iA Writer has come to Android. The minimalist writing app has been a high-profile favorite for iOS and OS X users looking to write without distraction, but since its release in 2010, it's only been on those two platforms. That changes today with its release on Android, where it's now available for $4.99. iA Writer appears to be very much the same on Android, sticking you with one font, no substantial formatting options, and only the sparsest of menus. Despite the spartan aesthetic, the app still adopts Android's style where appropriate, so it looks right at home on the new platform. It appears to be optimized for both phones and tablets.
"We discovered a dev-friendly world with scant traces of the Android horror stories."
What's arguably more interesting than the availability of iA Writer on a new platform is its developer's experience coding it. The developer, Information Architects, is a company that you might see as the prototypical Apple dev, receiving a lot of recognition for a stylish and streamlined app that's only available on iOS and OS X. In a blog post, the company writes that it had heard about the troubles with coding on Android and dealing with fragmentation, but it found that this really isn't much of an issue anymore.
"We discovered a dev-friendly world with scant traces of the Android horror stories we had in the backs of our minds," the company writes. IA calls the Android's fragmentation issue — that is, having a wide variety of device sizes, hardware, and even software — "manageable," and says that Android's core tools for developers are "very stable." IA also says that it found a "friendly" dev culture around Android and a "thankfulness" toward developers that you don't find with iOS or OS X any more.
In all, IA appears to have had a fairly positive experience bringing its app over to Android. That's important praise coming from such a well-known dev, and IA's blog post may well convince detractors to reassess their early experiences with Android. There are still other issues that Android developers — and Google — will have to deal with, like the platform's piracy rates. But the fact that creating an app seems to have gone quite smoothly is a great sign, especially coming from a longtime developer on Apple's platforms.