7 Best Writing Apps for iPad 2024 (Write A Book Fast)

by Chris Von Wilpert, BBusMan • Last updated July 23, 2024

Expert Verified by Leandro Langeani, BBA

Editorial Disclosure: We buy, test and review products featured on our website using a 3-step rating methodology. If you buy through our links, we will get a commission. Read our rating methodology and how we make money.

Today there are 118 different writing apps for iPad. We spent 57 hours comparing the top 50 to find the seven best you can use to write on the world’s best tablet.

What is the Best Writing App for iPad?

  1. Scrivener — best of the best
  2. Ulysses — best minimalist app
  3. iA Writer — best distraction-free interface
  4. Pages — best from Apple
  5. Google Docs — best for cloud storage
  6. Microsoft Word — best feature-rich app
  7. Bear — best markdown editor

Our Verdict — Best Of The Best

Price: $23.99

Scrivener is the go-to writing app for aspiring authors. We think it’s the best because of its customizable corkboard view, versatile writing and editing features, and powerful outlining tools.

The Best Part:

  • Powerful outlining functionality. Scrivener's Outliner feature helps you effortlessly plan, organize, and rearrange your projects.

The Worst Part:

  • Steep learning curve. It might take some time for newcomers to get acquainted with all of Scrivener’s features.

Get it if you want a feature-rich app that allows you to write, edit, and manage your book projects from the comfort of your iPad.

I recommend you buy Scrivener from the App Store for $23.99.

(download now)

Best For

Scrivener is best for aspiring authors who want an all-in-one app to help them write, edit, and manage their book writing projects.

Top Features

  • Visualize your plan. Organize your ideas with digital notecards on a customizable corkboard — perfect for visual thinkers.
  • Write now, organize later. Piece together bits of text you've penned spontaneously and easily rearrange them with Scrivener's scrivenings mode.
  • Make it feel like home. Tweak settings, toolbars, and layouts to create the perfect writing environment on your iPad.
  • Write without distractions. Focus all of your attention on your words with Scrivener's full-screen composition mode, to block out all distractions.
  • Keep up with your writing goals. Set word count goals for your project or individual sections to stay on track.

Pricing

Scrivener offers a single pricing plan:

  • Scrivener for iOS: $23.99 one-time payment, for aspiring authors and dedicated writers who want a powerful, all-in-one writing tool on their iPads.

Try Scrivener today.

Our Verdict — Best Minimalist App

Price: Starts at $5.99/month

Ulysses is a sleek and straightforward writing app designed for iPad users who crave a minimalist experience. We think it’s the best minimalist app because of its clutter-free interface, seamless synchronization across Apple devices, and efficient organization tools.

The Best Part:

  • Organization made easy. Ulysses lets you keep your content structured and tidy with its intuitive sheet grouping and library sorting options.

The Worst Part:

  • Limited formatting options. Ulysses doesn’t have many of the fancy formatting options other writing apps offer, which could be a letdown for some users.

Get it if you want an intuitive writing app that covers the basics and keeps things simple for the minimalist in you.

I recommend you get started with the free trial, then go for the Yearly Plan for $39.99/year.

(free plan)

Best For

Ulysses is best for writers who want a minimalist writing environment that keeps them focused on their work.

Top Features

  • Sync it up. Use iCloud integration to keep your work up to date at all times across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices.
  • It helps you keep your pace. Set word count or time-based goals and track your progress effortlessly.
  • Your own space. Customize Ulysses with a variety of themes that suit your style, while keeping that minimalistic feel.
  • Export in a snap. Ulysses makes it easy for you to convert and export your books to various formats, including PDF, HTML, and ePub.
  • Search and find. Use the advanced search function to locate specific content within your library.

Pricing

Ulysses offers three pricing plans:

  • Monthly Plan: $5.99/month for writers who prefer a flexible, short-term subscription for writing a book or two.
  • Yearly Plan: $39.99/year for dedicated writers who are in it for the long haul and want the best bang for their buck.
  • Student Offer: $10.99/six months for students.

The annual plan provides a 44% discount.

Try Ulysses today with the free plan.

