Review iA Writer
The original text editor
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 07 Sep 2016, tested on HTC One S
Interesting functionality, nice interface, stylish design
No trial version
iA Writer for Android is a barebones text editor that uses markdown formatting. This allows your text to be easily transformed into webpages or other documents, including numbered lists, bulleted lists, headings, and subheadings. You can import the text to quickly make formatted documents or webpages when you use other software that supports markdown. It has the option to link with Dropbox for cloud storage of your text files. If you do this, then can also read any text files you already might have in your Dropbox. By default, it pulls up your entire Dropbox folder structure, whether there are any text files in the subfolders or not; which is not the most convenient thing if you have a lot of folders in Dropbox.
As somebody who writes a lot of short articles (like this one) this kind of app should appeal to me. I wind up writing a lot of these little articles as draft emails on my phone or tablet when I'm on the go, or just unable or unwilling to sit at a laptop. But I didn't find iA all that handy in practice. For starters, I move between mobile and desktop a lot. There’s no desktop or broswer-based program that I could use to quickly access my text files. Sure, I could use any other text editor and open them right up from Dropbox; but I’m too lazy for that.
Doing it right in gmail is still quicker; though it still seems like I should be able to find a better solution. I also use Google Docs, but I find they can synch too slowly on a weak internet connection. iA writer also doesn’t have a spellcheck, were gmail does. For creating some quick notes where the spelling isn’t too important, this might be quite a good tool. It’s easy to read, and efficient use of screenspace helps you focus on the text. Everything is saved immediately, which keeps you flowing. But I guess I just need a couple more features for a writing tool, even though I’m only working with raw text.