Reccommended: Editorial for iPad
I write on the iPad, a lot. In fact, some of my most viewed articles revolve around the concept of writing on the iPad. Of course, there are some limitations to writing from this device that I may never overcome—typing iOad instead of iPad because my fingers can’t seem to find the right placement, even after several years—but the sheer convenience of the iPad as the ultimate carry and use writing computer is simply too tempting to ignore. Not to mention, I love testing out new apps and writing about them (often using them to create the very articles I’m writing, as I’m doing right now).
When I first read about Editorial on Macdrifter and then later on Macstories (where Viticci is in his element for about 25k words), I was intrigued but worried that this new writing app would be a little too x-callback URL complicated for my uses. What I found was that Editorial can be as complicated as you want (seriously, just look at the table of contents on Viticci’s article) or what appeared to me to be “just complicated enough.”
In some ways, I was right. Editorial is plenty complicated when you want it to be. There are text snippets built right into the UI. On OS X, Text Exander has been a must for my day job in which I often spend several consecutive hours commenting on student essays. Snippets for reminders of common mistakes are a godsend. When writing on iOS, anything that speeds up the typing process, especially if it involves uncommon characters or formatting can be absolutely essential. With Editorial, there’s a snippet for everything, and if there’s not, you are free to make one for yourself.
Above that, though, is the bonus keyboard row that has become a staple for iOS writing apps. In Editorial, its usefulness cannot be overstated. All of the common Markdown keys are present (Editorial has brilliant in-document Markdown support) and function as they do in ByWord; pressing the open paren key also types the close paren and places the cursor in between. When selecting text, typing the open paren places the open and close on either side of the selected text. And oh the text selection! The bonus keyboard row functions as a text selection area as seen in this video from a while back. Now, this isn’t new. Many apps have tried to replicate the one finger for cursor placement, two for selection method, but in practice they’ve failed me spectacularly. Not Editorial. For the first time on iOS, text manipulation, copying, pasting, and moving feels complete. You’ll miss it in every app that doesn’t have it.
Another place where Editorial excels is in its use of sliding panels for the various views for research, file selection, and Python support (I’m gonna leave that section to the professionals). Other apps have incorporated these features, but combining them with the powerful text expansion and workflow pieces of Editorial takes research, linking, and information collection to a whole other level. In addition, the app is fast and fluid, never feels like it’s pushing the iPad’s limited resources, and just gets you where you need to be quickly and reliably with very little visual clutter (especially when you consider the expansive list of possibilities within the app).
By no means is this reccomendation exhaustive. In fact, it may even do Editorial a disservice, considering how many features and abilities the developer has implemented; however, If you use your iPad for any sort of text creation outside of the occasional twitter post or iMessage, or if you’ve been interested in pushing the envelope of what your tablet can (effectively and efficiently) do for serious work, Editorial is the app you’ve been waiting for, perhaps searching for. Apps like this are a big part of what makes iOS so exciting. It’s just brilliant.
Pick up a copy for $4.99 in the App Store.