iA Writer for iPad

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ptram
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Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:39 pm Post


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druid
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Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:34 am Post

I must be from another planet.
None of the stuff in that app would be helpful to me.

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AmberV
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Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:51 am Post

Being from Saturn, natively, I like iA Writer too. :) Once it gets proper folder navigation so it can interface with Scrivener's sync folders, it will be my favourite iPad text editor.
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Amaru
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Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:02 am Post

The app is beautiful, and the design deserves a prize. But in terms of usability, iA Writer is not quite there yet. The lack of subfolder support, for instance, is a glaring omission. I was trying to take notes for a couple of projects and the interface became a nuisance after I accumulated more than twenty files. I explored other options, and found that Notebooks, although not as pretty, is real workhorse for the iPad--I have written more than 10,000 words there already.

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IRJH
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Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:22 pm Post

iA does not care at all what users need because "the app is beautiful, and the design deserves a prize".

I wrote about 15000 words recently in Writings which I *really* like but the lack of a keyboard extension made it too difficult to continue with. right now I am actually using Writer and I sync to Scrivener via Dropbox/Simplenote but it is a pain. I am not using the focus mode in Writer since it does not display word count.

Notebooks is extremely nice in terms of features, just awsome and revolutionary but I have been hating the interfcae so much that I just cannot write using this app. It is possible to use Nebulous in parallel with Notebooks but it has no live word count.

What I want is Writings with custom keybord like Nebulous has. And, if possible, a better option for shuffeling around the files on the desk. Why is it so difficult for developers to produce something useful? I am curious about Daedalus which has been in the makings for ever now so it probably will never be released.

Amaru wrote:The app is beautiful, and the design deserves a prize. But in terms of usability, iA Writer is not quite there yet. The lack of subfolder support, for instance, is a glaring omission. I was trying to take notes for a couple of projects and the interface became a nuisance after I accumulated more than twenty files. I explored other options, and found that Notebooks, although not as pretty, is real workhorse for the iPad--I have written more than 10,000 words there already.

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brett
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Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:58 pm Post

It's back on sale for 99¢. At that price, even without folders, rtf capability, and a few other desirable features, I may give it a try. Apparently, they're working on a desktop OSX version as well.

For a $1 plain text iPad editor, no matter how nice, the question for me is, is it really a dollar more useful than PlainText, SimpleNote or other free options? Amber? Anyone?

I'm trying to avoid buying the expensive and (by some accounts) clunky Pages for the iPad, and hoping that someone will make or has made a good, inexpensive rtf-capable iPad writing app. Anyone know of one?

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AmberV
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Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:21 pm Post

Well I certainly don't feel as though I wasted my cash for this one, and I spent more than $1 on it. I really like the aesthetic, and the modified keyboard is extremely useful for doing the sorts of things the iPad is otherwise really weak at, including such basic tasks as moving the cursor around, let alone buried punctuation.

But yeah, if you don't like how it looks in the screenshots, don't bother. There are no aesthetic preferences at all, so what you see with the font size, face, and layout is just the way it is. If you like that, then it's great.
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druid
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Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:47 am Post

brett wrote:For a $1 plain text iPad editor, no matter how nice, the question for me is, is it really a dollar more useful than PlainText, SimpleNote or other free options? Amber? Anyone?

I'm trying to avoid buying the expensive and (by some accounts) clunky Pages for the iPad, and hoping that someone will make or has made a good, inexpensive rtf-capable iPad writing app. Anyone know of one?


EverNote has RTF and it's free.
Also a nice writing interface.
But export is only in XML or HTML.
Only route to Scrivener seems via copy & paste.
Still, it works.

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Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:49 am Post

Thanks, I didn't realize that about Evernote. I've avoided it because of various criticisms but should probably try it, as it seems to be one of the most popular apps on the iPhone. Guess that's another thread, though.

I liked the Writer screenshots so much that I went ahead and downloaded it, despite a rather flip reply from the developer in response to a couple questions I'd emailed. Gonna test drive it when I'm on a story assignment out of town this weekend. I'm going to try to use only the iPad (with BT keyboard) instead of the Air, just to see how it works. I'm going to be in situations where the iPad would be a lot less obtrusive and probably useful than a laptop would be. The big problem is that I have to file my story the morning after my late night return, and I'd rather be able to use SCrivener on the plane flight home to write it. So I guess I'll be bringing both iPad and Air, but at least I'll only have to carry the iPad around with me all weekend to take notes in Writer, and just use the Air in the hotel room and on the plane when it comes time to actually put the story together in Scrivener. Will try to post a note about my experience with Writer here afterwards.

