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Top 100: Must Have iPad Apps

By Harry Marks on September 10, 2011

Writing

Edito ($4.99): Edito is a Markdown-oriented text editor for iOS. Create, edit and save documents in Edito and when you’re done, email them to yourself or others from inside the app. What sets Edito apart from other text editors is the Markdown-specific bar at the top of the iPad’s onscreen keyboard, which provides you with shortcuts for frequently used Markdown symbols, like the square bracket and parenthesis. While there is TextExpander support built-in, Edito does lack Dropbox syncing. You must email yourself your pieces in order to get them to another app or service.

Elements 2 ($4.99): Recently revamped with new features and spiffy new interface, Elements 2 is one of the best Markdown text editors on iOS. Write, edit and store all your documents on Dropbox and use the integrated TextExpander support to streamline the writing process. Elements lets you track word and character counts, export your documents as HTML or PDFs to a variety of services, like iTunes and Evernote, and publish them to several popular blogging platforms – including Tumblr. Elements 2 is simple, clean and extremely powerful.

Pages ($9.99): Apple’s word processor for iOS is slick and robust. Whether you’re writing a term paper or publishing an eBook, Pages accomodates many layouts and styles for readers of every type. Add images and videos to your documents, then resize them perfectly inline with your text. Everything is automatically saved without any extra effort required by the user. When you’re ready to publish, just import the docs via iTunes onto your Mac to apply the finishing touches, print them wirelessly with AirPrint, or save them to your iDisk or WebDAV server.

Writing Kit ($4.99): Markdown, Dropbox, TextExpander – this app has it all. What makes Writing Kit so special? The integrated browser so you don’t have to bounce back-and-forth while doing research. Enable ad blocking and text-only viewing modes online, upload images to CloudApp, then export your document to any number of blogging and publishing platforms, or just copy the HTML and paste it into your WordPress or Squarespace blog.

Nebulous Notes ($2.99): Nebulous Notes is a cheeky little monkey. It’s a text editor that supports almost any text-based file type imaginable. Whether you’re working on an article or a Web page, Nebulous Notes will let you open, edit and store it on Dropbox, so you can work on it later from home. The app can be protected with a four digit pin and comes with several themes to help get you in the mood for whatever you’re working on, like the Dream Journaler theme for more prosaic writing, or the Matrix Coder theme for that Rails App you’ve been slaving away on.

Moleskine (Free): Everyone’s favorite little black hard-backed notebook can now be found on your iOS device. Choose from unruled, ruled or square paper and get to writing. Rather than being a “Jack of all trades” text editor, Moleskine is geared more toward getting your thoughts down on “paper” with the least amount of hassle. Notes can be shared over social networks and geo-tagged, so you can keep track of where you’ve written over the years.

Simplenote (Free): If all you need is a basic note taking app, download Simplenote for iOS. It stores notes as plain text files and syncs them across Simplenote’s own cloud-based storage area, so your notes are always up to date on all your devices. The app comes with built-in search, tagging and the ability to pin favorite notes to the top of your list.

WriteRoom ($4.99): Don’t want any bells and/or whistles in your writing apps, do ya? Take a peek at WriteRoom and see if that does the trick. WriteRoom is a fullscreen text editor that syncs with Dropbox. The only settings you have are to change the fonts and the background – that’s it. This is a truly “distraction free” writing environment for the iPad.

iA Writer ($4.99): Similarly to WriteRoom, iA Writer is a distraction-free writing app with a few more perks. Using FocusMode, You can focus on one sentence at a time and blur out the surrounding text and the built-in keyboard extensions put frequently-used macros and symbols literally at your fingertips in a variety of languages. And do I even need to mention the Dropbox sync?

Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus (Free): Look up definitions for hundreds of thousands of words, as well as synonyms, antonyms, hypernyms (more generic words) and any other “nyms” you can think of. The search function dynamically updates as you type and words are displayed with their typical constructions and collocations (the association between words that are often used together).