iA Writer

iA Writer

Is this text app something to write home about?

It is very easy to become distracted when writing, which is why iA Writer is proving so popular with budding writers on the iPad.

This new writing app strips away much of the clutter previously associated with text editors, essentially leaving you with just a blank screen and a keyboard on which you are left distraction-free to produce your very best prose.

Aimed at bloggers and serious writers and numbering the likes of Stephen Fry among its fans, iA Writer is refreshingly basic. It prefers not to emulate pages which can be needlessly too complex for the majority of tasks.

Instead, you are able to get straight down to writing without any of the fancy bells and whistles which otherwise slow you down.

One unique aspect is the focus mode, toggled by tapping on the padlock in the right hand corner of the screen. This removes everything from the screen expect for the enhanced keyboard, leaving you with a blank canvas.

It also takes away the features you would normally expect from even a basic text editor, so don’t expect to see options for spellcheck, toolbars and editing to cut-and-paste, auto-correction or scrolling.

All too often, writing entails flicking from one section of text to another, refining, changing fonts and getting the presentation just right. This simply lets you crack on, giving you the option to sync via Dropbox, or email your copy.

There are some useful extras, including a word count and an estimate of how long it would take to read your words, but this is more about you than about the app, and it’s a welcome shift of power.

Rated 4 out of 5

With near-perfect keyboard configuration and the brilliant focus mode, iA Writer is a winning back-to-basics approach to writing.