iA Writer 6 released, adds wikilinks, and is a free upgrade

I can’t explain the price hike either but … when I bought it a looong time ago it was “cheap” compared to now but it was during the “race to the bottom” in terms of App Store prices. So at the time, given the context, it was also expensive. I think $16. So they’ve always charged a premium (everything considered) and, frankly, always been worth it.

… if memory serves right they’ve also never offered their software on sale. But this 67% price hike make also gives them wiggle room for occasionally offering a sale. I don’t know that they will do this … but perhaps.

At any rate, this is beautiful software. If a person just needs functional software or they go by features alone then there are cheaper alternatives. But a ton of care and thoughtful design has gone into this app. It’s something I truly delight in using.

Launched at $19.99, and was $29.99 before the hike. It’s per platform and they have a subscription option coming. I think the bump is to make the new users subscribe rather than buy a license. And I fear that they may transition everyone to a subscription like Ulysses…

Since I had to look it up and others might be wondering:

Mac: $50
iPhone/iPad: $50
Windows: $30
Android: $30


They say here that there will be a choice between ownership and subscription: Pricing – iA. I’m hoping that’s true as transitioning users to subscriptions does not tend to end well (Notability being one of the recent examples).

That’s unlikely to happen as iA’s founder is one of the few very vocal developers OPPOSING transitions to subscription only models for softwares.

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This is a really nice new feature set, especially given that iA Writer is heavily used by bloggers and journalists, who can really benefit from linking.

For long-form writers (particularly novelists), iA Writer still lags behind Ulysses and Scrivener in terms of structuring the work. Specifically, there is no ability to write in “chunks” and then rearrange those chunks as one sees fit.

If we could rearrange individual files manually in the sidebar, and paste them together as one final document, iA Writer would be perfect. I’m not a developer, but I’m guessing that Writer’s inability to do this has to do with the limits of Apple’s file system – and so the workaround would be a bespoke file system, which is basically Ulysses.

Do I have this right?

I don’t know if you are right about the reasons for the limitations but I’d use iA Writer exclusively for writing if those two features were available.

Hmmm … not sure exactly what you mean. I use the content blocks feature a lot. Easy to set up (even easier in v6). Easy to rearrage. Not the same as Scrivener (which is great) but very valuable for me.

Essentially content blocks are chunks that can be knitted together to create a longer form document. Chunking is critical for some of the work I do and I love this feature of iA Writer.

With that pricing, iA Writer has become the BBEdit of Markdown editors!

(Although BBEdit has been coming down while iA Writer has been going up. :slightly_smiling_face:)

You can do “transclusions”, to produce the result you’re looking for, I believe.
Have you tried that?

In both Ulysses and Scrivener, you can highlight multiple chunks in the sidebar, and they will appear in the editor as one larger, editable chunk. This makes it easy to see how the pieces of your work flow together.

Further, you can rearrange those chunks inside the sidebar, allowing you to see how that works for you — e.g. if chapter 2 reads better between chapters 6 and 7.

Because the chunks in the iA sidebar are actual files within the system, I don’t think you can do this. I am not at all saying this is bad – iA Writer is doing it’s own thing.

I’m just thinking aloud that iA Writer with this capability (while keeping everything in the sidebar as .txt or .md files, and leaving them in your own file structure) would be unrivaled.

Yes, that’s a very nice feature within Scrivener (and Ulysses). I’m very used to Scrivener and how this is a quite useful feature. That said, in practice I don’t really mind the content blocks approach. Not the same, not as simple. But it’s simple enough … a lot of this is because once you start typing a “content block” (i.e. some other iA Writer file) the app does a great automatic job of searching/finding that other file. So not a fast/obvious as Scrivener, but definitely more than fast enough for my purposes.

If I were writing a novel I’d go with Scrivener. It’s not unusual for me to write documents that are 5,000 to 10,000 words long and content blocks is just fine & simple in that situation. I don’t know where the “dividing line” is when Scrivener is definitely a better choice … but I’d guess anything longer than 50,000 words I’d definitely do in Scrivener. My wild guess is I probably wouldn’t write anything longer than about 20,000 words using iA Writer. But up till that point content blocks is simple and easy for me.

Yes. However, in 2013 iAwriter made a new pro app and gradually dropped the initial users by making the old one obsolete. The Pro became the new normal.

Similar to others, I use Scrivener for large document writing and stick to iA Writer for notes and smaller documentations. iA Writer has a better iPad companion IMHO vs Scrivener which finally released an update on iPad.

I decided to take another look at iA Writer and the focus mode is what I really like about it. I do not want to pay 2 x 49,99 for that feature… a few months ago I believe the price was 29,99 which I would have considered (but also find high for a markdown editor).

Another excellent markdown editor option is Taio.. I use that along with iA Writer. It’s a one-time purchase that also works on iPhone and Mac. Consistently updated with new features. I’m surprised it’s not gotten more attention. Cost is around $25 (I think).


Taio is native on MacOS and iPadOS. It’s neat and and scriptable. Unfortunately the dev is stubbornly against live preview of Markdown so, for example, last I checked hanging indents are not properly displayed. So I’ve kept to my Byword and NotePlan apps for editing Markdown.

(I previously liked iA Writer a lot, but they lost me when they added the poorly implemented sidebar with library and organizer.)

If that $100 expense will gain me $200 in rewards (productivity, a completed article that I submitted for payment, the novel I always wanted to finish), then the price is well worth it.

How much would I stand to gain if I bought it at $100? How much would I stand to lose if I didn’t buy it?

IA Writer might go the OmniGroup way. Offer two ways:

  1. a standalone one time license purchase
  2. option to subscribe.

At least we have options.

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Apparently iA Writer is going to publish an article soon (next week?) about how they are approaching pricing now and in the future.

… and next week I believe they are releasing the beta version of iA Presenter. (I believe this is not open access, but you can apply to be a beta tested at their site.)

It’s a nice app and being actively developed. I like it too. Not my main app yet but has the potential