“Distraction-free” text editors can be a distraction in themselves.
I’ve blogged before about iA Writer and Byword. Like a lot of other people. I have to say, the jury’s still out. On my Mac, I think I now prefer Byword. On my iOS devices I think I still prefer Writer. But I also have WriteRoom on iOS, which is also worthy.
On my 21.5-inch Mac I think the font in Writer might be just a little too large. In Byword I can customise the font to my exact preference. The no-options stance of Writer is admirable, but if it ain’t quite right there’s no way to fix it.
If I open the same document in both Writer and Byword and switch from one to the other for comparison, Byword works well for me. I’m writing this in Byword as an external editor to nvALT – light mode, wide, Georgia 20pt font, 100% zoom. It’s lean, elegant, minimalist. Although having said that, I did the exact same thing not long ago and my preference was for Writer, although I don’t think I’d tweaked Byword’s font then. Byword also seems a little more snappy than Writer.
In iOS I don’t have Byword: even at the reduced price of £1.99 it’s still much more expensive than the iOS version of Writer at £0.69, which I already have. I bought WriteRoom so long ago I can’t remember how much it is. Both Writer and WriteRoom look great in iOS, and at it’s higher price I’m not tempted to give Byword a try as a replacement for either of these.
I’ll stick with Byword on the Mac and Writer/WriteRoom in iOS for a while and see how it goes. When Scrivener for iPad is released this will probably all become irrelevant anyway, as I’ll more than likely use that app for pretty much everything. And let’s not forget that it’s not the app that’s important, it’s what you do with it.
One more thing
A note regarding my Das Keyboard: I do still like it, I just wish it had a little more resistance in the keys, was a little stiffer in the click – I suppose I wish it felt more like a manual typewriter. Still, it’s pretty good as far as computer keyboards go; I couldn’t go back to my spongy Apple chiclet keyboard now.