Byword Still Gets the Job Done

 I was looking at the latest sexy text editor, Typed from RealMac. Over the years I’ve had several friends that worked at RealMac and I’ve got a lot of respect for what they do. I bought Typed because RealMac makes it and I’m one of those guys that does stuff like that once in awhile.

So I was playing with the new app, testing features, listening to the embedded soundtrack (that always makes me roll my eyes a bit in a text editor) and I found the experience quite enjoyable. As I finished writing about 3,000 words in it, something occurred to me.

I really love Byword.

I first fell for Byword the way I had my first crush, with reckless abandon. (Although Barbara O’Leary never had a clue.) Over the years, my love with Byword has become something a lot more comfortable, like Carl and Ellie.

The thing about Byword is that it just delivers. The design is solid and unobtrusive. Its developers understand iteration and avoid change for the sake of change. Byword was one of the first multi-Apple-platform text editors and continues to lead in this respect. It supports Dropbox, iCloud, and most recently adds support for Handoff. When I need to replant myself in a tea shop and pick up writing something, Byword has me covered whether I’m using my Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

Byword has great typography but at the same time doesn’t tell me it knows what’s best for me and prevent me from using a big, clunky, ugly monospace font when I want to change things up for a proofread.

Byword doesn’t have every feature on the market. It does, however, make it possible for me to write just about anywhere and when I’m doing the hard work of moving the cursor across the screen, Byword gets out of my way and lets me get on with the work at hand. I’d guess that at this point I’ve written something like a half million words in Byword. You’d think I’d be ready to move on to something different. I’ve got nothing against Typed or any of the other Byword competitors. Many of them are fine applications but the thing is … Byword, I still love you.