If you’re a busy executive or simply a weekend author, you don’t consider yourself a professional or expert writer. You just want something that’s easy to use with a familiar function that doesn’t take a writing wizard to learn. These five writing apps for iPad will fit that bill. Using the above criteria, let’s review them. These aren’t in any particular order of importance because each has pros and cons when working with them.
1. Microsoft 365 Word
Microsoft is considered a rival of Apple because of the Windows versus iMac lines that are drawn every day. But for writing, they’ve worked together to bring this well-known tool to the IPad. Most people are familiar with the layout of Word and its use is universal. Here are the stats:
It’s so well known that most executives and beginning authors have heard of it. The internet is full of free training on how to use this app and the suite of apps that come with the subscription. You’ll immediately recognize the screens and MS has done a great job of keeping consistency from one device to another. If you also have OneDrive, you’re able to utilize the new features that iOS 10 has brought along. It also plays well with other cloud storage such as Dropbox.
This app doesn’t have the full capability of Word and is a stripped-down version, so you won’t see a lot of the cool things you can do with your Desktop version. Also, it can have a tendency to freeze and be buggy. Which can lead to you seriously considering throwing your tablet against the closest wall. It also requires a monthly subscription. You can download the free version that has severe restrictions and for the intermediate or beginning writer who wants to save their work, it can be frustrating.
Get the free app here
2. Apple Pages
Apple has its own version of Word that is much more symbiotic for Apple devices and works on all of them. Here are the details:
Pages is intuitive and has many more features that it’s bigger competitor. It works seamlessly with all your devices and even has the ability to convert Word documents. All the normal formatting options are easily accessible and intuitively placed. Another cool feature is that of turning your iPad to portrait or landscape mode. Pages adapts well to either configuration and allows you to see what a page would look in portrait mode.
The biggest issue is when you use the on-screen keyboard and try to put your cursor into the middle of the word. I know this should be easy, but I’ve found it quite difficult at times. The best workaround is to get an Apple Keyboard Dock or Bluetooth keyboard.
Get the free app here.
3. Google Docs
This free app is part of the Google online suite of tools that include Sheets and Slides and has been taking the cloud based writing world by storm. Here are the details:
Google Docs is powerful and offers the best flexibility for crossover users. It’s totally web-based and if you have a google account, especially an enterprise one connected to your domain name with your domain extension, you can collaborate with your team or friends in a seamlessly clean environment. The real-time editing features make it easy to change and update what you’ve written across any platform.
It’s a nightmare to work offline, so if you don’t have an internet connection, you’re not going to be able to sign in to access your work. This can be a big issue if you’re traveling and need to get that memo out quickly. The templates aren’t very intuitive and require experience to know which ones work best.
Get the free app here
4. Hanx Writer
If you imagine yourself a rebel and would love to experience what it was like to type like Hemmingway or Steinbeck, the Hanx Writer is for you. This app was developed with Tom Hanks and is reminiscent of the vintage 1939 Royal Aristocrat Typewriter.
This app really gets the feel of the old typewriters down pat and when you use it with the sound on, you can definitely understand why these old typewriters are still around. The free basic model that you’ll get when you download the app is fun to use. The old school edits are easy to use and simple enough to learn.
Simply put, imitates an old typewriter. While that is fun for a while, unless you are excited about typing slowly and having no ability to insert pictures, then after a few hours of playing with this app, you’ll probably end up moving to a more robust App. Getting to choose which typewriter you want allows you to add capabilities, which makes it impossible to work with unless you upgrade to newer typewriters. But, if you don’t mind the $4.00 to $6.00 upgrades, you’ll at least be able to change your font color and use the center capability.
Get the free app here.
Any of these apps will help you write that memo, executive summary, or blog post. Hopefully, this will give you enough information to choose the one best suited for your purposes.