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IRJH
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Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:09 pm Post

just an update on Writer, Notebooks and co. versus Writings. wrote several 1000 words in each of the 2 other apps but went back to Writings. It is the only app that lets me forget the app as such.
Notebooks has folders and textexpander support and many cool features but it totally, totally sucks at writing, it is a pain to edit anything in or to get written some stuff with it. A pain. I do not say it was not possible but it can drive me mad.
Writer has a useful custom keyboard but lacks textexpander and a good file browser. And it somehow is boring like hell. Maybe it it is the page witdth or something.
Writings does lack folders and custom keyboard but it has the possibility for fine adjusting cursor position and it supports textexpander. The developer is going to add folder support in the near future it appears. I sync it with Scrivener via Simplenotes (which is as unreliable as hell and just so totally terrible but the only option as long as there is no folder support in the respective writing app).
Well, that was just in case I was too negative in my previous posting about apps for writing anything on the iPad.

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Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:21 am Post

Thanks for the useful info. I'm stocking up on apps as they go on sale. I ordered an iPad 2 for my wife (it's part of my long-term plan to get back control of the MacBook). I got iA Writer and Writings for $.99 each so she can try them both. She's fanatical about Angry Birds so I'll get that, of course. I don't think she'll be doing much writing on her iPad, though. Email, surfing, and games, I think. I'd appreciate any app suggestions that you might think useful or fun.
Occasionally, I'll be using it... i.e. when she's asleep. if I get stuck with jury duty again this year the iPad would be nice because of its battery life.




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IRJH
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Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:02 pm Post

the iPad 2 is made by the devel and just good for procrastination. iMovie and all that stuff. Where I live, it will not be available anytime too soon. good.
This OmmWriter or whatever it is called will come to the iPad but given its stone age file handling on the Mac, I do not expect other than zen sound (nothing against zen sound btw). I got accepted as beta tester for Writings and I love this app, but it lacks zen sounds. but it is possible to create plain text documents with words in them. and then sync with the Mac for editing. I do not ask for more.

And concerning the focus mode in Writer: when writing on iPad, the space above the keybord is so small that the focus mode is, hmmm, well lets say I do not see the point.

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AmberV
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Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:14 pm Post

IRJH wrote:And concerning the focus mode in Writer: when writing on iPad, the space above the keybord is so small that the focus mode is, hmmm, well lets say I do not see the point.


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Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:33 pm Post

Thank you all for this thread. I've had my new iPad 2 for a week, and I'm not really comfortable with Simplenote synching. I hate writing in that app (because I hate Helvetica for writing). I also bought Index Card but I just don't like to write a whole scene on the back of a card. Other than that, at least I love the way it brings new documents right away into Scrivener. But I see that it can't actually modify an existing document (not exactly good for real synching, but to bring new texts into my project).

Therefore, after reading all this, I've tried iWrite and I love the interface, but I haven't been able to synch it directly with Scrivener. So far, my best idea is to paste the text written in iWrite into Index Card and, from there synchronize it with Scrivener. (Or drag and drop straigt from my Dropbox folder).

I would like to know how exactly do other people synchronize Notebooks with Scrivener. I've not tried that one yet. Until we have an iPad version of Scrivener, I would at least be happy with a nice writing software that alouds me to upload my new files into Scrivener with a single clic or synch. Of course, my ideal scenario would be to be able to carry at least big parts of my nicely organized draft with me, without loosing any formatting.

Any further ideas?

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Amaru
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Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:39 pm Post

I have been using Notebooks with Scrivener for a couple of projects now (a 15,000 word story entirely written in Notebooks and the editing of a 90,000 word novel). To my mind, Notebooks is the closest thing to Scrivener on the iPad. The best way to synchronize both apps is via Dropbox (free). I would suggest the following steps:

  • Setup Dropbox in your computer. This will create a local folder.
  • Say "~/Dropbox".
  • Setup Notebooks in your iPad to synch with Dropbox. This will create a "Notebooks" folder in your local Dropbox folder. Say "~/Dropbox/Notebooks".
  • Open your Notebooks app on your iPad and create a folder for your project. This will create another folder in your local Dropbox. Say "~/Dropbox/Notebooks/Project"
  • Now, setup Scrivener to sync with a external folder, and pick your project's folder ("–/Dropbox/Notebooks/Project").
From this point on, every time you update your project in Scrivener, it will sync with Dropbox on exit. When you open your project in Notebooks, make sure you synch with Dropbox before and after. When you open the same project in Scrivener, it will prompt you to accept the changes you made in Notebooks. It sounds much more complicated than it is, because after you do the setup, everything is almost seamless.

The magic of this setup is that thanks to Keith, even though Notebooks uses text files only, when you sync your project, Scrivener retains all the formatting (such as boldface and italics) in the unchanged sections of the text. Those sections changed are matched to the regular font of the rest of your text.
Last edited by Amaru on Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.