The Problem With iA Writer

Last year, I wrote a semi-review of three iOS text editors: iA Writer, Byword, and Phraseology. All three are great and all three are on my devices, but I've settled on using Byword on iOS and the Mac. I do so for three reasons:

  1. It has Markdown syntax highlighting. In my opinion, the contrast is great because you can instantly distinguish between actual text and formatting. For this visually impaired person, it's a big help.
  2. It has an inverted, white-on-black "dark mode". I especially like switching between light and dark depending on the time of day. (E.g., light during the day, dark during the evening.)
  3. Keyboard shortcuts for bold and italics. My muscle memory wants to hit ⌘-B/I, respectively, for the desired effects but they don't work, at least on the Mac.

I really want to switch to Writer. It's a great app; very well done. In fact, I'm using the iPad version to write this article. I can appreciate that the app has no preferences whatsoever, and I love the custom font. It's good-looking and, more importantly, it's large enough for me to see comfortably. But, alas, it still lacks the aforementioned features that, for my money, put Byword ahead. That said, if and when Information Architects -- the 'iA' -- adds these features, I'd switch in a heartbeat. The truth is, I've tinkered with Byword is ways that I've approximated the look and feel of Byword to match that of Writer's. A silly move, perhaps, considering I could just altogether switch to Writer. But, again, Byword has the features I want to make my text editor of choice "complete". Besides, I like Writer's icon better too.

In the unfortunate event Writer never gains even one of these features, then I'll just stick with Byword. It's still a great app in its own right. It's just that my workflow coupled with my visual needs make Byword's added features a must-have in my book.