You don’t need a full word processor for your smartphone, as it will most likely be filled with a mountain of options that will distract you more than anything else. The best writing apps for your Android device are those with minimal interfaces and smartphone-specific designs, so we’ve scoured the Play Store and listed the best of them for you here.
1. Microsoft Word
A controversial start, maybe, as you may associate Microsoft’s Office apps with tons of elaborate features and unnecessary complexities. And yes, while you can create elaborate and detailed documents that resemble the kind of stuff you’d create on a PC, Microsoft Word is also quick and easy to use if you just want to quickly get some writing done.
Microsoft redesigned this app a few years back, and the main screen on which you write your documents is now nice and minimal, presenting you only with basic formatting options, highlighting, and options to search your document for specific words or phrases.
The usual cloud-based stuff is there, such as allowing you to collaborate on documents with fellow Word users in real time, and if you do want to go a bit more indepth with the formatting, then you can easily do so by going to the trusty old ribbon.
2. iA Writer
iA Writer is a long-time favourite on iOS and OS X devices, but it finally made its debut in the Android ecosystem in 2015 and has quickly become a favourite among Android users as well.
The app offers several features that give it an edge over all other apps in this list. It comes with full markdown support and a preview mode that you can access by swiping across the screen. Aside from creating local files, you can access documents on Google Drive and Dropbox, and it offers real-time synchronization for both services.
In addition, you can export your writing to several formats such as HTML, PDF and MS Word (.docx). Another killer feature is its ability to publish directly to medium.com. You’ll need an integration token to enable this feature, but the directions to get one are clearly stated in the app.
3. Monospace Writer BETA
Monospace Writer is a minimalist app that allows you to focus on your writing without any distractions. The app doesn’t offer as many features as iA Writer, but it does have its own strengths.
On installation you will be greeted by a clean and well-designed interface that you should feel right at home with. There are a few tutorials that will show you how to use the app and the options available.
You get only the most basic formatting options (such as bold, italics, blockquotes) but not much more. You can organise related articles using hashtags, and exporting to Markdown or plain text is available. Monospace also features Dropbox and Google Drive integration, but the latter is only available in the pro version.
Price: Free / $4.00
JotterPad presents itself as a minimalist app for any kind of writing. It has a decent looking material interface that cuts out all unnecessary options, allowing you to focus only on your task.
You can write your posts in markdown and export them to several formats: TXT, MD, PDF, DOCX (beta). JotterPad also supports Dropbox integration as well as decent typography options and a night mode feature.
One of the more interesting features about JotterPad is that it saves snapshots of your work which means you can easily revert to earlier versions if you wish to. You also get support for Bluetooth keyboards and shortcuts (such as Ctrl + Z) with this app.
Price: Free / $3.99
5. Writer Plus
Writer Plus is another fantastic writing app that has an excellent rating on the Play Store. It is a completely free app that boasts several features you may be interested in.
The user interface is really nice with all your articles listed vertically on the screen. You can also organise your work into folders to avoid cluttering up the app. Creating a new document is really easy; just click the floating “+” button at the bottom of your screen to get started.
Writer Plus supports markdown formatting as well as keyboard shortcuts if you are using a Bluetooth keyboard. Other features include word and character count, undo and redo, and night mode. The only disadvantage is that you are restricted to working with local files, but cloud integration has been marked for future updates.
As the name implies, MarkdownX is an app specially designed for those who prefer to write in markdown.
For those on smartphones. you’ll need to swipe across the screen when writing an article to access the preview mode, but if you have a large tablet you can have a side-by-side live preview similar to most desktop markdown editors.
MarkdownX makes it easy for you to format your writing with several options at the top of the screen. It also supports exporting to HTML or plain text as well as synchronising with Dropbox. There is also a syntax reference available within the app for those who may need a refresher in the markdown syntax from time to time.
Whichever app you choose you are guaranteed to experience a pleasurable writing experience on your Android device, so go ahead and try them all out to see which you like best.
If you have any other app you’d like us to add to this list, make your suggestions in the comments below.
This article was first published in April 2016 and was updated in March 2018.