I used to love writing on the iPhone. I got a real kick out of typing 1000-word drafts out on the 3.5″ screen in apps like Notesy and having them sync wirelessly back to my Mac for final editing. Purchasing an iPad 2 changed a lot of my writing habits, and I now prefer to […]
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Quick Look: iA Writer for iPhone

I used to love writing on the iPhone. I got a real kick out of typing 1000-word drafts out on the 3.5″ screen in apps like Notesy and having them sync wirelessly back to my Mac for final editing. Purchasing an iPad 2 changed a lot of my writing habits, and I now prefer to do most of my writing on the tablet, while simply checking up on (and editing) simples notes on the iPhone. I suppose what I’m really trying to say here is that I didn’t quite know what to make of iA Writer for the iPhone, which was released as a free update to the iPad version of the app late last week.

The full-screen writing view, extra punctuation and arrow keys, and the Nitti Light font combine to make iA Writer an instantly-awesome space for generating text. There are no settings to fiddle with and everything is crisp and legible right off the bat. Character and word counts and the oft-touted Focus mode, which blanks blurs text and activates typewriter scrolling on the iPad and Mac, are strangely missing, but I have a feeling we may see the former (at the very least) in a future update.

The handling of documents on the iPhone mirrors the iPad version of iA Writer, with iCloud functioning as the default local storage and syncing service. Dropbox is also accessible from within the app, but you’ll need an Internet connection to be able to see or edit any of your files (whereas documents in iCloud are downloaded directly to the device).

iA Writer lacks search and doesn’t access my Dropbox notes quickly enough for me to drop WriteRoom from my home screen, but it is undeniably easy and fun to use. From th the way the menu bars slide smoothly off the screen, to how good the app icon looks on the Retina Display – everything about iA Writer feels like it has been engineered to effect maximum delight. So, despite my initial skepticism of the app’s utility in my current setup, I’ll definitely be keeping iA Writer on my iPhone. I’m not sure what I’ll use the app for, or how often I’ll really end up using it, but it’s so finely crafted that I can’t bring myself to let it go.

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