iPad apps for writing

I just got my first iPad and loving it so far. I’m looking for some writing/document management apps while I wait for Scrivener to release their iPad version. Writeroom and iaWriter are fine for straight writing but I’d prefer something with more organizational tools.

Daedalus doesn’t seem feature rich enough yet, though I’ve just started playing with it. I’ve heard mixed things about Notebooks, but it does look intriguing.

Anyone found any apps or processes they like? I’m banking on a long wait for iPad Scrivener.

I think I nave tried most of the writing tools of iOS. Notebooks syncs flawlessly with Dropbox, lets you read all sorts of files (PDFs, Word, .rtf, and many more) , and allows the same folders structure you have in Dropbox. Byword is very cool. Both Notebooks and Byword allow you to use Markdown. Notability will let you read and write .rtf files. If you are just waiting for iScrivener and need to use an interim app, Notebooks is probably what you need.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll give Notebooks a try. Byword looks nice, but I’ll be spending a lot of time on the road the next 6 months. Notebooks seems to have a lot of functionality.

BTW, IA Writer and WriteRoom also can sync the same folder structure that Scrivener syncs in Dropbox. The advantage of Notebooks is that you can read (but not edit) other kinds of files in it, like PDFs. Unfortunately, Scrivener does not sync those files in Dropbox. I wonder why

I’m not sure I understand this statement. To Scrivener, Dropbox looks just like any other storage media. It’s Dropbox, not Scrivener, that manages the actual synchronization, and it should be able to synchronize anything contained in the project. Including PDFs.

Could you give a little more detail about what you’re trying to do?


Here’s a comprehensive webpage http://brettterpstra.com/ios-text-editors/ comparing text editors for iOS.

Well, there are two issues somewhat conflated in my post. One is that some iOS text editors can only sync with one folder and no subfolders, which makes it difficult to use them with Scrivener projects that typically sync two separate folders (one called notes and the other one called…I don’t remember now). The ones I mention, though, can handle syncing folders and subfolders

The other issue is that even though there are some apps for iOS like Notebooks that lets you have a combination of text files (editable) and PDFS (readable) in folders and subfolders, the sync to external folder that Scrivener provides allows syncing of only text files

Hope this is a little clearer now

I’m getting a strange sense of de ja vu with your posts today. :slight_smile:

That’s right! :smiley:

This looks like the answer to my question, but I’d like to be sure.

Is it true that WriteRoom preserves Scrivener folder structure when sync’d through Dropbox?

Anyone use it this way?


It does. I used it, and it works well

You’ll find an excellent chart of virtually all the iOS text writing apps here:


And even better, click on the columns for your must-have features and all the apps that lack those features will go grey. It’s a great way to narrow down the field.

Great site!

In case someone else wonders:

While it’s true that Writeroom preserves the binder hierarchy of synced Scrivener documents, it doesn’t display this hierarchy.

Now that Notebooks has a configurable extended keyboard, it seems like an even better match for Scrivener, since it both preserves and displays binder hierarchy.

Don’t get me wrong: I like WriteRoom. 8)

I totally agree about Notebooks. I have a bunch of apps for iOS (including Writeroom, of course) but now I am using almost exclusively Notebooks. However, people have different tastes and needs. I think best alternatives to Notebooks (if you don’t care about access to support research files like PDFs) are in my opinion IA Writer, Byword, and WriteRoom. IA Writer is definitely the best looking on the iPhone. Text is nicely legible, keyboard is nice and friendly.

Yeah, of course it depends on what matters to you.

If, like me, you care about the keyboard more than other things:

I think Daedalus Touch still has the best configurable extended keyboard I’ve seen. But I expect that Scrivener for iPad will equal it :wink:.

IAWriter’s extended keyboard doesn’t appear to be configurable, aside from choosing language. (I haven’t tried it.)

Byword’s is not configurable, though it has a few more things to choose from than IAWriter’s, making for better Markdown support.

WriteRoom’s extended keyboard is very much like that of Notebooks. You can turn it into what you want it to be. Now if they just had the flexibility of Daedalus’ keyboard…

I think you are right about extended keyboard and Daedalus Touch. One of the reasons I stopped using it is because eack stack syncs only with one Dropbox folder. Doesn’t work well with Scrivener. Perhaps they changed that feature now, I haven’t used it in a while. With DT there were also a few syncing related bugs in my experience. What I do now is to use mainly Notebooks on both iPad and iPhone, but if I have to write something outside a Scrivener project and relatively short, and I have only the iPhone, I tend to use IA Writer. Unless I need to use Markdown, in which case I go for Byword on the iPhone

In a practical sense, the most effective writing tool I have encountered is Writing Kit. It has its flaws, but offers a combination of features that more closely meet my needs than any of the other apps I have tried(dozens actually). When I write, it isn’t done in a vacuum. I need my research material at my fingertips. Writing Kit’s quick research and web browser with a brilliant implementation of online bookmark support and a web archive queue clinch the deal.

I really like the stack paradigm of daedalus touch also. The application is pretty buggy and still rather unresponsive on my iPad 3 unfortunately.

I really like the research features in Notes Plus, but I’m not a big fan of handwriting apps in general(I’m of the generation of horrible handwriting but 100 wpm typing :stuck_out_tongue:).

Writing Kit is one of the few I haven’t tried. It looked appealing to me when I looked into it, but then I thought “Do I need to try another one?” After your review, perhaps I should :smiley:

What are its flaws?