A new version of Elements, the excellent writing app for iPad and iPhone, has been released on the App Store today. The new version includes some nice new features like iCloud syncing and Markdown conversion.
We previously touted Elements [App Store, $4.99] as one of the best writing apps for iOS in our review. The same still stands as the clean interface and well chosen options give you the choices that you need without cluttering the writing space. This new version adds a couple of features that I can’t wait to see come to every app.
First is the addition of iOS 5-only status. While it is a relatively bold move to require users to upgrade to iOS 5 so soon, the signs show that 1/3 of users have already moved up from iOS 4 and Elements users are likely early upgraders anyway.
iOS 5 compatibility brings the ability to sync the application’s appearance, scratchpad contents and settings across devices. This means that fonts, themes and default setting only have to be set once and will carry over to other versions of the file. Note that documents are still synced via Dropbox, not iCloud in this version.
One of my personal feature requests for Elements has been the ability to not only preview your Markdown-formatted text, but also to get the converted HTML that you can use to paste right into a CMS backend like WordPress or Blogger.
When you view the preview, you can just tap the HTML button in the bottom right corner and then switch over to the WordPress app and paste it into the HTML view. This should make the complete process of writing a blog post from an iOS device a much smoother and easier experience.
Once you’ve picked up the few simple plain text commands in Markdown, it’s far faster than selecting and formatting a bunch of bits of text in the WordPress app, for instance. And, of course, way easier than writing out pure HTML.
Elements 2.1 is a great upgrade to an already fantastic app and if you’re interested in writing on your iOS device, I highly recommend checking it out.
On another note, I would expect to see a lot of apps that would benefit from iCloud only features getting updates soon. If you have yet to upgrade to iOS 5 and your device is compatible, now would be a good time to think about making the jump.