Welcome to my list of the best writing apps for iPad users. Many writers like iPads because they’re lightweight and easy to carry anywhere. You can write with a stylus, a detachable keyboard, a Bluetooth keyboard, or an Apple Pencil.
I’ve used these writing apps on my own iPad Pro. They make the iPad a great tool for anyone who wants to write without lugging a laptop around.
With these apps, you can check your grammar, brainstorm ideas, and sketch out your latest project, whether it’s a novel, a screenplay, a webtoon, or something else entirely.
Let’s get started with the best writing apps for putting your words directly on the page–er, screen.
The Best Writing Apps for iPad
Scrivener is one of the most popular novel-writing software programs, and for good reason. It’s a powerful, feature-rich word processor that makes it easy for writers to organize their ideas, track their progress, and revise their work.
One of the coolest things about Scrivener is that you can create and organize your novel’s backstory in the same file as the manuscript. Not only can you create multiple scenes per chapter, which lets you reorganize your book very easily, but you can create character and setting profiles, add notes and research, and edit the front matter of your book.
The learning curve is not as steep as you might think. When you create a new Scrivener document, all these separate sections are already organized in your Binder, waiting for you whenever you need them.
Scrivener also has a built-in word processor and lets you export your work in a variety of formats, including PDF, ePUB, and Microsoft Word.
Scrivener is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to open the same Scrivener file across different devices. I do most of my writing on my Macbook Pro, but the Scrivener files from my Macbook never open on my iPad. However, I can easily open Scrivener files from my iPad on my Macbook.
Even taking this hiccup into account, Scrivener is one of the most powerful writing apps on the market. It is optimized to meet the needs of professional writers, especially creative writers of fiction, memoir, and character-driven nonfiction.
Novelists, memoirists, long-form journalists, and other writers of long-form writing projects, e.g. research papers, master’s theses, game worlds, and interconnected short stories.
iOS and desktop versions, light and dark mode, easy organization of manuscript, research, and story notes
$19.99 for the iOS version. The Mac and Windows versions both cost $49 each, or $80 for a Mac and Windows bundle. If you want to get the desktop and mobile app, the total cost is $68.99.
These are one-time fees. When Scrivener releases a new version, license owners pay a reduced price for the new version.
iA Writer is a minimalist writing app that’s designed to help you focus. It offers a clean, distraction-free writing environment and comes with several features to make writing on your iPad easy and efficient.
One of the things I like best about iA Writer is its Focus Mode. When you enter Focus Mode, the app hides all of your notes and formatting options, leaving you with a clean screen and a blinking cursor. It grays out every sentence but the one you’re currently writing. This allows you to focus on your words without any distractions.
iA Writer can also highlight certain parts of syntax for you, such as nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc. The app can also check your prose style for redundancies, fillers, cliches, or any other custom patterns you want it to note. It is a very powerful writing tool and the perfect writing app for fans of minimalism.
While using iA Writer, you can publish your work directly to Medium, WordPress (via the Jetpack plugin), Ghost.org, Micropub, or Micro.blog. All you have to do is connect your account under the “Settings” tab.
iA Writer also includes a built-in word counter, iCloud support, and Markdown formatting. This app allows you to export your work in a variety of formats, including PDF, Microsoft Word document, Markdown, or HTML. You can also save your files to Dropbox through the app. All these features make iA Writer one of the most popular writing apps for the iPad.
I found it difficult to import documents into iA Writer, regardless of their format. This means that it’s not a great app for collaborating on a document. In order to get around this problem, you have to export the document from your Mac when it’s in plaintext (.txt) format and then import it into the app.
Bloggers, Medium writers, minimalism fans, writers who want in-line syntax highlighting (e.g. to check for extraneous adjectives, adverbs, or passive voice constructions), writers with ADHD
Focus mode, word counter, Jetpack integration, Medium integration, syntax highlighting, style checks, multiple format exports, minimalist interface, light and dark mode
$29.99 for iOS
Try iA Writer
Notebook is a free and versatile note-taking app created by Zoho. This app allows you to organize your notes, sketches, audio files, documents, and images in one central app.
Notebook lets you organize all your notes into separate notebooks, making it easy to keep track of different projects and ideas. You can customize the cover images on your notebooks, the background color of your notes, and save pages from the web
You can also share your notes with others via emails, messages, exported znote files, and as shareable links. This is a note-taking app, so it’s probably not what you want if you’re looking for a word processor or something that easily converts to docx ePUB. However, this app is very good for brainstorming and organizing your thoughts.
