Write for Dropbox is a Powerful Text-Editor for iOS
Ever since the introduction of smart, predictive software keyboards on smartphones and then on tablets, the reluctance to hammer away on the glass of a touchscreen is fading away. A decade ago, I wouldn’t imagine writing anything more than short text messages or one-liner notes on a phone. Today, I write multi-para emails without the slightest tendency to fall back to a computer hardware keyboard. With the increase in typing on touch-screens, many text editor apps have surfaced over the years. Today we take a look at Write for Dropbox — a powerful Note Taking app for iPhone and iPad, that is filled to the brim with features to the delight power users.
Fire it up, and the first time it takes you through an intro, letting you know the many awesome features of the app. As your notes are synced to Dropbox, you’ll need to connect the app to a Dropbox account before you can start writing. The app essentially is dressed in a simple black-and-white colour scheme, with the use of intuitive colours on action buttons. Once your Dropbox account is connected, you’re taken straight to a new file which is automatically named as per the date and time of creation. Changing the file name is as simple as tapping on it in the title bar. A hamburger button to the top-left shows you a list of your files, and this menu can be accessed faster by simply swiping from the left edge of the screen. Here, you can create folders to organise your notes, view files that you have favourited etc. A press-and-hold on the file pops up a preview bubble.
Write for Dropbox is filled with powerful text editing features. When you start writing, you’ll see a row of buttons right above the QWERTY consisting of commonly used symbols and text formatting options, among other options. A ‘dot’ symbol button lets you move the cursor or quickly highlight a selection by pressing and moving your finger across the screen. This saves the finger’s travel to the area of selection and the half a second or so it takes for the traditional magnification glass to open. From time to time, the app will keep uploading to Dropbox. Even if you’re not connected to the internet, you can still write and it will upload once you’re connected again. Those who write in Markdown will love the app’s Markdown Preview feature. If the interface is too cluttered for you, you can go full-screen by pinch zooming outward, thereby hiding all the menus and showing you just the text.
Write for Dropbox puts the well-known “pull-to-refresh” mechanism to an innovative use. You can pull once to save the file, and pull again to summon a deletion prompt. There’s an exhaustive share menu to the left that opens up like a folded piece of paper, revealing interesting sharing options like ‘Add to reminders’, ‘Send as SMS’ and even ‘Publish to a Website’. There’s a plethora of connectivity to 3rd party apps including Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Google Drive and even IMDb. Other nifty features include password protection for the app, changing fonts and font sizes and a night mode too.
The next noteworthy feature will work if you have both the iPhone and iPad. You can make either devices a host and connected device — basically, get a full-size keyboard with all the extra formatting options on one screen, and a typing window in the other. All you need is for both devices to be on the same WiFi network, and they sync quite easily. You can even copy text on one device and paste it in the other. This feature would have been totally amazing except for one gripe; we didn’t see the autocorrect work in this mode. So you’ll have to type carefully and in the event of a misspelt word, press on it to manually correct it. Lastly, there’s a Mac add-on app that sits in the menu bar, to quickly jot down notes that sync to your Dropbox, and are thereby made available to your iOS device(s). But being an add-on app, it has very limited functionality, i.e. that’s pretty much all that it does.
Write for Dropbox is filled with a truckload of features that gives it an upper hand against competing writing apps like iA Writer. The interface is blazingly fast, and although slightly cluttered, won’t take you too long to figure out. If you’re a power typist on your mobile devices, Write for Dropbox deserves your attention. Both the iPhone app as well as the iPad app are available on the App Store for just $1.99 each. The Mac add-on app is also given out for free directly via its official website.
Full Disclosure: Tanmay, the developer, has previously been a contributor here on BP.