I recently downloaded Writebox, a writing app by Kazuhiro Shibuya. But when I say downloaded I actually mean re-downloaded because I used to use it on my android phone until, due to a lack of updates, the app kept hanging and I couldn’t be bothered to use it anymore. Seriously the experience got so bad that it would just hang every time I opened it. Not cool.
Prior to that bad experience it was the app that I enjoyed typing and writing on. To be honest this is the only app that I’ve been missing from my days with android. I can’t quite put my finger on why that is though. There’s really nothing unique about the app in terms of looks and functionality. Everything that it does, Byword (another app I’ve used) does and probably better. It’s just another distraction-free, minimally designed, simple to use writing app with online sync (via Dropbox or Google Drive). It doesn’t have iCloud sync or publishing options or integration with Text Expander and yet I like it.
In my opinion the thing that really sets Writebox apart from all other apps is the Web-app. This means that I can start typing something on my phone whilst on the train heading home and then after that pick it up again on the computer. Not just my home computer but also my work computer, my wife’s computer, my mom’s computer; in fact any computer with a working web-browser. Which is a lot of options. This helps in the weirdest way because it removes one of the biggest barriers to me writing: of not being able to get to my writing.
Typing on your phone is great but it’s not the ideal place for me to edit my text. The screen just feels too small for that. Also being confined to Byword or any other desktop based app is way too limiting. When I was trying to get into using Byword for Mac I had to keep setting aside my desire to write until I got to my computer. The way I live my life I hardly get to sit down till 11pm some nights once the kids are asleep and the chores are done. By then I have to turn to my endless stack of mail and other admin things that need my attention.
Being able to get to my writing and continue where I left off in many places is very convenient and actually makes setting aside time for writing less of a chore.
I didn’t even know that Writebox was available on iOS but it’s been there since Nov 2012! How did I not know? Why didn’t I download it when I returned to my iPhone last year?
Recently I discovered it again on the site App Advice where it’s featured under the Apps Gone Free section and I’m so pleased that it’s been optimised for iPhone 6 now. It’s better than I remembered it. The sync is still good and fast and the extra row of keys with the # and * symbols is a nice touch. In fact there’s just enough customization that I find it to be a real winner for me.
This review was written firstly on my iPhone and polished up on computer and I did it in record time. I love this app so much and couldn’t recommend it more highly. Since it’s free now, go check it out!