Category: Productivity Seller:David Caddy Requirements: iOS 4.3 or later Compatibility: iPad File Size: 1.3MB Version Reviewed: 1.0.0 Price: $2.99 (introductory price) Age Rating: 4+
App Sublime’s Character Writer 1.0 is a bit of a one-trick pony at this point in its development. It’s a pretty good trick, particularly if you have a practical need for any of its array of special character custom alternatives to the iOS standard on-screen keyboard.
Well, to be fair, and accentuating the positive, Character Writer does have some other interesting appearance and productivity-enhancing features, including the increasingly popular (although not with me) ability to dismiss the toolbar and status bar for a distraction-free workspace, text size adjustment and a modest choice of fonts, and a selection of alternative themes: dark, light, grey, night (white on black), and my personal fave: Sepia.
Gestures supported include pinch-in/pinch-out to quickly resize text, swipe off the edge of the screen (either left or right) to initiate the undo procedure, swipe from off the edge onto the screen (either left or right) to initiate the redo procedure, character and word count, document-sorting by title, date created, date last modified and word count, arrow keys to control cursor placement, and a Tab key.
Alternative keyboards include full upper and lower case Greek alphabet, math symbols and digits, pictographs, letter-like symbols, bullets, and miscellaneous symbols. Switching among the various keyboards is instant from a button bar.
However, the standard keyboard is pretty much just that—the iOS default plus the button bar for switching character sets and the four arrow keys, and with none of the text handling productivity-enhancement keys you get in Infovole’s Textkraft, Schreibkraft, and 1a Easy Writer, or Nebulous Notes. Another major shortcoming in my estimation is that it doesn’t support Dropbox or iCloud, which the aforementioned apps do, and which would rule it out as a daily driver for me for now. In order to export text, you have the options of copy and paste, email as text, email as attachment, send to iTunes, print, Tweet, and open. A lot of useful options there, but none to match automatic synchronization in the Cloud…yet. Happily, App Sublime’s David Caddy tells me that they are working on both Dropbox and iCloud support for an upcoming version update, ETA being in four to six weeks.
In the meantime, if the special character feature is useful for you—such as to compose technical reports on the iPad—Character Writer should be just what you need in a text editor, and you’ll get the Cloud services support in the not too distant future. My rating below is contingent upon that.