Roundup of the best writing apps for iPad: NaNoWriMo edition

On November 6, 2011

It’s again November, and every November writers from all around the world take the challenge of NaNoWriMo: the National Novel Writing Month. In other words, writing a novel in just 30 days. Insane? Well, a lot of people try and a lot of people do.

We want to help aspiring writers with iPads to do their challenge with their beloved tool, and to do so we are reviewing the best writing apps for iPad. The choice is yours, but we assure you the iPad is the perfect tool. Goes with you, weights nothing and is overall awesome.

In no particular order, here go the best writing apps for iPad. Be sure to check the specific reviews!

Daedalus Touch: Daedalus Touch is an awesome writing app, using a new paradigm (for the digital world): pages and stacks of pages. Offering a wide array of fonts and background colours, it is a very well thought out app.

iA Writer: iA Writer is the “official” NaNoWriMo iPad app (is on sale, by the way), and although it may be a little lacking for writing a whole novel, it has a clear message: write. Just write. And keep writing.

Notably: A neat and simple novel writing app. Still a newcomer in the writing world, we think it has a huge potential with next updates.

Manuscript: The de-facto standard for novel writing for iPad, it offers some things not appearing in other apps. For example, index cards for your locations or characters. We have missed a wider array of font selections and sizes, but the developers are working on it.

WriteRoom: One of the cleanest and most versatile text editors for iPad (and iPhone), this is a must, even if you don’t plan to write a novel. Is the big brother of the free PlainText, so you can get a free taste of it.

Nihilo: A very clean writer for iPad, with a custom-made keyboard. The keyboard is still a little slow (slightly slower than the standard iPad keyboard), and is not fully compatible with having a wireless keybord. But is both iPad and iPhone enabled, and is gorgeously designed with a huge array of fonts.

Pages: The Apple branded app, Pages is not expected to be used to write a novel, but can be used nevertheless. Just write chapters in different files and cram them in a folder. Of course, Pages is an awesome iPad app.

Nihilo  Daedalus  WriteRoom  Pages Manuscript  iA Writer Notably 
Number fonts Medium Small Huge Medium 2 fonts 1 font Medium
Font sizes Several Big/Small Several Several Only small Only medium Several
Organization None By stacks Folders Folders By novel None Notebooks
Backgrounds Several Several Several Any One One One
Dropbox sync? No Yes Yes No Export Yes Yes
Dictionary/Web No Yes No Dictionary Yes No No
Writing focus? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No
Export? No TXT PDF ePub Print TXT Print Pages PDF Word TXT RTF HTML TXT TXT
Word count No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Index cards No No No No Yes No No
Search No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Passcode No No No No Yes No Yes
Reading duration  No No No No No Yes No
Extended keys?  Special Yes Config No No Yes No
TextExpander No Yes Yes No No Yes No
Price 0.0 (0.99) 3.99 4.99 9.99 6.99 4.99 (0.99) 5.99


Image courtesy of Rahego

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