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Android devices may be at the bottom of your “Ways I’d Prefer to Edit Text” list, but perhaps that’s only because you haven’t found the right text editing app yet. With the right setup, an Android device can be quite productive (and far more convenient than lugging around a laptop).

Enter the distraction-free text editor app. In this context, “distraction-free” means an app that maximizes the amount of screen space for editing text by minimizing interface clutter and other potential distractions. If you’ve used distraction-free editors on a PC Write In Peace With These Distraction-Free Editors Write In Peace With These Distraction-Free Editors I have felt it. Visual clutter – thanks to menus and other markup features – have often cemented my writer’s block. So, I have tried out quite a few distraction-free text editors in a grand... Read More , you know the drill.

More importantly, “text editor” isn’t the same as “word processor” or “note-taking app.” Word processor documents contain all kinds of formatting information and other unnecessary bits, whereas a text editor works with plain text. Note-taking apps have their own notebooks and formats, whereas a text editor can work with individual files on your device.

So you won’t find any Android office suites The 8 Best Office Suites On Android For Getting Work Done The 8 Best Office Suites On Android For Getting Work Done It is possible to get real work done on Android, but you've got a lot of options now when it comes to office suites. Let's examine the best of them. Read More (e.g., Google Docs) or Android note-taking apps What Is the Best Free Note-Taking App for Android? What Is the Best Free Note-Taking App for Android? If you want to take notes on your Android smartphone or tablet, you need one of these apps. Read More (e.g., OneNote) in this post. This is all about distraction-free text editors and the best ones available to you right now.

1. iA Writer

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor ia writer

You may know of iA Writer as one of the best word processors for Mac and iOS, but “word processor” is a misnomer, at least for the Android app. This is a plain text editor that’s designed from the ground up for a “focused writing experience.” It’s simultaneously simple yet beautiful.

The integrated file browser makes it easy to find and open any file on your system, and the app supports both plain text and Markdown editing. Focus Mode improves concentration even further and Night Mode helps with eye strain when ambient light is lacking.

iA Writer can export text in HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word formats and can also publish directly to Medium. It also supports file synchronization with Dropbox and Google Drive.

Download — iA Writer (Free)

2. Monospace

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor monospace

Monospace is about as minimal as it gets. I’ve never seen such an “empty” interface, but in this case, empty is exactly what you want. Monospace strips away every possible thing that could be a distraction, which leaves us with the most barebones, essentials-only text editor you can imagine.

You can’t even change the font, which is monospaced and most conducive to concentration (hence the app’s name). It supports basic Markdown formatting, and the only non-essential feature is the hashtag-based organization feature. Instead of worrying about folder organization, use hashtags, and Monospace will handle organization for you.

Download — Monospace (Free)

3. Writer Plus

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor writer plus

Writer Plus is yet another plain text and Markdown text editor in the vein of both iA Writer and Monospace. Its main focus is on light use of system resources, maximizing battery life, and making sure the app is as robust and crash-free as possible. It’s excellent for older or weaker Android devices.

As far as features go, you get the bare essentials: folder organization, basic Markdown formatting, Night Mode for reduced eye strain, word and character counts, and basic Undo/Redo functionality. If you connect a keyboard to your Android device, you can also use a handful of nifty keyboard shortcuts.

Download — Writer Plus (Free)

4. JotterPad

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor jotterpad

JotterPad is a text editor for creative types, thus it offers a bit more creative control than the other apps above. But you don’t need to be creative to benefit from JotterPad. The slick interface and distraction-free design are great for anyone who has text to edit.

Special features include phrase finding, keyboard shortcuts, custom fonts, typewriter scrolling, and style customizations. Markdown formatting and exporting are also supported. Some features, like syntax highlighting and the English rhyme thesaurus, are locked behind in-app purchases.

Download — JotterPad (Free with in-app purchases)

5. QuickEdit Text Editor

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor quickedit

If your text editing needs involve programming of any kind, QuickEdit Text Editor should be one of the first apps you check out. It offers the widest range of syntax highlighting I’ve seen, with over 40 languages supported out of the box: C#, C++, Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, Swift, and many more.

Notable features include highly-optimized performance, opening multiple files at once, line numbers, unlimited Undo/Redo, search and replace, preview for HTML/CSS/Markdown files, synchronization with cloud services, and optimized interface for tablet devices. The free version is feature-restricted but more than good enough for text editing.

