50 Of The Best Writing Apps For The iPad
by Ashley McCann
The best writing apps for iPad, like any concept of ‘best,’ is subjective and further based on need and circumstance.
Are you a poet drafting when inspiration strikes? A student taking notes and writing essays? A novelist that usually uses a desktop, but needs their new iPad Pro to do work on the go?
While the idea of writing more than a few hundred words on an iPad may seem crazy, using the iPad as a powerful portable writing tool allows you to take advantage of inspiration whenever and wherever it strikes. And with iPad screens now approaching 13″ and capable of supporting USB connections to enable standalone keyboards, it’s easier and more comfortable than ever to draft a masterpiece while away from your desk with the help of an app, an iPad, and a good idea.
50 Of The Best Writing Apps For The iPad
Developer description: A pleasant, focused writing experience combined with effective document management, fast syncing and flexible export make Ulysses the first choice for writers of all kinds.
Developer description: Draft a blog post, write that story or complete a school report wherever you are. Use Markdown to format text with easy keyboard shortcuts, subtle syntax highlighting, word counters with live update, and much more.
Developer description: 1Writer provides a distraction-free writing environment. You can create and edit plain text or Markdown files. It does have many features including inline Markdown preview, word count, dark theme, TextExpander support, insert photo, an extra keyboard row, and many more.
4. Scrivo Pro for Scriveners & Writers
Developer description: You have a story to tell, article to publish, class notes to take, whether it’s today’s journal entry, tomorrow’s thesis or a future bestseller novella. Scrivo Pro can help you organize your writing, research, generate ideas, and remove distractions so you can focus on the most important thing: writing.
5. Hanx Writer
Developer description: Hanx Writer, created by Tom Hanks, recreates the experience of a manual typewriter, but with the ease and speed of an iPad.
Developer description: Ideas strike wherever you are. Be prepared with StorySkeleton, the best story-mapping and organizational tool for iPad and iPhone. Create the structure for your project with StorySkeleton’s snappy and finger-friendly interface.
Developer description: Storyist is a powerful writing environment for iOS that lets you create, review, and revise your work wherever inspiration strikes.
8. Story Planner
Developer description: The outline is one of the most powerful weapons for a writer. Now you can easily outline your stories wherever you are thanks to Story Planner, the best story-mapping and organizational stories tool ever.
Developer description: Tailor-made for creating long manuscripts, Scrivener banishes page fright by allowing you to compose your text in any order, in sections as large or small as you like. Got a great idea but don’t know where it fits? Write when inspiration strikes and find its place later. Grow your manuscript organically, idea by idea.
10. Textilus Pro Word Processor
Developer description: Textilus Pro is a great word processor app for students and business people, also being excellent for writing reports, papers, blog posts, journals or ebooks! Textilus Pro can help you organize your research, generate ideas, and remove distractions so you can focus on the most important thing: writing.
11. Verse – Write Poems, Song Lyrics and Compositions
Developer description: Write poems, song lyrics, haikus or even odes and more with Verse for iPad and iPhone.
12. MLA Writer – MLA Style Writing Tool
Developer description: View, edit and create MLA documents with MLA Writer. MLA Writer is the first step for a modern Writing tool for iPad and iPhone that aims to support 100% the standard MLA style. MLA (Modern Language Asociation) specifies guidelines for formatting manuscripts and using the English language in writing.
13. Guided Essay Writer
Step-by-step guided essay-writing directions written by a college English professor and includes explanations and examples to help you write a college-level essay including the following: introduction paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion paragraph. Includes essay-writing tips to help write a successful, organized essay.
Developer description: Notes with more creative freedom and better organization. Captured at any spot on a page and draggable around the place, organized in the world’s most natural hierarchy, and synced across devices with your favorite cloud. Freedom but clear structure.
Developer description: Pages is the most beautiful word processor you’ve ever seen on a mobile device. This powerful word processor helps you create gorgeous reports, resumes, and documents in minutes.
