Review: Writer.

A while back I saw on Twitter that Oliver Reichenstein over at Information Architects was working on a new writing app for the iPad. That was right around the time e iPad came out, so it has been a while now. Since then we have had Simplenote which has gone from good to great.

This morning met me with some real joy when I saw that iA had released their long waited writing app caller ‘Writer.’ pretty neat and at $5 I said why not and purchased it. Little did I know it is not compatible with iOS 4.2 beta 1 which I have installed on my iPad.

In fairness the only thing that doesn’t work is auto scrolling and scrolling at all in the ‘focus’ mode pain. Making the app annoying to use but not impossible.

The Only Thing You Need to Know

Doing a full review of Writers features would be a rather boring affair, it is a text editor that is full screen and syncs with your Dropbox. Simple enough. The one thing though that really truly sets Writer apart is the font that it uses.

The font is not Helvetica, it is not Georgia, the font is called Nitti Light and it is monospaced. Nitti Light is the best looking font I have seen rendered on the iPad to date. It is this font that makes Writer so good to use, in fact it is not just the font but the sizing, margins and line heights that have been chosen for it.

Using Writer feels like using an app where the developer spent 90% of his time making sure that the text looks just perfect on the screen – and they nailed it. If you love typography, or if you just love readable sharp looking fonts then you are really going to want to give Writer a try.

The Problems

Due to Writers incompatibility with iOS 4.2 beta I can’t really tell what is a problem as a whole or what is just a problem due to the beta iOS. One thing that I can say for sure though is that the syncing speed leaves a lot to be desired. Unlike with Simplenote you can’t just ‘close’ the app and know for sure that all the changes were synced back, it seems to me that you have to hit the sync button to get the changes to push back up, or at the very least wait a while.

This is probably something that can be fixed in future updates, but right now it is an annoyance that I have with an otherwise very good writing app.

Smoking Apples’ Milind Alvares has a more detailed review here.

Originally posted for members on: September 22, 2010
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