Pop: An iOS Writing App That’s Nearly Too Minimal [Review]

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pop for iphone
Pop creates a dead simple writing environment on the iPhone and iPad.

Minimalism is a fascinating thing. Our world is getting increasingly loud and busy, yet many are starting to want more minimal and distraction-free experiences. Apps specifically are another way that the minimalism trend can be observed; more and more applications are getting back to the roots by cutting away superfluous effects and features.

Pop is a perfect example of how minimalism manifests itself in a basic iOS app. Unlike other writing apps for the iPhone and iPad, Pop is just a blank pad to jot down text. Nothing else. Nothing at all… But really, that’s all there is.

Pop super-sized on the iPad

The Good

The name “Pop” means “piece of paper,” because that’s all you get with the app. No multiple pages, settings, sharing options, etc. — just one blank white space and your fingers. I love the idea of that because it totally drowns out the noise that most iOS text editors bring to the table.

You can’t archive notes, so what you write down had better be good enough to copy and paste elsewhere or save for later. The font is simple and nice, and the app works as advertised. If you want minimal, it doesn’t get any more minimal than this.

The Bad

Some design choices in Pop seem a little off. I don’t particularly like the solid white icon. The app could be a little more recognizable with some sort of simple app logo. As is, it kind of looks like an app icon that’s broken and missing its real logo.

The tiny paper curl at the bottom right of the app’s interface was constantly tempting me to flip it up with my finger. iBooks and other reading apps operate in the same way; grab the corner of a page to flip it over. I got no such luck with Pop, which was disappointing. Tapping the page corner will instead make your iOS keyboard hide itself to let you read text fullscreen. Without using the page curl for a feature like multiple notes, the design choice seems a little superfluous. The iPad keyboard can be hidden already by tapping the down arrow at the bottom right of the screen.

Although Pop is on the iPhone and iPad, there’s no way to sync text between apps yet. Hopefully this feature is coming in a future update.

This is the simplest writing app I’ve seen for a mobile device. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you. Pop is available in the App Store for $1.

Pro: Fast, simple, unique.

Con: May be too simple for some.