OS X does not need another Markdown text editor.
In fact, Macs already ship with the purest Markdown experience available: TextEdit in plain text mode. However, there are a number of alternatives that can make writing Markdown more convenient: iA Writer (and Pro), Byword, WriteRoom, Markdown Pro, Ulysses, LightPaper, and Mou to name a few.
Today, add Realmac Software’s Typed to the list.
There isn’t a lot to distinguish Typed from the other minimalistic Markdown editors. However, there are two features that I appreciate: blank page quotes and the included soundtrack.
Blank page quotes — When opening a blank page in Typed, you are greeted with a quote, from an oft-cited author.
Soundtrack — Typed ships with eight different music tracks. They’re instrumental, simple, and relaxing.; perfect for writing. If I ever stop using Typed, I’d seriously consider keeping the app open just to have these tracks available.
Do either of these things matter though? Since iA Writer perfected the minimalistic Markdown editor, any new feature in Typed must add unadulterated value. I don’t know if the quotes and soundtrack add $20 worth of value, but I think these features hint at the two pillars of effective composition: 1.) a non-distracting environment, and 2.) a well-read, inspired mind.
For me, the music tracks in Typed remove the track-to-track transition of iTunes (or track-to-ad-to-track of Rdio), while the quotes provide just enough encouragement to handle my mild cases of apathy towards the whole writing craft. It’s a powerful formula.
Yes, all of the above could be replicated with custom playlist and a text file of inspiring anecdotes from writers better than yourself. And, I’d argue, most writers already have both of these things.
However, the longer you write, the more you realize that true moments of inspiration, the few honest seconds of self realization and reflection, are fragile and rare. Typed does its best to protect these ideals, which counts for something.
For now, I’ll type a few more letters into its window.
—Tuesday, 2 December 2014