awesome. This integration adds (both on OSX and iOS) a database feel to it, even though the files are still stored as plain-text files in iCloud (or Dropbox depending how you roll). After some experiments with, more like database based-apps in the past I was reminded again of the obvious advantages of sticking to plain-text files. I feel weirdly more safe about my documents and notes when I can see and open the text files from the Finder.
Also new is that the preview-window is now embedded in the app as well, and both the file-browser and the preview can be accessed by swiping from right to left (as on iOS) of via the keyboard shortcuts.
I, of course you guessed it, totally like the latest version, and I am happy to have been in the beta-testing group. The app works very well even on my age-ing 3rd generation iPad. I had some performance with the, now obsolete iA Writer Pro version when using Focus Mode, which are now completely gone. How great is that!
I frequently switch devices and work on different devices over the course of the day and a consistent feel and experience when I am writing is something that I enjoy a lot. Think same design, font, shortcuts… This post for example had been written and worked-on, on the phone, the iPad and the desktop.
If you look for text editor which supports themes or can be scripted you probably don’t want this but if you though look for an app, which is a joy to write in and helps you to focus on your words iA Writer is, IMHO, the best app for you.
You can find more information on the app and links to all it’s versions on iA’s webpage.