Sweating the Small Stuff: Keyboard Extensions in iA Writer for iPad

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When app developers sweat the small stuff, users are the big winners. Often times a clever ‘little’ feature can greatly improve your experience, and productivity, when using an app.

Here’s a classic example of this – the Keyboard Extensions feature in the excellent iA Writer app for iPad. As shown in the photo above, these are offered as a further row of keys along the top of the on-screen keyboard. They allow you to do things like jump quickly to the beginning or end of the current word (via the word keys) and to type punctuation keys like dashes, colons and semi-colons, quote marks, and more without using shift to switch the keyboard mode.

These may seem a small thing at first, but they’re an enormous time saver when doing a lot of writing. Combined with the fact that this app has an uncannily accurate ability to place the cursor exactly where you want it when you tap within a block of text, this is one of the big reasons that iA Writer is such a pleasure to use.

Here’s an App Store link for iA Writer, in case you’re in need of a great text editor / writing app on your iPad. It has just had a price drop to a real steal of a price, at just $0.99.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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3 thoughts on “Sweating the Small Stuff: Keyboard Extensions in iA Writer for iPad”

  1. I’m not as impressed with iA Writer as you seem to be. Primarily because of two things. First, I rarely take advantage of the innovative keys because I use the iPad with a keyboard, and secondly the Dropbox feature requires manual updating, which is woefully inadequate when compared to how the Plain Text app syncs with Dropbox. Even the Simplenote app now has automatic syncing with Dropbox (albeit with some initial problems). Compared to those two apps, iA Writer isn’t worth more than $0.99.

    1. The sync does need improvement – no argument there at all. I believe the devs are also working on a desktop companion app, which would enhance things as well.

      Simplenote is my favorite note-taking app overall, and I love its instant sync to both Dropbox and its quite nice web app.

      iA Writer is great for writing longer pieces as well though.

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