Category: Productivity Developer: Infovole System Requirements: iOS 4.2 or later Compatibility: iPad Price: $4.99 Availability: Out now
Textkraft was already one of the best writing and editing tools for the iPad, and it just got even better with the release of Textkraft 2.0. This is a substantial update of the application, with enhanced functionality and a redesigned user interface. Textkraft developers Infovole have added a smart full-text search, PDF export, a WYSIWYG print dialog, and a new font settings menu dialog.
The 2.0 update is free to registered users of Textkraft, and has also been adapted to support the iPad 3′s Retina display. Other new Textkraft features include:
A full-text search with SASR technology which retains case sensitivity when replacing a word
A unique print dialog on the iPad including WYSIWYG preview that allows users to customize font size, number of pages and print options before printing.
Texts can be saved and shared as PDF.
In the new font-size menu users can change the font size and line spacing. They can also choose between 6 color themes and 10 font faces.
With the keyboard extension, 36 special characters and symbols that are missing on the iPad are quickly accessible. The bracket button places quotation marks, brackets and other combinations around a sentence or text selection.
Besides Twitter, email texts can now be shared via iMessage.
The user interface redesign also includes enlarged page margins and a font size view.
The new font menu is cool. At the top is a point size slider, with three line-spacing buttons immediately below.
There are also six color theme choices; normal (black on white), Sepia (my personal fave), “Night” (white on black), “Retro” (green DOS-style text on black), “Mint” (dark green on light green), and “Glamour” (two shades of magenta).
Ten different fonts are supported: American Typewriter, Arial, Baskerville, Bradley Hand, Cochin, Courier, Helvetica, Palatino, Times New Roman, and Verdana. Unfortunately, there is also one fairly serious bug I’ve repeatedly encountered with the new font menu: a program crash upon attempting to open the menu. I haven’t experienced any data loss in these crashes, and upon reopening the app the font menu opens just fine (until next time), but it is annoying.
The new search dialog supports regular search, find and replace, and you can specify case sensitive and entire word only search parameters.
Here’s a shot of the old TextKraft UI. I generally like the new one better, but I do miss one element that’s gone missing—the en-dash key on the supplementary keypad that blessedly dispensed with the necessity of shifting to the .?123 keyboard map for that much-used key.
“We’ve collected and evaluated praise and criticism from the Textkraft users for a whole year. We’ve learned what makes our app unique and which features are still missing. With the update to version 2.0 we implemented all suggestions for improvement and we are sure that writers will love the result,” said Infovole CEO Marcel Uetzels. Memo to Marcel: I do, but please bring back the en-dash key.
Technically, Textkraft now has an improved export to older Windows and Macintosh systems, faster reaction times when typing and navigating the cursor, and increased responsiveness with the dictionary. There’s also an auto backup function.
Returning Textkraft good stuff includes:
Work on up to 5 documents at once and switch among them with the touch of a button.
Resume exactly where you let off
Built-in dictionary, all suggestions at a glance. With the Spell-Aid button you can jump to the next unknown word.
Similar words, synonyms, potential follow-ups.
Wikipedia full text research and several online dictionaries included.
Dynamic and sensitive spelling aid. No looking up and no interruption within the writing flow.
Built-in full-text search with smart search/replace SASR. Case sensitivity retains when you replace a word.
Print dialog with WYSIWYG preview: Customize font size, number of pages and print options before printing (as from iOS 5).
The bracket button places quotation marks, brackets and other combinations around a sentence.
Cursor keys better than on a real keyboard. 8 keys with 10 functions.
Quick selection-markers for word, sentence and paragraph with much less finger-movement hassle.
Undo/Redo- and history-function for testing various phrasings.
Upper and lower case can be switched by keystroke.
My en-dash gripe notwithstanding, Textkraft remains pretty much the class of the field in text editors with word processor aspirations (hence “text processor”) and it’s a steal at 99 cents. Like most German software, it has that precision and attention to detail that you find in Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW automobiles.