It’s National Novel Writing Month once again, time to challenge yourself to write 50000 words in 30 days, no easy feat! But with your Android device by your side, you can keep working on your novel or non-fiction book anywhere and anytime. Throughout this week, we’ll share our best apps, thoughts, and tips to help you achieve that writing goal.
As any writer knows, focus is absolutely key, and unnecessary distractions can really hurt the workflow. Most word processors are filled with bulky features that aren’t needed except for special projects that require formatting or tables. This means that they can easily distract from the primary purpose of the app.
Writer recognizes these aspects and strives to provide the most efficient writing experience possible on Android. It is an extremely simple word processing app that is designed to keep you submersed in your writing.
Writer uses a very straight forward philosophy when it comes to writing. The developer believes that it should be more about the words you write and less about the tools you use to do it. This is why you will find the overall experience extremely simple and incredibly easy to grasp.
When you’re in your list of works, you can choose to sort your projects alphabetically or by date modified. This means that you can always find the document you are looking for, no matter how many projects you’ve created.
While you are working on a document, Writer can display a variety of information for you. By pressing the info button in the top right corner, you will be able to view the word and character counts. This is especially useful if you have specific content requirements for the project you are working on. It will also show you the estimated reading time and the date in which the document was last modified.
Writer will allow you to change the format of the text while still keeping things minimal. They do this by only offering three different text styles. You can have normal text, italicized text, and bold text. This is because writer is designed for novelists, and novel writing typically doesn’t require more than three styles of text.
Additionally, Writer also supports headers, bullets, and quotes. It will allow you to differentiate between four different types of headers. When it comes to bullet points, you can have plus or minus symbols in addition to standard numbers. What’s even more terrific is that you can add quotes to a text – a feature that comes in handy when you need to cite a paper or someone else’s words.
Writer attempts to use the most basic interface possible all the way through the app. When you first launch it, you’ll be greeted with a simple list of all the projects that you’ve begun work on. All you do is tap on the project you want to edit and yous content is immediately displayed.
When you want to change the style of the text, you don’t do so by awkwardly selecting text, you do so by adding stars around the text. If you want to make text italicized, you would put one star around the text, while if you want to make text bold you would put two stars around the text. For example, italicized text would look like this: *text*, while bold text would look like this **text**.
Formatting the other styles can be accomplished with a similar method. To create various headings, you put the number symbol in front of a heading. The more symbols you put, the smaller the heading will be. For example, typing the text: #text will give a large header, while typing the text: ###text will give you a small header. Additionally, you can easily put in quotes by simply inserting an arrow at the beginning of your text, which will look like this: >text.
All documents are saved on your SD card, and there is currently no way to share them or sync them with online storage. However, the developers promise this as an upcoming feature.
Where Writer Falls Short
While Writer is not attempting to go toe-to-toe will full fledged word processors, it is unfortunately still lacking some essential features. For starters, you cannot change the margins or the line spacing. This can be a very big inconvenience as most writings require specific dimensions in this area and with this app, you no longer have complete control over content looks to the reader.
Additionally, the inability to add pictures or any other type of similar formatting can make it hard to write pieces like articles or even stories. A simple function to add links or other content would really help to open this up for a wider audience.
While Writer is missing some standard features, it is still one of the most favored writing applications available for Android. This is because most novelists will view the excluded features as luxuries and only required for specific projects. The truth is, the vast majority of them don’t need anything but basic text, and see a definite advantage from writing in a distraction-free environment.
So when you stop and think about how Writer is aiming for this type of personal minimalistic approach, you realize that it’s quite a niche product. It will suite some people’s needs and fall short with many others. But for its target audience, Writer masterfully and brilliantly fits the bill.