Developer description: Werdsmith turns your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch into a portable writing studio, so you can write any time, any place. Hundreds of thousands of writers rely on Werdsmith to capture their ideas and work on their novels, screenplays, stories and articles.
Developer description: Say goodbye to writer’s block. Unblock makes writing easy, with professionally designed writing exercises to get you through even the toughest obstacles.
Developer description: Editorial is a plain text editor for iOS with powerful automation tools and a beautiful inline preview for Markdown, TaskPaper, and Fountain documents.
19. Daedalus Touch
Developer description: Daedalus Touch is the first truly next-gen text editor on iOS. No file lists, no folders, no documents in the classic sense – just paper stacks and an infinite amount of sheets. You navigate by standard gestures, all perfectly mapped and matched to the tasks at hand.
20. Write for iPad
Developer description: Writing. Automated Dropbox/iCloud Syncing. Markdown. Fastest Sharing. Beautiful Design.
Developer description: Chapters lets you create and manage multiple notebooks, each fully searchable and with its own settings. Keep a travel journal, a photo log, a notebook about ongoing work projects, and your own personal diary in one app.
22. PrintCentral Pro
Developer description: The Ultimate File Management, Transfer and Print solution for the iPad. Print to ALL printers (Not just AirPrint Printers). View, store & print email, documents & PDFs, all major cloud servers, attachments, photos, contacts & web pages. Convert documents and images to PDF files.
Developer description: The Perfect App For Writers. Notes + Recordings + Photos + Reminders Perfect for Writing books, stories, poems, reports, novels, and more. Type, record, or type while recording/playing, also add in photographs and capture everything.
Developer description: The amazing 4th edition of GoodReader app is a universal app for all your iOS devices to read and annotate PDFs.
Developer description: Take note of life with Chronicle, a simple journaling app that offers more than bound sheets without overcomplicating the writing experience. Focused writing. Multiple photos per entry that you can move, resize, rotate – your words flow around them.
26. miTypewriter for iPad
Developer description: This is your typewriter on iPad. Features: – Realistic typewriter on your iPad – Email by image or text – Backspace key to erase type – Fonts (Old Typewriter / American Typewriter) – Keyboard layouts (QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, and QZERTY) – Colors (Red/Black ink ribbon).
27. iA Writer
Developer description: iA Writer is designed to provide the best digital writing experience: Keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text.
28. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Developer description: Get America’s most useful and respected dictionary, optimized for your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. This is the best iOS app for English language reference, education, and vocabulary building.
29. Smart Whiteboard HD
Developer description: This is an extremely simple Whiteboard that is convenient for your work, life and study.
30. Page: English Grammar & Spell Checker + Translator
Developer description: Ginger’s writing app offers you a better way to write in English. Get everything you need to quickly compose high-quality text that amplifies your message, everywhere you write. Tap into Ginger’s powerful editing tools to quickly review your text for any grammar, spelling and punctuation issues with the world’s leading proofreader.
Developer description: With StoryBoard, you can create interactive, visual stories. Stories can be written, and then words can be replaced with sets of pictures. When your story is finished, it becomes an interactive activity.
Developer description: Characterize is the perfect creator tool for writers, role-players, storytellers, and anyone who needs to come up with original characters on the fly. Pulling from an extensive database of names and vital statistics, Characterize can generate literally quadrillions of new characters!
33. Microsoft OneNote
Developer description: Capture your thoughts, discoveries, and ideas with OneNote, your very own digital notebook. With OneNote you can seize that moment of inspiration, take your class notes, or track that list of errands that are too important to forget. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the go, your notes go with you.
34. Microsoft Word
Developer description: Now Word documents look better than ever on your tablet and phone. When you edit or create documents, you can be confident they will look exactly how you want across PC, Mac, tablet and phone. Word has the familiar Office look and feel along with an intuitive touch experience, so you’ll be up and running in no time.
