Byword 2 | Review

I've been beta testing Byword 2 for OS X & iOS for a while, and I am really glad it's finally here. It has many little improvements I've been thirsting after for some time, and a great big feature I wish my host/CMS — Squarespace 6 — had an API to use with.

If you're not in-the-know already, Byword is a fantastic app focused on writing. It simply gets out of your way gives you a page to write on, with minimal fluff to deal with. The best part is that it is designed for web publishing as it is one of the best — no, wait, I'll just say the best — Markdown-centric apps I've used.

The grand marquee feature of Byword 2 is blog publishing. You can now publish your text directly to Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger, Scriptogram, or Evernote. I've been dabbling a bit more into Evernote use, so maybe I will find a home for this feature via the big green elephant. I haven't used the publishing feature, to be completely honest, so I can say very little about it.

Byword 2 also sports improved conflict resolution, showing you each conflicting version in their entirety, so you can make an informed decision on which is the keeper. The update also includes better handing of new, edited, renamed, and deleted documents in Airplane Mode.

The remaining features are the removal of friction points that I have run into with previous versions. When viewing the Markdown preview, Byword 2 now keeps the scroll position intact. This is one of those things you subconsciously knew was annoying that is now fixed.

On iOS specifically, you can now move and duplicate documents. This is handy if you decide you'd rather have a document on Dropbox instead of iCloud, or vice-versa. Fonts on iOS are also much better. Rather than some obscure fonts you've never heard of, Byword 2 now uses Avenir Next (yay!), Helvetica Neue, Courier, and Georgia. I, for one, am in love with the Avenir font family, so I am really glad the developers added it (they were extremely gracious when I was being super-annoying about it during the beta).

If you regularly write for the web there are two things that will help make your life so much easier: learn Markdown, and use Byword.

Byword 2 is a free update for existing users and $10 (OS X)/$3(iOS) for new users. The publishing feature is an in-app purchase for $5 on each platform.