A Review of Phraseology: The iPad App for Writers 

There are a lot of writing apps for the iPad. So many, in fact, I usually gloss over new releases, assuming they won’t offer much over my current setup of text files syncing with Dropbox and Notesy.

Enter Phraseology, by Agile Tortoise. While Dropbox syncing support is coming, this app is about far more than taking notes. It’s designed as a writing tool, from the ground up.

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Take re-rearranging paragraphs for example. When I’m working on a long piece (like this review), I often re-order my paragraphs more than once, to find the flow I want to portray in my writing.

In short, this feature makes it a lot easier to work how I work, using conventuals iOS controls instead of copy, cut and paste. I’ve lost a lot of text over the years to mis-typed shortcuts, but Phraseology eases that fear.

Here’s how it looks:

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Each section has a word and character count, which is nice. It’s easy to get document-wide stats, as well:

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Phraseology can be used with the developer’s great dictionary app, Terminology. If you aren’t using this app on your iPhone or iPad, you really should be. Here’s how the integration works:

The default text-selection pop-over has gained a few tricks:

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Tapping Define will bring up the definition as a pop-over, in the app. Tapping Lookup or Replace will open Terminology (if it’s installed) in the dictionary or thesaurus mode, as needed. A link appears on the bottom right of the UI, which will slingshot you back to Phraseology.

This combination of apps is unique and powerful.

If written in Markdown, the document can be previewed with a single tap. Once done, the document can be exported as plain text to numerous app (including GoodReader, Dropbox, and Pages, to name a few.) or emailed out. If you’re old-school or want a hard copy, it can also be printed – including from the Markdown preview, so all of you markup is included.

Nice, huh? This app was built for writers, and it shows.

That means I can forgive things like American Typewriter being used as the default typeface. (It’s easy to switch to something like Helvetica Neue or my favorite, Palatino.) I’m not a huge fan of Agile Tortoise’s “sandy” color choices in the UI, but it’s consistent with Terminology, so I can live with it.

All in all, this is now my go-to app for writing long-form content on my iPad. Go drop the $1.99 on this and start writing.