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The key to good writing is not that magical glass of Bordeaux, the right kind of
tobacco or that groovy background music. The key is focus.
What you need to write well is a spartan setting that allows you to fully concen
trate on your text and nothing but your text. Many professional writers use Simp
leText or Textedit because these are the only writing programs that are distract
ion free. Unfortunately, text editors have their issues:
1. CONCENTRATION: Traditional text editors drag us into a chaotic loop of crissc
ross editing, which destroys the voice and the organic structure of our original
thought. Too much editing in the drafting process leads to writer's block. Our
solution to that problem is called "Focus Mode." Some use only focus mode for wr
iting. The original purpose is to free your field of sight when you get stuck. S
ome also say that it helps them to get started with the first sentence.
2. ORIENTATION: Page numbers work well for physical objects where they are tangi
ble, but they are meaningless for digital text. We believe that reading time is
a more useful measure to assess the quantity of digital text.
3. TYPOGRAPHY: Writer comes with a typographic design that works perfectly on t
he iPad. We asked the best type, screen and graphic designers in the industry (s
ee Credits) to work with us on the design – so you don't need to worry about it. W
ith Writer all your thought goes into what you write, not how your writing looks

Writer has no graphic settings or formatting features. It avoids all distracting
glitz in the user interface and puts all the beauty in the shape of the text. I
t uses an interactive logic that helps you concentrate, find your orientation an
d express yourself. For the iPad version we also added Dropbox synchronization,
punctuation and arrow keys.
1. FOCUS MODE creates a noise free writing space. No auto-correction, spelling e
rrors, toolbars, scrolling, editing, cut/copy/paste to distract you moving forwa
rd in your text. Focus Mode blurs out everything except the latest three lines o
f text you were working in. The idea is to activate it when you get stuck, blind
ing out everything else.
2. WRITING TYPOGRAPHY If you look at text as an interface, typography is its usa
bility. Common text editors are typographically weak (small font, tight leading,
random measure, lack of whitespace). In addition, few people have the professio
nal skills to design digital text. In Writer, font type, text size, column width
, leading and contrast are carefully set for the best writing experience both in
portrait and landscape mode.
(Writer uses a monospaced font called Nitti Light created and optimized for iPad
by the type wizards at Bold Monday. The font transports the provisory character
of drafting and forces you to read slowly and precisely without being tedious t
o look at.)
3. READING TIME gives you an approximation of how long it will take to read your
text. Cursor time shows you in minutes and seconds up to where the cursor is.
4. KEYBOARD EXTENSIONS provides arrow keys and punctuation. We disabled smart qu
otes to keep you focused on what you say and not how you type.
5. DROPBOX allows web synchronization of your documents from iPad to the cloud.

In spite of its passive character, the awkward keyboard, the stubborn iOS and it
s many other faults, the iPad has the power to drag you in and make you forget t
he world around you. This is why we decided to start with the iPad even though i
t would have been much easier to create a desktop app. The desktop app is schedu
led for end of January 2010.
Yes, we are also working on a desktop version with an advanced focus mode and ve
ry cool editing features. Subscribe to our twitter feed (@iawriter) if you want
to stay up to date.

The good news: We're open to suggestions at
If you'd like to write us a love letter, send a mail to writer@informationarchit
The bad news: Don't expect us to answer all mails or tweets. If we sell 100,000
apps we will hire someone to do just that. For now, we'll invest all the money w
e make into improving the product based on your feedback.

CONCEPT & DESIGN: Oliver Reichenstein
CODE: Raphael Schaad
BETA TESTERS & CONTRIBUTORS: Erik Spiekermann, Scott Thomas, Khoi Vinh, Jeffrey
Zeldman, Mike Rundle, Liz Danzico, Aza Raskin, Patrick Algrim, John Boardley, Pa
ul van der Laan, Vitor Lourenço, Mark Boulton, Om Malik, Marcos Weskamp, Craig Mod
, Joshua Brewer, Antonio Carusone, Aegir Hallmundur, Jürgen Siebert, Indra Kupfers
chmid, Alan van Roemburg, Paul Bakaus, Jean Snow, Alexander Limi, Matt Roberts,
The Design Observer Group, Robin Sloan, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Guido Mingels, Wolf
gang Blau, Stefan Seiz, Giovanni De Mauro, Stephan Seidt, Kari Pätilä, Moritz Zimmer
, Edial Dekker, Daisuke Don Horie, Christian Steinert, Jay Nelson, Nobuyuki Haya
shi, Matthew Solle, Paul Baron, Dan Oliver, Bodhi Philpot, Anatole Varin, Juho V
iitasalo, Michael Donohoe, Ben Sekulowicz, Takeshi Tanaka, Marc Cartiant, and th
e Legendary Shane Berry.
Special thanks to Yumiko and Akira.