Yesterday, the talented Oliver Reichenstein, and his crew at Information Architects, released Writer for the iPad. The app is a well-designed, stripped down writing tool that allows you to focus on your writing instead of distractions. There’s a Focus Mode that removes auto-correction, spell-checker, toolbars, scrolling, editing, cut/copy/paste and fades out all the text except for the three lines you’re working on. The mode is really great for when you’re stuck on a sentence and need to concentrate on that small section of text.
Much attention has also been paid to the typography. Writer doesn’t have any fancy formatting settings. Instead, font type, text size, column width, leading and contrast have all been optimized to provide the best reading experience in both portrait and landscape modes. The app makes use of Nitti Light, a monospaced typeface by Bold Monday.
I’ve had the privilege of beta testing the app before it’s was released, and I can easily say that Writer is one of my favorite apps on my iPad. I’ve used it many times to write blog posts, emails and even portions of my book. I’m easily distracted when I write and this app helps me to focus. Oliver and crew paid a great deal of attention to the details, and it shows. I applaud them for the excellent work.
A new version (1.3) of the excellent Grid Calculator has been released for the Mac. The main feature of this upgrade is the ability to calculate grids for web design. It’s the only stand-alone app that I know of that supports both print and web. Pretty sweet. I’ve been told that the PC version is coming soon.
Here are some more new features:
• Inches and Points support.
• More paper sizes (DIN, ANSI and Arch).
• Great new time-saving feature “Copy Settings” introduced – NO more back and forth!
• Modified “Quick conversion” section.
• Web designer friendly, use Points in 72 ppi resolution and calculate your grid.
As you know, I’m a big grid system user. One of the most time consuming, and sometimes frustrating, aspects of grid systems is calculating and creating them. If you’re new to grids, I suggest you do it all by hand at first to learn the process. But once you get the hang of it, and understand it, an application can speed the process up considerably and save you valuable time.
Over the last few months I’ve been using an app called Grid Calculator, developed by Designers Bookshop, to do all my calculating for me so that I could concentrate on other things. It’s available for both Mac and PC and helps with calculating correct leading, margins, gutters, row space and “f” height for image placement. It also includes a handy conversion tool and document proportions.
It’s currently aimed more towards editorial design, but it could still be used for web design with some minor calculating on the side. Hopefully they expand the next version to include more features for web specific design.
I figured that a lot of you would be interested in this app, so I’ve contacted the company and they’ve agreed to give AisleOne readers a 10% discount. The offer is only valid this week: Monday, April 27th to Friday, May 1st. To get the discount, enter in the following code upon checkout : Baseline.