The iPad has become a trustworthy writing tool thanks to a family of apps that has rethought the traditional Office file. These apps cover a wide variety of writing needs.
Ever since its debut alongside the iPad, Pages has served as the benchmark for how word processing should look on a tablet. Its recent redesign for iOS 7 gives it more features, such as expanded keyboard tools and a cleaner look. While technically in beta, Apple’s online version of Pages makes it possible to edit the same file across mobile and the web.
If you are looking for a minimalist text editor, consider the very clever Byword. The text is formatted with Markdown, a language that is designed to be easily converted to HTML without filling the page full of code. If your writing is geared towards blogs and the Internet, Markdown is an excellent solution.
Storyist is geared towards those using an iPad to compose a work of fiction, such as a novel, screenplay, or short story. If this is the aim, then the digital notecards and other formatting inside Storyist will help with organizing all the elements of a large story or novel.
The optimal writing environment on the iPad for many is one that strips away all the formatting and focuses on the content. If you share that philosophy, then Write for iPad is an excellent choice. With just a few tweaks on the Mac you can add a free tool that will sync text to an iPad using iCloud or Dropbox (I recommend the latter).
While Google Drive may not be as polished as Pages or other writing apps, it is the right solution for those who are heavy users of Google Drive. The most recent updates have added multiple account support and additional editing options. Google has clearly shown it intends to keep building apps for iOS, so look for continued advanced in its collaboration functions and other utility.
Final Draft bills itself as the industry standard desktop software for composing screenplays and film, TV, or stage scripts. This version of the software is the same tool but specifically built for the iPad. It is an impressive tool, with all the formatting one would need for such projects. Final Draft Writer also recently added support for a larger range of Bluetooth keyboards.
Drafts is a very extendable text tool that allows you to then send your content to any of a vast array of services. Write a few lines then send it as a Tweet, save it in Dropbox, Evernote, or post to another social network. Pin and archive notes for further organization.
WriteRoom is one of the original distraction-free writing tools for the iPad, and it continues to be one of the best. The features are pretty bare bone, but that’s the point. If you don’t need any fancy formatting or pagination tools, then WriteRoom may be the perfect writing environment.
Blogsy is by far the best blogging tool on the iPad. It connects to all the major platforms, such as WordPress, Tumblr, Joomla and Drupal. It also supports HTML tags, Markown, and other developer-friendly tools.
With 1Writer, users can get an attractive and reliable text editor that connects to several core services. In some respects it is much like Drafts, but designed for longer text entry rather than just short notes. Users can export 1Writer files to Evernote and other popular applications.