A great iPad text editor is essential to making the iPad a productivity tool. I’ve finally found one in Elements. LIke a number of iPad text editors, Elements syncs with Dropbox. The difference – Elements is simple to use and integrates more seamlessly than anything else I’ve tried. Elements saves to Dropbox every 30 seconds and also works if you’re offline, syncing with Dropbox the next time you connect.
Elements offers all the basics of a text editor, like spelling correction, word and character counts, custom fonts and background colors. I’m hoping they will update the interface to make it more versatile for things like writing code in the editor, but for now it’s an effective plain text editor.
You’re not limited to using .txt files created in Elements, you can also drop any .txt file in your Elements folder from any computer and it will automatically appear in Elements. This brings me to one of my two major gripes about Elements. As of this writing the app doesn’t allow you to access .txt files in any Dropbox folder but the one created by Elements. I’m hoping this changes in the future, because I wouldn’t necessarily want to keep all my text in the same folder.
The other major feature missing from Elements is search and replace. I expect this functionality in a desktop text editor. I also expect search and replace in any other text editor. I’m willing to forgive this oversight as an artifact of being the first version, especially because Elements does include TextExpander support. If you’re not familiar with TextExpander, it’s a great Mac text replacement app that also has an iPad version. Elements is one of the first iPad apps I’ve seen to get the TextExpander implementation right. Elements also includes a handy scratchpad feature, which allows you to store text for later use.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with Dropbox, it’s an online file repository with version control. Dropbox is something no one should be without, whether you own an iPad or not. It’s simply the best way to keep track of all your documents across multiple devices and keep the versions in sync. It’s also a handy way to securely share photos with family and friends because you can set access permissions per file or folder. One Dropbox account works with iPad, iPhone, Android, and Mac and Windows desktops. If you don’t have an account already, go get a free Dropbox account.
If you haven’t found a reason to use TextExpander on your iPad, Elements is the app you’ve been waiting for. All your snippets work automatically inside Elements, which saves a ton of time for all those commonly used words and phrases. At $4.99, Elements is a steal. Download Elements for your iPad.