I couldn’t have dreamt of writing on my phone until one day in my freelancing career. A client who gave me a task started tormenting me on WhatsApp.
“Hey Raji, the deadline is twelve!” read my WhatsApp and Telegram messages. I indicated an interest in the gig, and turning back at that moment was out of the options.
What you don’t know is that my laptop got faulty the day before and had to be transported to the repairer. Unfortunately, the repairer traveled, and I was left with no options.
I paced the room, trying to figure out what to do. I was about calling a freelancer friend when I took another look at my phone.
“A device of more than a hundred bucks won’t get my job done?”
I took to Google, trying to get some idea on how to get the job done with my phone. After getting some information about some Microsoft Word alternatives, I downloaded three.
I tried each of them individually and none was close to being manageable. When I hit a keystroke, it takes more than six seconds for it to reflect in the app.
An advert from Google made me try a text editor, instead of a word processor.
Confused? I’ll break it down.
Text Editors vs. Word Processors
Text editors and word processors may look similar but are entirely different.
Text editors for Android do only one job. They allow you to input text, and that’s all. Older text editors support text and only text. They don’t allow you to add any markup to the text. The Notepad that comes pre-installed on Windows computers best describes a text editor.
In contrast, word processors actually process your text and they add some flavor. Microsoft Word is a popular example of a word processor.
Word processors work slower and may lag when handling large walls of content. However, text editors are made to handle texts containing hundreds of millions of words, without any images, or special content.
Although modern text editors for Android may allow some sort of markup, popularly referred to as markdown, it is still maintained that they do not allow any other type of content, except, plain, text.
3 Text Editors for Android
If you’re in a similar position to what I illustrated above, it means you will need one of these three plain text editors for Android phones that I use myself.
Here you are.
Writer Plus (WriterP)
I could get jailed if I failed to place this app in a prime position. This is the exact app that saved me from getting the freelance contract canceled on that fateful day.
What I love most about this app is simplicity. It features the simplest interface with only a very few customization options.
Once you open the app, it takes you directly to the homepage where your files and folders are displayed in order of recency. By default, your folders are displayed over your files.
At the top right corner of the screen are three icons, each with an obvious purpose.
The first is a search button and performs an instant search on all your documents using the input keywords. It becomes very helpful when you have such a large number of files, you need to get to one.
The next button is to add folders. When you create folders, it also creates a folder on your device. You can add new and existing text files to a folder.
The third button takes you to the menu. The menu is pretty simple, with just three items; “Sort by”, “Night Mode”, and “Settings”. As you’d expect, Sort By enables you to change the order of the text files. You can change it to alphabetically or reverse alphabetically.
The dark mode option allows you to toggle between dark and light themes for the app.
The last option, which is Settings takes you to the more robust settings page, which actually carries more items, but fewer customization options than the previous menu. The Settings page allows you to choose if you’d like to use true black in the dark mode, as opposed to the default grey.
Apart from that, you can get to their About page, Help page, and Donations page, amongst others.
Another reason I prefer WriterP over any other similar app is the ability to view your word count and estimated reading time, which helps when writing out a speech.
WriterP is extremely tiny in size, it consumes less than a Megabyte of storage. (not a typo)
Lies apart, JotterPad is not the regular, low-feature writing apps you often come across on Android devices.
JotterPad offers pretty much everything WriterP does, and even more. The over-functionality is one of the reasons the app was not so appealing to me.
JotterPad does have a premium version, which I think you will never need if you have a PC.
Also, it shows a live word count above the text, as you churn it out, (just like Word shows below). Also, you can view the estimated reading time for your files.
The premium version locks a lot of features, but all features it locks are useless, at least to me.
JotterPad is a nice app, no doubt, and the developers have made such an excellent try. But I regret saying that Writer Plus looks and feels more writer like than the app.
QuickEdit Text Editor (for coders)
I don’t know so much about this app because I never tried it. For this review, I’ll rely solely on information sourced online.
QuickEdit is said to be suitable for both ordinary text files and programming files. In essence, it serves the duties of a code editor, as well as a writing app.
Users praise it for its speed and responsiveness, which is said better than most of the similar apps available on Google Play. It gives room for customization and tweaking, for ease of use.
QuickEdit supports undo and redo features without limit. You can undo your document to the blank page, and redo it back to 10,000 lines.
It supports over 50 programming languages and heavy text files of up to 10,000 lines without lag. This app also supports light and dark modes, just like WriterP.
The app’s features go on and on, but I’ll stop here, as I can’t even guarantee the accuracy of those I aforementioned.
Your Android phone cost you something, it shouldn’t be so useless. You can write a bestseller and code a viral website on your underrated Android phone. Just choose one of these excellent writing apps for Android and watch yourself write, or code to victory.