Handwriting apps are hardly novel anymore. There was certainly a time when we would download the latest digital whiteboard or notebook just to marvel at the realism of its pen strokes, but these days we're more interested in usefulness than newness. But despite its cringe-worthy name, INKredible grabbed our attention. With a clear focus on work rather than art, developer Viet Tran distills the fantastic ink effects of his popular Notes Plus release into a simple, elegant app that just might make you forget you're not using a pen.
Not too long ago, web apps were the saviors of the new world — rich, universal programs that needed little more than a browser to deliver their power. Steve Jobs believed in them so wholly he nearly bet the entire future of the iPhone on them, telling developers during its launch: "You’ve got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today."
And at least one developer still believes that's true.
When iA Writer burst onto the scene in late 2010, it was a game-changer. The first true alternative to Pages, its ultra-minimal interface introduced a new kind of word processor, one that eschewed underutilized features for a sharp focus on simplicity. Writer Pro for iOS attempts to build on that concept. With a completely new workflow designed to tightly organize your thoughts, Information Architects pushes its minimal interface to the max, but loses that trademark simplicity in the process.
There are lots of ways to quickly create compelling works of art on our iPhones and iPads. One-touch filters and easy overlays have turned us all into amateur graphic artists, even if we don't have the most artistic of eyes. Notegraphy is cut from that cloth. With an emphasis on social sharing, the app automatically stylizes everything you write with a keen artistic flourish, turning your most mundane thoughts into stunning inspirational displays.
When Pages for iOS was released alongside the iPad in 2010, it was a showcase of all that was possible with Apple's revolutionary tablet. A natural extension of the Mac app, it set the tone for multitouch content creation, with powerful page layout and word processing templates plus tools that complemented the ones we used on our MacBooks. With the new version 2.0 release, however, Pages is no longer a companion app. A complete rewrite for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks has brought parity across all platforms, and you'll find the same templates, menus, and features everywhere you go, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and editing.
In Device 6, a new spy-themed interactive fiction game from Simogo (Year Walk, Beat Sneak Bandit), text is used with verve and clarity, as sharp prose maps out protagonist Anna’s journey around a mysterious island. It’s not just that Device 6 is text-based – it’s that the text dances around the iPhone or iPad screen. As Anna turns down a hallway, the words also bank at a hard right angle; when she climbs a spiral staircase, her story and your device screen spin with her.
Have you ever read a message from a friend — or worse, a business document — that just didn't come across correctly? If there's a misplaced, misused, or just plain missing punctuation mark, it can change the entire makeup of a sentence and make the end result read totally different than intended. And it can be terribly embarrassing, to boot. Understanding the rules of punctuation and knowing how to use the various marks can save you from confusing your readers, whoever they may be. We've collected eight tools to keep on your iOS device to help ensure you properly use punctuation marks. National Punctuation Day was last week, so while this roundup may not be terribly punctual itself, there's never a bad time to bone up on your punctuation skills.
If you do a lot of writing on your iPad, you know how important a good word processing app is. Whether you're using a Bluetooth keyboard or have somehow mastered the virtual one, ultra-minimal interfaces and smart features have made writing on the iPad a joy, with apps like iA Writer and Write for iPad transforming the way we work. You probably don't think you need another one, but that's only because you haven't tried Editorial. With rich formatting and powerful automation features, Editorial isn't a stripped-down tablet app with a pretty face – it's one of the best text editors we've ever used, on our iPads or anywhere else.
It's tough to be wowed by a notes app at this point. From Evernote to Drafts, we've tested them all, and surely you have already developed a system that you're comfortable with. But when three of the industry heavyweights form a sort of developer super-group, it's pretty hard to ignore the fruits of their labor. The brainchild of Dave Wiskus, Brent Simmons and John Gruber, Vesper – named for the specialized martini ordered by James Bond in Ian Fleming's first 007 book – is not just another notes app for your iPhone. With a minimal interface and few features, it aims to change your approach to mobile note taking by stripping away the clutter and focusing on finding your thoughts quickly and effortlessly.
Every Monday, we'll show you how to do something new and simple with Apple's built-in command line application. You don't need any fancy software, or a knowledge of coding to do any of these. All you need is a keyboard to type 'em out!
Writing in the Terminal provides a distraction-free environment to get your thoughts onto digital paper; however, you may be missing a crucial modern-day writing convenience: spell checking. With a little command line utility called “spell,” you can easily see where spelling mistakes lie within your documents. Continue reading, and we’ll show you how to edit your way through a document in the Terminal.