by George Heymann

IA Writer puts the “focus” on writing

By George Heymann

I wanted to share a recent find that I’ve come to appreciate the more I use it. Its an iPad application developed by Information Architects to simplify writing called IA Writer.

IA Writer was developed around the concept of “focus.” When using the application in “focus mode,” everything goes away except the writing.

Writer has no graphical settings or formatting features. The optional focus mode grays out everything except the last three lines that you’ve typed. The developers’ idea was to create a visually noise free writing space, allowing you to concentrate on your writing instead of formatting and worrying about how your document looks.

Writer comes with professional typography developed by Bold Monday, a firm specializing in typefaces. The monospaced font developed for Writer called Nitti Light was optimized for the iPad and is easy to read and a pleasure to work with.

The IA Writers developers have managed to make a lack of features a “feature.” They have accomplished this by providing only the features that readily facilitate writing, and nothing else. Think of it like your favorite text editor customized for writing.

The IA Writer interface consists of a top bar. Starting on the left of the top bar is a “folder” icon where documents are stored; a “plus” icon to start a new document; and a “send/share” icon to email or copy text from a document. The center of the top bar is the “document title” — on the right you can see your word count and an estimate of how long it will take to read your document. The “far right” icon on the top bar houses a “lock” icon that activates focus mode.

There is no “save” button; documents are auto-saved every two seconds. You can link your Dropbox if you have one and have your documents backed up to your cloud storage.

If IA Writer sounds simple, it is. It is one of those rare applications where the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

I would like to see this program developed for other platforms. A version for the PC and Mac would be welcomed. For now, IA Writer on my iPad with my Bluetooth keyboard is my preferred writing platform.


Filed under: Apple, iOS, Review, Software, , , , , , ,

4 Responses

  1. awkisopen says:

    I would like to see this program developed for other platforms. A version for the PC and Mac would be welcomed.

    Have you taken a look at DarkRoom and WriteRoom (respectively)?

  2. gheymann says:

    I’ve downloaded DarkRoom to evaluate it, I’ll take a look at FocusWriter as well. Thanks again for the suggestions.

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