Jennifer's Journal


Monday, October 24, 2011

Apps for Writers - OmmWriter

It sounds like a fine idea, an app with a serene, non-distracting writing surface designed to encourage concentration in keeping with the OmmWriter name. And the app lives up to its basic promise, with a gray-white, wintery background featuring muted skeletons of trees and softly falling snow. Very pretty, even soothing, with no distractions from color, noise, ads or strident graphics. For those forced to write in the midst of chaos, it might be beneficial. Also on the plus side, the app does include automatic save and the ability to add accent marks for multiple languages.

For me, however, the sense of serenity--the main reason for buying the app--was banished by frustration over the lack of utility. The keyboard, though adequate for simple typing, did not have the interactive features of the normal Apple keyboard, such as automatic recognition of contractions, intelligent toggling between letters and numbers, highlighting for typos and misspellings, and suggestions for one-touch corrections. The rationale for leaving these off is that such functions encourage editing, so take the writer out of The Zone. Maybe. But if you’re used to having them, their absence is felt. The greatest problem, however, came from trying to transfer newly created text to a standard word processing program. OmmWriter has no built-in email capability, so text must be selected, copied, and then pasted into a different app for that action.

These things may sound fairly minor, and they might be in a free app. But OmmWriter is $4.99 in the iTunes app store.  At that price point, it should be something more than nice virtual stationery.

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