Oliver Reichenstein, a web designer and information architect behind well-known design firm, Information Architects, didn’t really have any plans to build and sell an iPad app; all he wanted was a simple text editor he could use on his iPad to pen his thoughts, without becoming defocussed by the web. He tried some of those available, but he didn’t feel satisfied. So he and his team built Writer for iPad.
It turned out to be great move. The app launched a few weeks ago, and since then, Oliver’s company has sold 20,000 copies. If current sales trends continue, Writer would hit about 50,000 copies sold. At $5 a copy, that’s $250,000 — not bad for what was supposed to be a very personal obsession. Writer for iPad is going through major upgrades and will have folders, auto sync and some other major tweaks soon. If that’s not enough, the company is now looking to extend this product to Mac OS X and will be launching it in beta sometime later this year.
So what’s the big deal about Writer for iPad? Having used it from the very beginning of the app’s development, I have to say it’s the sheer simplicity of the app that works best. It’s not what features it has, but instead, the features it leaves out that define the product.
For instance, there are no graphical or formatting settings, helping you focus on the writing itself. It syncs with Dropbox, and it has a single beautiful font which makes writing and reading the app fun to use. In addition, it can tell you how long it’s going to take someone to read the text you are creating. It reminds me of my old Remington — every mistake had to be hand corrected and it made me focus on being accurate and using words concisely and efficiently.
If you’re a professional writer like me, you are going to enjoy working on this app.
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