Download — QuickEdit Text Editor (Free, $2.99)

6. Jota+ Text Editor

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor jotaplus

Like QuickEdit Text Editor, Jota+ Text Editor is designed for programmers but can be used by anyone. In addition to supporting web languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it also highlights syntax for C, C++, Lua, PHP, Python, Ruby, and more. Notable features include opening multiple files at once, search and replace, custom font settings, line numbers, customizable interface, and synchronization with cloud services.

Unfortunately, the free version is feature-restricted and ad-supported, which kind of defeats the whole “distraction-free” idea. QuickEdit is arguably better and cheaper, so I only recommend Jota+ if you don’t like or can’t use QuickEdit for whatever reason.

Download — Jota+ Text Editor (Free with ads, $5.99)

7. Notepad Text Editor

7 Distraction-Free Text Editors for Android Compared: Which Is Best? android text editor notepad

Notepad Text Editor is the bare essentials app of choice for scripters. It only supports a handful of file types (TXT, HTML, CSS, PHP, and XML), it has an outdated interface, and it doesn’t have many features — but it’s free and works in a pinch.

Download — Notepad Text Editor (Free with ads)

Which Text Editor Is Right for You?

For writing only, go with iA Writer for true simplicity and JotterPad if you need a bit of creative flair. If you’re going to edit code as well, it doesn’t get much better than QuickEdit. Of all the distraction-free text editing apps, these three are the best of the best.

One last thing: Know that you can connect a USB keyboard to any Android device How to Connect a USB Keyboard to Your Android Phone How to Connect a USB Keyboard to Your Android Phone Ever wanted to use a real keyboard on your Android device? Lucky for you, it's actually pretty easy to set up. Read More  to instantly boost finger comfort and typing speed. Obviously you won’t want to carry a keyboard with you everywhere you go, but it can come in handy when you need to edit at home.

We also recommend eliminating these distracting Android apps 7 Android Apps You Should Delete to be More Productive in School 7 Android Apps You Should Delete to be More Productive in School If you're headed back to school this Fall, whether that's to middle school, high school, or college, you should make sure you delete these apps first. Read More and looking into how Android can make you more productive at home 12 Ways Android Can Improve Your Home Office Productivity 12 Ways Android Can Improve Your Home Office Productivity If you work from home, these apps are going to make your life a lot easier. Read More .

What kind of text editing do you do on Android? Which app is your favorite? Are there any others that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. David
    August 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Hi and thanks for the great apps comparison / review. I was wondering whether one of these apps actually could do the following:
    If you open the app (or maybe a widget that comes with one of these apps), simply start with a blank document instantly, without one single more click.

    Is that possible with one of these apps that you have reviewed?

  2. Anonymous
    September 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    It looks like you're treating at least three different types of apps as though they had equivalent purposes: full-featured document-editors (Google Docs), memo apps (Evernote), and true text editors (Jota). A *text editor* is a program that merely edits *text*--meaning that when you view a file, the data on the disk is exactly what the editor displays, with no extra "metadata". This is not true for something like Google Docs. Text editors are needed to edit configuration files and software source code--but from the article, it doesn't sound like you're doing either of these. So if Jota seems "a little simplistic" to you, it's because you're not using it for what it's designed for.

  3. Ken
    December 21, 2013 at 5:01 am
  4. Rickey Shortt
    June 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    While I heavily use Evernote and Google Drive/Google Docs on both my phone and desktop, it seems the Google Keep would also be an excellent addition to this list. It's definitely quick, simple, and pretty clean, as well as being a fairly small app. Not sortable other than archiving and being able to search, but they sync to the cloud, and can be shared to anything your phone will allow you to share to if you later need to do more with it than is possible in Keep.

    At first, I was very unimpressed with this app because i insisted on comparing it to Evernote, but now I am finding it has its own very useful niche if Google doesn't eventually bloat it too much.

    • Rickey Shortt
      June 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I hit the Post Comment button a little too quick, and so I apologize for the poor writing, run on sentences, and a couple of typos. But the thoughts still stand.

  5. Switchblade Switchblade
    June 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Evernote: King of Notepad apps in Android
    OneNote: Paired with SkyDrive good if you're a MS guy
    Jota: Best offline notepad app.