Best writing apps for iPad: Editorial, Byword, Write, and more!

Best text editing apps for iPad: Editorial, Byword, Write, and more!

The best plaintext, Markdown powered writing apps for getting reports, essays, and articles done!

iPads are quickly replacing laptops as the tool of choice for highly-mobile businesspeople, reporters, students, and casual users alike. Not only is an iPad much easier to carry around than a laptop, there are lots of apps specifically tailored for writers of all kinds. We have already taken a look at the best journaling apps for tracking your personal thoughts, now we're going to look at the best text editing apps for turning those thoughts into letters, essays, reports, articles, novels, and more! If you don't need Pages-style document layout, but you do need more than notes, these are our favorites...


Editorial for iPad has a customized keyboard which makes it easy to pick out the characters you most frequently use. It supports Markdown complete with a dictionary and help resource, and there's a built-in browser so you can preview your progress as you work. On top of these features, you also get snippet support, configurable actions, and so much more. We're talking full Python interpreted scripting. Yeah. Editorial also supports Dropbox sync to save and backup all your files.

If you write a ton of content in Markdown, love to script workflows in Python, and otherwise crave advanced features, get Editorial.


Byword supports not only iPad but iPhone and Mac as well. Complete with Markdown previews, publishing options to several different blogging platforms, and more, Byword also supports both Dropbox and iCloud syncing so you can use whichever you prefer.

If you want iPad, iPhone, and Mac support, along with instant publishing to WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Scriptogram or Evernote, get Byword.

iA Writer

iA Writer supports Markdown, along with a specialized keyboard for it, live preview options, iCloud and Dropbox sync, and more. iA Writer also features something called Focus Mode that dims the rest of the text around the sentence you're working on. If you're easily distracted Focus Mode in iA Writer is a great feature that can help keep you on track.

If you don't need publishing options and would prefer something with a lower price tag, iA Writer is a good choice.

Elements for Dropbox

Elements for Dropbox syncs, as the name suggests, through Dropbox, which means you can not only open any documents you create on iPhone and iPad, but any text editor on any platform. You can even create custom folders to keep your content even more organized. Elements also offers Markdown support and the ability to export HTML or PDF formats.

If you want something incredibly easy to use, and something that just works with any and all other plaintext editors that can be pointed at Dropbox, get Elements.


Write supports Markdown, with specialized keyboards on both iPhone and iPad versions, iCloud sync, and more. One of the best features of Write is its support for third party apps and social sharing. Clear, Evernote, Tweetbot, Google Drive, and Reminders are just some of the apps that integrate directly into Write. Aside for social sharing, Write's Remote Keyboard feature lets you pair your devices and use one as a keyboard for the other.

If you want tons of options for sharing and the ability to pair devices together for a better more advanced workflow, get Write.

Your favorite writing apps for iPad?

Those are the iPad apps we most often use to get our writing done, but now it's your turn. What's your favorite, go-to iPad writing app?

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 13 comments. Add yours.

weberm13 says:

iA Writer is what I use, but not very often.

JAL Payen says:

FioWriter (actually works best on iPod / iPhone).

Sent from the iMore App

Rene Ritchie says:

I'm still using Elements on iOS and BBEdit on OS X. Great combo if you use Dropbox.

GeniusUnleashed says:

So I've tried a few journal apps, but really just want one long one like I used to do with my double pw protected Word doc for years. Is this a good combo for keeping a journal I can store in Dropbox and edit from Mac and iOS?

captobie says:

Still waiting on Scrivener for iOS. I will not write on iPad before its time.

Jaison Biagini says:

i agree but holy crap!!! how long are we gonna have to wait?? i thought it was supposed to be out in 2012, now it's gonna be at least mid 2014!!

Dark_Huntress says:

Me too. Its taking forever but Scrivener is the only way to go.

inline1 says:

Pages, but more for the footnote & endnote support as much as anything. Anyone know of a list of apps that support this?

Peter Breis says:

Unfortunately Apple has lobotomised the latest Pages 5, removing over 90 features and adding heaps of bugs.

EndNote support being one of the features screwed up.

Rakesh hazaribagh says:

I think Wisdom writer can be compared with above apps, also it was free for sometimes. It has all rich text formatting with table and picture tools.

Fisherro says:

I loved Essay until it got bought by Evernote. I don’t love the Essay features as they’ve been integrated into Evernote. I used Elements until UX Write appeared, which is now my #1 choice. I occasionally use Pages too.

nat750 says:

Pages is working well for me. I used DocsToGo but since I starting using a Logitech ultraslim keyboard folio case & the spell check doesn't work when using that keyboard so pages is now my main one & I really like it.

Alvil says:

I was using evernote earlier as I do not write that much on ipad. In-fact I use my iPad to store a lot's of files so i was in need of searching something that can brilliantly manage my ipad files, then I came across files-finder edition for ipad and I was pretty astonished when I used the app and I found it's interface pretty similar to finder of Mac. Now, I can edit my files, sync my files over cloud networks, edit them, sort them. Besides of I got features like in built browser with download manager and file previewer etc.