October 21, 2012
A Mathematics Professor's Review on TeX Writer

A Mathematics Professor's Review on TeX Writer

TeX Writer Review by Gregory Conner from App Store:

Please ignore the reviews that mark down the app excessively because they ignore the advice in the release notes to delete the the old version before installing the new one. It's a bit of a nuisance, yes, but it's a small one-time nuisance. Moving on to the review. I'm a mathematics professor who publishes regularly. I need to have LaTeX available natively on any platform I'm to use seriously. Now, not only do I have it on the iPad, but it's really quite good, bordering on excellent. For instance somehow the developer has built in the best, by a factor of magnitude, cut/copy/paste mechanism of any iOS app I've seen. The way text gets small and moves out of the way of the cursor is quite ingenious. I'll be surprised if Apple doesn't copy it. Texing is very fast, preview mode is quite good. I've had no issues with it while writing a significant portion of a paper on it over the last two weeks. The developer gives instructions on how to personalize the completion options and install new LaTeX packages. A few nuts and bolts are missing or I haven't found them yet: trashing the aux file, search and replace, automatic completion for environments defined in the tex file, jumping back and forth between the cursor in the source and the corresponding point in the output, some handy matrix and symbol input tools, and proper (not a sandbox) support for Dropbox and Google Drive, to name a few. All in all this app is, by itself, useful enough to make it worthwhile for many professional mathematicians go out and buy an iPad. Put together with Pythonista and Wolfram Alpha the iPad can now be a serious development platform for many of us.

It's heart warming to see a customer appreciate your hard work and write a positive review along with good suggestions. It's also very nice to hear a serious user's feedback on the cursor feature. We have long been dissatisfied with the way iOS handles caret(or cursor) movement and text selection. The presence of magnifying glass just feels too much, and selection too slow. From my own experience, I am quite happy with the way we do it. Yet most people seem to focus on the compiler and haven't given much feedback regarding the usability of the editor. In fact, the time we spend in editing should easily out weight the time spent in texing. That is why editor will continue to play an important part in TeX Writer's future development. If you are a happy customer, please review TeX Writer in App Store. It'll definitely boost our morale and keep awesome updates coming!