I tend to jump feet-first into new apps. After all, newer is usually better, so the latest version of an app that I love is an insta-buy for me, regardless of price.
That practice culminated this past week with the release of Writer Pro, which is the “pro” version of iA Writer, another iOS and Mac writing utility that I use every day. I immediately purchased the app on both the Mac and on iOS, thinking that the advertised features sounded absolutely excellent. The iOS app is universal, meaning that it works on both my iPhone and on my iPad. It costs $20. The Mac app — which is, admittedly, better in a lot of ways than the iOS app — is also $20. That’s a total of $40 for an app on every platform I use. A bargain, really, for a powerful program. Unfortunately, Writer Pro does not deserve its “Pro” tag.
I’ve been using the app on iOS since the day it was released, so I’m going to share some quick thoughts. Too long, didn’t read? Don’t buy it, at least not until iA has issued some updates to replace functionality found in the “regular” iA Writer.
The design is confusing. The emphasis on black is annoying. The fonts are great, but the gestures are also confusing. Ultimately, the iOS app feels like levels and levels of fluff and useless features piled on top of a shaky concept. The idea of different modes is nice, and is likely useful for some, but the workflow modes are based on documents, and not projects. That, alone, makes almost no sense to me, and so it adds to the confusion of the app.
The feature set has been completely reset. There are no folders, no Dropbox sync, and only limited support for languages other than English. The biggest feature addition is Syntax Control, which is nice and certainly useful. Regardless, the whole situation screams “one step forward, three (or four, or five…) steps back.”
Do not buy Writer Pro. I am using it, and will continue to use it, so as to not feel too bad about spending $20 ($40, counting the Mac app) on a new writing suite. I hope that iA can quickly address the issues that so many are having. Until then, steer clear.