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The 5 Best Writing Apps for the iPad

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The 5 Best Writing Apps for the iPad

    So you’ve decided to start writing on your iPad, be it the original model or the shiny new iPad. You’ve made the call to use it not just as a consumption device, but as a creative device. You begin to look for the usual suspcets, but Word doesn’t exist for the iPad and Apple’s Pages is something you could probably avoid if you’re willing to look around a little bit.

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    Or…you could just take a look below and get a taste of what I consider to the 5 best writing apps for the iPad.

    1. iA Writer

    Write without distraction. That’s the whole idea behind iA Writer, which first appeared on the Mac and has since made its way to both the iPad (and very recently, the iPhone). If you’re looking for a writing app that has very little in the way of customization, then this is the app for you. It’s pleasant on the eyes and keeps you focused on the task at hand – writing. And it syncs across platforms using eitehr Dropbox or iCloud, so you can write on whatever platforms you have ia Writer installed on. That’s pretty darn seamless.

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    2. Simplenote

    Simplenote is a fantastic app that will allow you to do the same in terms of syncing that iA Writer does. But Simplenote is generally viewed as an app used for notetaking more than writing. Still, with its ubiquitous nature and cross-platform capabilities, Simplenote is among the best at letting you get the words out of your head and onto the screen. Any screen.

    3. Writing Kit

    Writing Kit may not look as pretty as iA Writer, but it has a ton of bells and whistles built right in. The app has a browser integrated right within the app, allowing for research and quick linking where needed. It also allows for export into a variety of apps, including Things and OmniFocus – a great boon for the writers out there who happen to be right into productivity as well (ahem). The fact that Writing Kit allows writers to use Markdown syntax (as does ia Writer – and Simplenote when you bring something like nvALT into the mix), syncs to Dropbox and features a plethora of options for users puts it as a bit of a dark horse on this list. But a very worthy addition all the same.

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    4. PlainText

    If you’re looking for something clean and simple, PlainText has got you covered. It’s not as feature-rich or as pretty to look at as some of the others on this list, but it does what it is supposed to do: help you get writing done. The team behind it also developed the very populat WriteRoom (Hog Bay Software), so they’ve got experience in this realm. It does allow for syncing via Dropbox and is perhaps the most frictionless app on this list because of its stripped-down nature.

    5. Byword

    The new kid on the iOS block, Byword has been around on the Mac for some time. Now available for both the iPhone and iPad, it brings much of what the Mac app had to the mobile platform. Featuring Markdown support, syncing in the cloud, and an interface that balances feature set, focus and function, Byword already makes this list based on my limited time with it. Those using Byword on the Mac should jump into using it on the iPad to create a continuum in their writing workflow, and the consistency across all platforms is what makes this one a winner in my books during my brief look at it for the iPad.

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    There are others to consider (Notesy immediately comes to mind), but hopefully with this guide you’ll be able to find the writing app for your iPad that best suits you. Because there’s nothing worse than playing around with writing tools rather than actually writing with them

    (Photo credit: Contemporary Digital Tablet… via Shutterstock)

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    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

    There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

    Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

      What Does Private Browsing Do?

      When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

      For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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      The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

      The Terminal Archive

      While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

      Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

      dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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      Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

      Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

      However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

      Clearing Your Tracks

      Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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      dscacheutil -flushcache

      As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

      Other Browsers and Private Browsing

      Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

      If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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      As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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