Our Verdict — Best Distraction-Free Interface

Price: $49.99

iA Writer is the perfect iPad app for writers who want the closest experience to pen and paper. We think it’s the best distraction-free interface because of its seamless fullscreen mode, live syntax highlighting, and smooth syncing capabilities.

The Best Part:

  • It’s all about focus. iA Writer’s full-screen mode allows you to completely immerse yourself in your writing without a single distraction.

The Worst Part:

  • No free trial. iA Writer doesn’t offer an option for testing out its features — you’ll have to pay the $49.99 fee in full.

Get it if you want a completely distraction-free writing environment that allows you to put all of your focus on your words and ideas.

I recommend you get iA Writer from the App Store for $49.99.

(download now)

Best For

iA Writer is best for writers who want a clean, distraction-free writing environment.

Top Features

  • Swift cloud storage access. Access all of your docs within iA Writer’s intuitive Library, whether they’re stored in iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox.
  • Favorites FTW. Mark your most-used files and folders as favorites to always keep ‘em handy.
  • Stay organized. Set up custom rules for Smart Folders and watch your documents automatically get organized.
  • Categorization made easy. Group your work using hashtags to categorize key chapters, themes, and ideas to easily locate while writing your book.
  • Sort files your way. Personalize how you view your File List by sorting documents according to Name, Date, or Extension.

Pricing

iA Writer offers a single pricing plan:

  • iOS & iPadOS: $49.99 one-time payment, for writers who want lifetime access to a full-screen, distraction-free writing app.

Try iA Writer today via the App Store.

Our Top Three Picks

Here’s a quick summary of our top three picks:

  1. Scrivener — best of the best
  2. Ulysses — best minimalist app
  3. iA Writer — best distraction-free app

Here’s a quick comparison of our top seven picks:

Tool

Entry Offer

Pricing

Scrivener

None

$23.99

Ulysses

Free plan

Starts at $5.99/mo

iA Writer

None

$49.99

Pages

None

Free forever

Google Docs

None

Free forever

Microsoft Word

None

Free forever

Bear

Free plan

Starts at $1.49/mo

Here are the top 50 best writing apps for iPad we considered in this review:

  1. Scrivener
  2. Ulysses
  3. iA Writer
  4. Pages
  5. Google Docs
  6. Microsoft Word
  7. Bear
  8. Byword
  9. JotterPad 
  10. Obsidian
  11. Storyist
  12. Fade In Mobile
  13. ProWritingAid 
  14. Grammarly Keyboard
  15. Notion
  16. Evernote
  17. Simplenote
  18. Zoho Writer 
  19. Celtx Script
  20. Quip: Docs, Chat, Spreadsheets
  21. FocusWriter
  22. iaWriter 
  23. Writemator
  24. Markdown & Rich Text Editor
  25. Textilus Pro
  26. Manuscript Writer
  27. WriteMapper 
  28. Aeon Timeline
  29. Writer's Studio
  30. Day One Journal
  31. Drafts
  32. Penultimate
  33. GoodNotes
  34. Notability
  35. Nebo
  36. MindNode
  37. XMind: Mind Map
  38. iThoughts
  39. Scapple
  40. Mindly
  41. Editorial
  42. Story Planner for Writers
  43. yWriter
  44. Novlr
  45. Plottr
  46. Scrivo Pro
  47. Flowstate
  48. Hemingway Editor 
  49. Readable
  50. Joplin

What is the best writing software for iPad?

The best writing software for iPad is Scrivener, known for its powerful features, intuitive interface, and seamless compatibility with industry standards. 

Scrivener is a powerful writing app that caters to the needs of aspiring authors, professional writers, and anyone looking to enhance their writing process. Its customizable corkboard view allows users to organize ideas using digital notecards, making it an excellent tool for visual note-taking and planning.

Scrivener excels in the writing process, providing powerful outlining functionality, handy features for editing, and efficient note-taking capabilities. The app is designed with industry standards in mind, offering a formidable tool for writers who need to manage complex projects. With its handwriting recognition feature, it allows users to input handwritten notes and convert them into digital notes, making the transition from traditional notes on paper to digital notebooks seamless.

Additionally, Scrivener offers a range of export options, making it easy for writers to share their work with others or publish it in various formats. The app is available for both desktop version and mobile devices, ensuring a consistent writing experience across platforms. With cloud service integration, your work can be synced across devices, ensuring you always have access to the latest version of your projects.