Note: On iPhone, iPad Air, and iPad mini, the core Word experience, including viewing, creating, and editing documents, is free. Or unlock the full Word experience with a qualifying Office 365 subscription. On iPad Pro, you need Office 365 to create and edit documents.
35. A Novel Idea
Developer description: A Novel Idea is the premier tool for plotting your story and recording bursts of inspiration. Use its simple interface to create your characters, locations, scenes, and novels and then link them together to create your story’s plot. Use the Idea feature to quickly jot down your creative sparks.
Developer description: Penultimate combines distraction-free, natural handwriting and sketching with the power of Evernote’s sync and search. Take class or meeting notes, journal your thoughts, or outline your next big idea—in the office or on the go.
37. Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com
Developer description: Thesaurus Rex by Dictionary.com revolutionizes the thesaurus for the first time in 160 years. We’ve added modern content and synonyms for new words such as epiphany & stakeholder, plus 30,000 more new entries. Works offline.
Developer description: Sound Curtain is a unique application that masks distracting noise by automatically adapting its volume, pitch and tone in response to the noise around you.
Developer description: Students, teachers, and business professionals use Notability daily to take notes, sketch ideas, annotate PDFs, mark-up photos, record lectures, provide audio feedback and more. It is uniquely designed for each device to provide the best note taking experience at school, at home, and at work. And with iCloud, your notes are always up to date.
40. Write or Die
Developer description: Unless you’ve got a deadline looming it’s difficult to find the impetus to keep writing. Write or Die aims to address this difficulty and help you hack your writing process and get your words out. It’s a new kind of writing application that provides consequences for distraction and procrastination. As long as you keep writing, everything is fine, but if you become distracted, there are customizable consequences.
41. MyScript Nebo – Note Taking for Apple Pencil
Developer description: Structure your notes using titles, paragraphs, and bullet lists. Add interactive diagrams, editable equations, freeform sketches, and annotate pictures. Finally convert your captured ink to a digital typeset document on demand. Nebo documents can be shared as text. Powered by MyScript Interactive Ink – Work better with your Apple Pencil!
42. Creative Writer
Developer description: An endless source of writing ideas, words, prompts and sentences for your writing sessions. Millions of text segments analyzed and clustered into 7 powerful predictive models: Prose (best-selling novels), Dialogues (movies, TV series), You & Me, Lyrics (popular songs, RAP), Romance, Classics (Shakespeare, Goethe, Joyce, Kafka, Proust, Dostojevski, and others) and Quotations.
43. Lists for Writers
Developer description: Lists for Writers is a great addition to any writer’s toolbox. Helpful to both novice and expert writers alike, this app delivers list after list of prompts and ideas for your brainstorming sessions: names, character traits, plot lines, occupations, obsessions, action verbs, and much more
44. Rory’s Story Cubes
Developer description: 9 cubes, 54 images, over 10 million combinations and infinite stories. Shake to roll the cubes. Create a story using all 9 face-up images.
45. Creative Writing Prompts
Developer description: Get more than 1,000 starting lines and creative writing prompts to inspire you and give you ideas for improving your creative writing. Great for students, amateur writers, or professionals who want to free write often.
46. Writing Challenge: Creative Prompts for your Story
Developer description: With Writing Challenge you will enjoy a game with creative prompts to spark your inspiration and master free writing.
47. The Brainstormer
Developer description: The Brainstormer is kindling for creative minds. A tactile tool to randomly combine a plot, a subject and a setting or style, the Brainstormer provides a moment of inspiration for writers, painters, or any creative mind. Combat creative block, spark new ideas and summon up quick subjects for doodling, sketching or journaling.
48. Forest: Stay focused, be present
Developer description: Forest provides an interesting solution to beat your phone addiction. You can plant a seed in Forest. In the following time, this seed will gradually grow into a tree. However, if you cannot resist the temptation and leave this app to check Facebook or play a game, your tree will wither away. With this interesting mechanism, the sense of achievement and responsibility will drive our users to stay away from their phone with no pain.
