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Apple is one world’s largest companies. It got there by giving people the technology they want. Products include the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods.

Pages 12: Apple’s excellent free word processor

Apple Pages 12 word processor

If you use a Mac or an iPad, Apple’s Pages 12 could be the only word processor you need. It’s free, easy to master and, unless you are a lawyer or an academic it includes everything you are likely to need.

Pages 12 at a glance

For:Free, great for layout, all the features most people need.
Against:Native file format, fewer features than Microsoft Word.
Maybe:Collaboration with other iWorks users, iCloud app.
Verdict:Good looking, easy to use. Pages is great option for Apple users who don’t plan to do complex word processing
Rating:4.5 out of 5 – score is for Apple users.
Price:Free
Web:Apple Pages

You may already have Pages 12. Apple installs the software on new Mac computers. It doesn’t come preinstalled on new iPads or iPhones, but you can download it for free from the App Store.

There is a web version of Pages on iCloud that anyone can use, you don’t have to be an Apple customer. The web version works fine with Windows, ChromeOS or Android. You will need to sign up for a free iCloud account that comes with 5GB of storage.

Where iWork fits in the bigger picture

Pages 12 is part of iWork, Apple’s office productivity suite. It sits alongside Numbers, a spreadsheet and Keynote, a presentation app. The three are made to be used with each other and share many common ideas and controls. Learn to use one and you have learned them all.

For many Apple users Pages will be the only word processor you ever need. It integrates brilliantly across the various Apple devices and to iCloud. You can move from device to device and get the same user experience, Pages works much the same way everywhere.

The main alternatives to Pages are Microsoft Word, which is part of Microsoft Office and Google Docs which is part of GSuite.

Office and GSuite are not free, although there are free options. You may not find these free options enough for serious work. If you prefer free software there is LibreOffice.

Microsoft Office and LibreOffice offer more features, but many of these are not essential for everyday word-processing.

Is Pages as good as Microsoft Word?

The simple answer to this question is that it depends on what you want to do and who you work with.

Pages, Word and Google Docs each have a different central focus. Pages is all about putting words and pictures onto a printed or online page.

Its strength lies in layout.

You could produce an advertisement, a newsletter or a pamphlet faster with Pages than with, say, Microsoft Word and a layout app.

You might choose Pages as a low cost alternative to a professional design application like Adobe Indesign.

Compare Pages with Word

In comparison, Word has every conceivable word processor feature including many that you may never use. This makes it popular with large companies and professional users, such as lawyers.

It is a sprawling, complex comprehensive application. That makes it versatile, but it takes a long time to learn how to get the best from it. In comparison Pages is lighter and quicker to master.

Apple built Pages to work with its computers, tablets and phones. If you are familiar with these products, Pages will feel familiar. Microsoft developed Word for Windows computers. These days the Mac versions are far better than in the past, but there are times when that Windows heritage can confuse Mac users.

Is Pages better than Google Docs

Again, it depends what you want to do and who you work with.

Google Docs’s strength is in collaboration. Pages is great for collaboration if you only work with colleagues who use Macs. Otherwise it is not as good as Google Docs. Nor is Microsoft Word.

While Google Docs is good on a desktop or on a ChromeOS device, it is far from the best choice on a tablet or a phone. Google’s mobile apps are inferior to Pages or Microsoft Word. Pages works far better on Apple tablets and phones.

Likewise Pages is a long way ahead of Google Docs for layout and complex documents. In terms of features it sits between Google Docs and Word.

Using Pages 12

You can use Pages on multiple levels. Need to knock up a document fast? Pages can do this, it will guide you through adding typography and inserting images. You can power through the tasks in no time.

There are templates to help you get started. Pages has the best range of templates of any popular word processor and there are many more you can download from Apple and third parties.

When you first open Pages you’ll see a main window and a right-hand sidebar. This sidebar shows formatting and layout controls. If you want to focus on words, it is easy to hide the side-bar.

