For most people working with text means, at the most, drafting a short document, letter or perhaps an essay in Word. For a few of us though, working with text means not only doing some heavy text editing, but also means exporting text, using markdown, taking many notes, doing some heavy searches across thousands of words and sentences, and most importantly, navigating fast and accurately across that same amount of text.
While all of these might be a piece of cake to do on your Mac or PC where there are plenty of text editors and text tools to choose from, on the iPhone things get a bit trickier. In fact, some of the features you need could be offered by apps you might have never heard about.
So to make sure you don’t miss the ones we think are the best, here is an overview of our top three picks of apps that should be indispensable for any iPhone owner who works with text often.
Also on Guiding Tech
Being available for years now on the iPad, the iPhone version of Daedalus Touch ($4.99) hit the App Store just a few days ago and its implementation is nothing short of stellar.
Besides being one of the best-looking text editing apps out there, Daedalus Touch uses a paper-stack metaphor on its interface, which you can interact with using a variety of gestures implemented in a very smart way, rarely requiring you to use more than one finger.
You open stacks, scroll through paper notes and create new ones. You can also search through them and keep them in sync via iCloud, Dropbox and other web services.
Besides these, the most important feature of Daedalus Touch is of course, the ability to work with plain text and apply markdown and all sorts of formatting.
Personally, I use Daedalus Touch for everything, ranging from storing simple notes to drafting articles. It is powerful enough to suit most needs and simple enough to not overwhelm with its features.
Cool Tip: To see the word and character count in any document in Daedalus Touch, tap and hold the three horizontal lines above the keyboard.
Pages for iPhone
Pages for iPhone is something of both a blessing and a curse: On one hand it is an app that offers almost the full experience of a fully-featured text editor, but on the other, it suffers from feature overload.
For many people this will be perfectly fine of course, since Pages for iPhone ($9.99, Universal) is the most similar app for anyone looking for a MS Word replacement, allowing you to create print-ready documents on the go. Furthermore, if you have the Mac version of Pages, everything syncs seamlessly.
However, the app’s iCloud-only approach and its lack of tools for working with format-agnostic text, limits it quite a bit.
Another strong text editor contender, Drafts for iPhone ($2.99) offers those who work with text (and plain text in particular) a very friendly environment where you can also customize themes and fonts.
The most important feature of Drafts though, is that it supports Actions, which turn the app into a real powerhouse when it comes to interacting with other apps and services. Additionally, Drafts lets you export your text to a variety of services, like Twitter, Facebook, Email, SMS, Clipboard and more.
There you have them. Three different, yet very powerful apps to work with text on the iPhone that go a little bit further than the average offerings of the App Store. Each has its own set of pros and cons, so choose wisely and according to your needs.