Developer description: Let Evernote change the way you organize your personal and professional projects. Dive in: take notes, create to-do lists, and save things you find online into Evernote. We’ll sync everything between your phone, tablet, and computer automatically.
50. Ink On – Track word counts, writing time and days in the chair – Inked Voices
Developer description: Write with your favorite tool, be it Word, Scrivener or another platform. Track your progress in Ink On. Whether you prefer to set goals by project, overall or both, Ink On has you covered.
What apps do you use when taking your writing on the road? Leave a comment sharing your tips and tricks below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.
50 Of The Best Writing Apps For The iPad
So you’ve decided to start writing on your iPad, be it the original model or the shiny new iPad. You’ve made the call to use it not just as a consumption device, but as a creative device. You begin to look for the usual suspcets, but Word doesn’t exist for the iPad and Apple’s Pages is something you could probably avoid if you’re willing to look around a little bit.So you’ve decided to start writing on your iPad, be it the original model or the shiny new iPad. You’ve made the call to use it not just as a consumption device, but as a creative device. You begin to look for the usual suspcets, but Word doesn’t exist for the iPad and Apple’s Pages is something you could probably avoid if you’re willing to look around a little bit.
Or…you could just take a look below and get a taste of what I consider to the 5 best writing apps for the iPad.
1. iA Writer
Write without distraction. That’s the whole idea behind iA Writer, which first appeared on the Mac and has since made its way to both the iPad (and very recently, the iPhone). If you’re looking for a writing app that has very little in the way of customization, then this is the app for you. It’s pleasant on the eyes and keeps you focused on the task at hand – writing. And it syncs across platforms using eitehr Dropbox or iCloud, so you can write on whatever platforms you have ia Writer installed on. That’s pretty darn seamless.
Simplenote is a fantastic app that will allow you to do the same in terms of syncing that iA Writer does. But Simplenote is generally viewed as an app used for notetaking more than writing. Still, with its ubiquitous nature and cross-platform capabilities, Simplenote is among the best at letting you get the words out of your head and onto the screen. Any screen.
3. Writing Kit
Writing Kit may not look as pretty as iA Writer, but it has a ton of bells and whistles built right in. The app has a browser integrated right within the app, allowing for research and quick linking where needed. It also allows for export into a variety of apps, including Things and OmniFocus – a great boon for the writers out there who happen to be right into productivity as well (ahem). The fact that Writing Kit allows writers to use Markdown syntax (as does ia Writer – and Simplenote when you bring something like nvALT into the mix), syncs to Dropbox and features a plethora of options for users puts it as a bit of a dark horse on this list. But a very worthy addition all the same.
If you’re looking for something clean and simple, PlainText has got you covered. It’s not as feature-rich or as pretty to look at as some of the others on this list, but it does what it is supposed to do: help you get writing done. The team behind it also developed the very populat WriteRoom (Hog Bay Software), so they’ve got experience in this realm. It does allow for syncing via Dropbox and is perhaps the most frictionless app on this list because of its stripped-down nature.
The new kid on the iOS block, Byword has been around on the Mac for some time. Now available for both the iPhone and iPad, it brings much of what the Mac app had to the mobile platform. Featuring Markdown support, syncing in the cloud, and an interface that balances feature set, focus and function, Byword already makes this list based on my limited time with it. Those using Byword on the Mac should jump into using it on the iPad to create a continuum in their writing workflow, and the consistency across all platforms is what makes this one a winner in my books during my brief look at it for the iPad.
There are others to consider (Notesy immediately comes to mind), but hopefully with this guide you’ll be able to find the writing app for your iPad that best suits you. Because there’s nothing worse than playing around with writing tools rather than actually writing with them
(Photo credit: Contemporary Digital Tablet… via Shutterstock)