@ommwriter : review

Ommwriter. You came into my field of view and I liked the look of you. Distraction free writing sounds good. You look beautiful and have some great sounding features. These are the first few words. Already, I’m missing spellcheck. The red wavey lines that appear under words that I’ve spelt wrong are conspicuous by their absence. I typically do make mistakes which I feel more comfortable about fixing on the fly. The lack of the red wavey line is itself, a distraction.

I discovered you via WordPress. A few days ago I discovered ‘distraction free writing mode’ in WordPress and really liked it. I looked up the feature in WordPress land and they cited you as another distraction free writing tool.

Already, I’m grr with you because you took ages to load*. I think you’ve got a good environment but it could be so much better. The killer feature that’s missing, is autosave. I’ve gotten so used to that over the past few years on everything else, not having it is a distraction. The other grr factor is that you took ages to load – way more than a simple text composer should. I also had to input my name, email address and licence key twice. You were over 1 minute. I used this time to gather my thoughts about what to write though, so not all bad.

Pricing – you were $5.11 or in my money, £3 odd. (I’d go and check, but that would involved breaking out of Ommwriter which is kind of breaking the point of this try out piece). The pricing things was weird. You asked for a nominal donation yet imposed the entry level $5.11.  I’ve seen this done well – A few years ago, Radiohead released an album and said “Pay what you like”. I paid £10. Worth it. For this I paid £3 odd – which if it was a flat fee, I would have been OK with that, but because you went at it like it was a voluntary fee, it felt all wrong. Minor point. Another point is that you are very fat. 142MB if memory serves me correctly (again, I’d have to check which would involved breaking out of Ommwriter) which is obese, for a dinky little text ed with a few built in sounds. I want to like you. I like your brand and the way you’ve set about things.

All in all though, for jotting down a thought, you’re not good, because you took too long to load*. I’ll use WordPress or what ever for that. For doing any ‘worky’ writing, you’d be no good to me, as I typically need some reference documents open around me – in my peripheral view. It’s also not good for my writing style. I use italics to construct a point. To make my prose work. I <i>would</i> have used italics to emphasise a point just then probably.

The thing I do love though is the choice of clickly pitter pat keyboard sounds that come with you. They are most satisfying. I’m also liking the choice of background colour. The resizeable compose window is also good, and the way if dissolves into the background when you type. I want to

OMMWRITER? Close, but no cigar. I may come back to you again – you’re a good offline writing tool, owing to the fact I don’t need an internet connection to use you (unlike many of the other writing tools I use – most of google, wordpress, etc.) but.. who’s ever off line these days?


Closing thoughts – post script

*I tried opening you up again – you didn’t ask me for a licence key a third time. You were much quicker to load.

I had a look at your twitter feed – it seems like you’re listening, which is good. Hope you’ll listen to my wishlist : mainly autosave and inline spell check – perhaps as an option. Basic formatting – italics and bold, or even just italics. I like italics.  Perhaps a skinny download version without the background sounds.


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