When I laid eyes on the original Byword, I knew it was the editor for me. It wasn’t pretentious or loaded with features. It had iCloud and Dropbox sync, local storage, and a clean interface. Occasionally its two settings screens or tiny sync conflict previews would trip me up, but overall it was a solid piece of kit.
Despite this, and the fact it sounds more like an abbreviated Microsoft product, 1Writer has supplanted Byword as my primary editor on iOS in 2014.
It could very well be a case of PEBKAC, but Byword 2.0 introduced a few strange anomalies. 3G syncing stopped working, regardless of whether it was enabled to use mobile/celluar data in Settings or not. Renaming notes was a hit and miss operation. As with Drafts, the loading time got rather silly. After a while, these quirks started to wear me down, so I decided to finally look for alternatives.
Turns out, Shawn Blanc recently moved off Byword himself, citing reliability concerns. On his company’s site, he listed 1Writer as his chosen alternative. I trust Shaun’s sensibilities, so I decided to give it a whirl.
Suffice to say, I’ve had it for about a week now, and adore it. Its design reminds me of Fantastical, which makes me happy. Its file hierarchy is logically laid out, its Markdown preview is a visual improvement, and it feels subjectively faster. About all that I’m missing is Byword’s night theme for those evening train trips.
It’s US$2.99 on the App Store, and no I was not paid for this. Though if the developer liked the free publicity and wanted to shout me a coffee, I wouldn’t object ;).