The iPad is a great platform for consuming various kinds of media, from books and films, to news and games. But working on the iPad, and for me that mostly means writing, has been something less than a stellar experience.

Part of the reason is that I find the electronic keyboard is a clumsy input device for any serious writer used to a full-sized keyboard; with its readily available punctuation and cursor-movement keys. It can also be a multistep process to get work into and out of the iPad. Uploading and downloading files with iTunes File Sharing works fine, but it’s hardly seamless, and the various ways different apps implement alternative syncing protocols can present its own headaches. Any writing app for the iPad is either saddled with these platform-based limitations, or must find ways to work around them.

The App Store’s Productivity category boasts a large number of writing apps, ranging in complexity from programs like Pages to much simpler plain-text writing and note-taking apps. These apps have different combinations of features, and most writers will find one that suits their particular writing needs. For me, though, I’ve yet to find an iPad writing app that makes me want to use the iPad for sustained writing sessions, and certainly not as an alternative to writing on my MacBook Pro.

It seemed that for the foreseeable future writing on the iPad would remain a chore, because it just wasn’t possible to overcome its platform and system software limitations to create a truly useful writing app. But ever hopeful and with curiosity piqued, I took the writing app plunge again when I learned about the newly-released version of WriteRoom from Hog Bay Software. I am happy to report that writing on the iPad has just gotten a lot better.

Read on to find out how WriteRoom manages to overcome the iPad’s operating quirks in clever and thoughtful ways that make it much more attractive as a serious writer’s tool.

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