1Writer: A great text editing companion to the iPad Pro

Despite my gripes about Apple's crappy launch of the iPad Pro, I am amazed by this device. It's fast, the screen real estate is perfect, and the ability to do side-by-side full-screen apps is... well, like having a really flat OS X machine in your hands. There was one little problem -- other than not having a keyboard to work with right off the bat. My favorite cross-platform text editor, Ulysses, hasn't been updated to work with Split View on iOS 9. I did a little searching around and found a $4.99 app that seemed to fulfill my requirements; 1Writer.

1Writer is everything I want and need in a Markdown editor. Since my memory for those arcane Markdown markup codes is horrible, it has a toolbar at the bottom of the page (see image below) that adds the markup codes for me when I need them. Swipe the toolbar, and a second toolbar appears with a number of items like brackets, quotes, etc. Tap and hold any of those toolbar buttons (marked with a gray "tab" in the upper right corner), and a set of choices appears. One absolutely cool feature is that you can assign actions to those buttons as well.

The actions include features that are listed -- like copy, print, open in -- as well as some that are on the 1Writer website and are accessible and addable from an action button. Have a URL action you want to add to the app? Easy. How about a JavaScript action? Add it. 1Writer’s action directory includes tools for doing find or find/replace, posting notes to other apps, adding footnotes in MultiMarkdown, translating text, and more.

Need to do research while writing? There's no need to drop out of 1Writer, because with a swipe to the left you're popped into an in-app web browser. Find your link, copy it, and with a swipe you're back into the editor. Previewing what my writing is going to look like is a snap, as iWriter places a small "preview" button in the upper right corner of every document. Tap, and you see exactly what that post or document is going to look like.

1Writer has support for iCloud and Dropbox, and I found the syncing to both to be lightning-fast. I wasn't enthralled with the red default theme, then found blue, silver, dark gray and white themes, along with a dark mode for glare-free work. The user interface for 1Writer is clean, easy to use, and not as overrun with functions as I've seen in some other text editors.

Sure, there's no OS X version of the app (yet), but for that I can still use Ulysses on the Mac. Since 1Writer seems to save quite a bit faster to iCloud, I can be sure that my work is available on the Mac when I need to work on it. Ulysses has had some issues with syncing at a decent speed. If you're a fan of Evernote, CloudApp, or Droplr, those services can be turned on in seconds.

While the app is universal, I'm not sure I'll be using it on the iPhone -- but it's great to know that in a pinch, I could grab a Bluetooth keyboard, prop up the iPhone, and get to work.

I’m supposed to have a keyboard of some sort (not the Smart Keyboard) by the end of the day for the iPad Pro, and I know that the first app I’ll be using with it is going to be 1Writer. This app definitely looks like a keeper!