Although Scrivener has a steep learning curve due to its advanced tools, mastering these features can significantly improve your writing experience. It offers a comprehensive set of onboard organization tools, markup tools, and features like the color fill tool, curve tool, and an easy-to-use tool interface. With its sharing features and options for storage, Scrivener becomes an invaluable resource for writers. The app is available for download from the Apple App Store.

What is a good free writing app for iPad?

A good free writing app for iPad is Apple Pages, which is designed to provide a simple, clean interface and essential tools for creating documents, including essays, reports, and even books. 

Pages come pre-installed on iPads, making it an easily accessible option for Apple users. As a free app, it offers a range of powerful features that cater to the needs of writers, from beginners to professionals.

Pages provide a variety of ready-made templates that can be customized according to your preferences, making it easy to create polished documents with minimal effort. The app supports handwriting recognition, allowing users to input handwritten notes and convert them into digital notes. This integration of the concept of handwriting with digital tools makes it easy for writers to capture their notes with ease and keep their notes neat and organized.

Apple Pages is designed with a focus on simplicity and ease of use, offering a streamlined writing experience without a rigid note-taking structure. This makes it perfect for writers who prefer a clutter-free environment for their work. It is compatible with popular note-taking apps, making it easy to transition from one platform to another.

Pages also support cloud syncing through iCloud integration, ensuring seamless synchronization across Apple devices, including iPads, iPhones, and Macs. This feature allows writers to access and update their work seamlessly across devices, making iPads an excellent platform for writing on the go.

What app do most writers use?

Most writers prefer Scrivener for its comprehensive set of powerful features, intuitive interface, and compatibility with industry standards. It caters to the needs of aspiring authors, professional writers, and anyone looking to enhance their writing process. With its powerful outlining tools, handy features for editing, and efficient note-taking capabilities, Scrivener becomes an invaluable resource for writers. Its compatibility with both desktop and mobile devices ensures a consistent writing experience across platforms. With cloud service integration, your work can be synced across devices, ensuring you always have access to the latest version of your projects.

Are iPads good for writers?

iPads are suitable for writers due to their portability, flexibility, and compatibility with various writing apps, including Scrivener, Ulysses, and iA Writer. The availability of these apps on iPads allows writers to access and update their work seamlessly across devices, making it a convenient platform for writing on the go. Additionally, iPads support handwriting recognition, making it easy for writers to input handwritten notes and convert them into digital notes. This feature enables a smooth transition from traditional notes on paper to digital notebooks, allowing writers to organize their work efficiently.

Furthermore, iPads offer the ability to add audio recordings to notes, providing an extra dimension to the note-taking process. The combination of a powerful processor, high-quality display, and long battery life make iPads an ideal choice for writers who require a versatile and reliable device for their work.

Is Scrivener worth getting?

Scrivener is worth getting for its powerful features, intuitive interface, and ability to streamline the writing process. Although it has a steep learning curve due to its advanced tools, mastering these features can lead to a more efficient and organized writing experience. Scrivener is highly recommended for both aspiring authors and professional writers.

Its customizable corkboard view, powerful outlining functionality, and handy features for editing make it an excellent tool for managing complex writing projects. With its compatibility across desktop and mobile devices, writers can access and update their work seamlessly, ensuring they always have the latest version of their projects at their fingertips. Scrivener's cloud syncing capabilities also make it easy to collaborate with others or work on multiple devices.

The Bottom Line

To recap, here are the best writing apps for iPad to try this year:

  1. Scrivener — best of the best
  2. Ulysses — best minimalist app
  3. iA Writer — best distraction-free app
  4. Pages — best from Apple
  5. Google Docs — best for cloud storage
  6. Microsoft Word — best feature-rich app
  7. Bear — best markdown editor

🚨 FEATURED PRODUCT

Make a 7-figure content strategy for less than $7

Playbook

The 7-figure content strategy we use to grow business's content marketing channel to over $100k per month. Updated for 2024 with the latest AI strategies + apps working now.

"I offered him $100,000... for six months... to execute his content strategy for AppSumo."

- Noah Kagan, CEO of AppSumo

>