I’ve been a little disappointed at Notebook’s ability to handle some files. It can’t open rtfd (rich text) files, which I use a lot on my computer. That said, I appreciate how easy it is to use to keep all my other notes in one place.
In addition to the iPad, Notebook works on Mac, PC, Linux, and on web browsers like Firefox and Chrome. This app’s cloud sync and social sign-in options make it easy to keep track of your notes across multiple devices.
Students, multi-project writers, virtual assistants, writers who market their own work, anyone looking to keep all the notes from their projects in one app, people who keep losing their bullet journals
Document scanning, cloud sync, easy organization, project customization, collating diverse documents and document types
Google Docs is an online document processing platform that’s available on almost every platform, including iOS, Android, the web, and as a Chrome extension. Google Docs allows you to write, edit, and send documents from your iPad. You can then access and download these documents from anywhere with an internet connection.
When you’re connected to the web, the documents are saved automatically for you. They’re stored in the cloud so you can access them anytime you need them. Google Docs also works on nearly every platform, and connects to Google Drive thanks to the “File picker” option in the upper-right-hand corner.
Google Docs allows you to collaborate with others in real time. When you share your files on Google Docs, you can create and edit documents together with your friends, family, or colleagues. If you’re co-writing a book, or coordinating a group marketing promotion, this is a great way to keep everyone on the same page.
You can export your Google Docs files as Word files, PDFs, and even ePUBs. Some authors create their ebooks right in Google Docs.
There is one big downside to this app. You cannot really organize documents within Google Docs. It will only show you the last 30 documents you’ve opened, but not the folders they came from. You have to organize these files on Google Drive (drive.google.com), which is a separate app and website. This extra complexity might annoy some users, and the user interface does not make this a good organizational tool.
This app may not have the organizational capabilities of Scrivener, but it does allow you to keep your documents easily accessible all in one place. With this app, you can access and download your documents from anywhere with an internet connection.
Students, editors, collaborative writers, anyone who wants to access their files across multiple devices, anyone with the time and patience to format their ebooks in Google Docs
Auto-save, cloud storage, collaborative writing, export in multiple formats including docx, PDF, and ePUB
Free. All you need is a Google account.
Try Google Docs
Final Draft Mobile
Final Draft Mobile is a screenwriting app designed specifically for the iPad and iPhone. If you’re a screenwriter, this app can help you write your screenplays when you don’t have your computer handy.
Final Draft Mobile has all of the features of the desktop version of Final Draft, including scene numbering, character tracking, location tracking, script markers, and more. The app includes a built-in outlining tool so you can keep track of where you are in your story.
The SmartType feature recognizes character and location names as you type them, keeping you from having to painstakingly tap out “CASTOR TROY” over and over, and then swear when it autocorrects to “Casper” every time.
You can also sync your screenplays to Dropbox and iCloud, or save them locally on your tablet or phone.
Since Final Draft is the most popular screenwriting software in the world, this app is a must-have for any screenwriters with iOS devices.
Cloud sync, SmartType, script markers, revision tools, scene numbering, character and location tracking, outline view
Try Final Draft Mobile
The Best Grammar Checker for iPad
Grammarly isn’t just a grammar checker; it’s also a spellchecker and plagiarism detector. It checks for more than 250 types of errors and offers suggestions to correct them.
The Grammarly Keyboard app works across every app on your iPad, including your email client, Facebook, and whatever word processor you end up using.
In addition to being useful on the iPad Grammarly integrates with a wide number of apps and services, including Microsoft Word, Chrome, Firefox, Jarvis
, and Google Docs, among many others. This is one of my favorite writing apps because it is so versatile across so many platforms.
Anyone writing in English
Spellchecker, grammar checker, plagiarism detector
Free for basic use. Grammarly Premium costs $30 month-to-month ($360/year), $60 for three months ($240/year), or $144 for one year.
It’s important to have the right writing apps for your iPad. Just remember that these apps are just tools; they are what you make of them. Not even AI can write your manuscript for you, although it can help.
Whether you’re writing a novel, a blog post, or a creative writing assignment at the very last minute, these apps will help you in your writing process if you take the time to understand them. I wish you well on your writing journey, and hope these apps will help you get there.