A second, optional left-hand sidebar can show comments and features like a table on contents.

Unlike other word processors, there isn’t a draft view. This can be annoying at first because, as the name suggests, Pages is organised around pages. And like every other word processor, that means it sees the world from a printed document perspective.

No matter what you are working on, there can be headers and footers to navigate, even if you plan to build a single online-only document.

Working with others

Pages can opening and write documents for other word processor formats but has its own native format. Some features, largely to do with layout, don’t necessarily make it when converting to other document formats. And nothing else reads native format Pages documents.

This isn’t much of a problem in practice as long as you remember which features don’t translate. You can’t send a native Pages document to a colleague using Microsoft Windows and expect them to open it. There is a workaround, but it involves them signing up for an iCloud account and opening the document in the online version of Pages.

Life is far easier if you remember to save your Pages document in Word before sending. You can choose to send as PDF, text or RTF. Don’t expect your formatting to stay unchanged if you make a round trip where a colleague edits and returns the document.

The software picks up almost everything from other formats. You could, say, open a Microsoft Word document that has review comments and mark-up, then work through these in Pages.

Pages collaboration works fine if you work on the same document as a colleague using either Pages or the web app.

Pages for Mac, iPhone, iPad

Pages for Mac works really well. Yet Pages can shine on an iPhone or iPad, especially if you use one of them with a Mac. You’ll see a simplified view of the app, but all the desktop features are there. You may have to dig around to find them.

On the iPhone you can use a screen view designed to make editing easier. It hides the images and fancy features allowing you to focus on the text.

Apple has a feature on its operating systems called Continuity. It means that if you have Bluetooth switched on and both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, you can move seamlessly from editing a Pages document on one device to another.

Another feature called Handoff means you can pick up on another device where you left off.

It feels like magic to work on a desktop document at home and continue to edit the same document on your iPhone while riding on a train or bus to work.

If Pages 12 has a weakness it is dealing with long documents. It’s fine if you are writing anything up to a few thousand words, say a long essay, magazine feature or book chapter. Things break down when documents get bigger than this.

Reviewer’s notes

  • The iPhone and iPad versions of Pages have a useful Presenter Mode which can turn your device into a teleprompter or autocue. Words appear in big text without any images or distractions and you can make it automatically scroll down.
  • A recent update adds support for Apple’s Shortcuts automation tool.
  • Pages has support for language translation on the fly.
  • You can use Apple’s Scribble software with Pages on an iPad. It works with the Apple Pencil to turn handwritten notes into typed text. This feature is powerful if you want to add text to a document while you are standing up.
  • Pages is a good option if you plan to produce Apple Books.

Pages 12 verdict

If you live and work exclusively with Apple devices Pages 12 is potentially the best word processor for your needs. There are simpler alternatives, Markdown editors are a good choice if you crave simplicity and minimalism. And there are more complex alternatives, Word had more features.

Yet for many users Pages 12 is a solid choice and it is free.


Apple Pages 5 review

This is an excerpt from an Apple Pages 5 review that was published July 8, 2014.

Many long-term Pages users were not impressed when Apple updated its iWork word processor from Pages ’09 to Pages 5 in late 2013.

People who invested time and effort learning and mastering the earlier Pages ’09 version of the software found key features were missing. If they had written scripts, many stopped working.

In time the features returned. Apple drip-fed updates restoring much of what was missing in the first version of Pages 5.

Pages: the name tells the story

Pages is not a standard word processor. The name is a giveaway. It is a page design tool first and a word processor second. It was first built to make works look pretty on the printed page. Later the focus shifted to creating good looking online documents.

It does this well. Pages is a low cost alternative to Adobe Indesign for people who need to make words and pictures look good, but who don’t need professional tools and don’t want to pay a lot for them.

It can deliver great looking designs. You don’t need to be an expert to get results.

As a word processor?

Apple talks about Pages as a word-processor. It is part of iWork along with the Numbers spreadsheet and the Keynote presentation manager.

Like it or not that puts it up against Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint or Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Pages 5 does not feature collaboration tools like Google Docs. Nor does it have the heavy duty tools you’ll find in Microsoft Word. It’s more basic in these departments.

Writing space

You get a clean writing space and easy access to the controls needed for adding styles. It’s productive and trouble free.

You can work with documents that come from Word or Google Docs and you can send Pages documents back to these apps. You’ll even see many of the review marks from the other applications – although not all. There are few, if any, problems converting between document formats.

Tracking changes

It’s not the best tool for jobs where you need to track changes with clients, but it can cope.

Pages 5 is the best tool if you want to share and edit documents across a Mac, an iPhone and an iPad. There are apps for all three devices and they work much the same in each.

The big change in the move from Pages ’09 to Pages 5 is iCloud. You can choose to store documents on your Mac’s hard drive or to iCloud. This means you could start writing a document on an iPad at home. Pick up the document from iCloud on your phone while riding the train to work, then finish it off on your desktop Mac in your office.

Pages 5 verdict

Apple Pages 5 is free for Apple users. You can’t argue with the value. It is more than good enough for everyday writing jobs, can handle many, but not all, more difficult tasks and massively outperforms Word or Google Docs if you need to create a good looking layout.

If you are committed to Microsoft Word or Google Docs you may not want to switch, but the option is there should you need it.

Phone shipments tumble 9 percent in first quarter

IDC reports worldwide phone shipments tumbled 8.9 percent in the first quarter of 2022 when compared with 2021.

Rival analyst company Counterpoint Research puts the 2022 q1 fall at seven percent to 328 million units.

IDC says the total fell to 314 million units. This is behind IDC’s earlier forecast.

Nabila Popal, a research director at IDC attributes the fall to negative consumer sentiment. The mood is down everywhere thanks to worries about inflation and economic instability.

Invasion concerns, supply chain worries

Then there are concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and further supply chain problems thanks to the lockdown in Shanghai. The consumer mood is worse in China.

Counterpoint Senior Analyst Harmeet Singh Walia mentions similar factors behind the fall.

The turmoil has done little to change the relative position of the main players.

Both analyst firms note that Samsung remains the phone market leader and put the top four brands in the same order.

Samsung remains market leader

IDC says Samsung has 23.4 percent share of shipments. That is down a fraction on last year. In IDC’s book Apple is in second with an 18 percent market share, its share is up by a larger, yet still small fraction.

Xiaomi and Oppo both took a hit but remain in third and fourth place.

Walia says Samsung overcame supply chain problems and a late flagship launch. Samsung and Apple were the only two companies with shipments close to pre-pandemic levels.

The next issue of concern is that the Ukraine war could lead to a drop in the availability of raw materials needed to make modern phones.


Earlier reports on phone shipments:

Phone shipments climbed in 2021

Published 01/02/22

Worldwide phone shipments were up 5.7 percent in 2021. A total of 1.35 billion phones were shipped.

IDC reports the full year growth came despite shipments falling in the second half of the year. The research company says year-on-year sales were down 4.5 percent in the second half of 2021 when compared to 2020.

Samsung remains the top phone brand. It shipped 272 million units in 2021. That’s up from 256 million a year earlier. Samsung has a 20 percent market share. Its shipments grew 6 percent in 2021 which was the worst growth figure of the top five phone makers.

Counterpoint Research offered similar numbers. It counted 271 million phone shipments for Samsung during the year and says the market grew 4 percent in the year to 1.39 billion units.

Apple surge in China

Apple is in second place. Its share moved up from 15.9 percent in 2020 to 17.4 percent in 2021. The company shipped a total of 236 million iPhones in 2021. Apple saw year on year growth of 15.9 percent.

This was an all time record for Apple.

Counterpoint says Apple grew 18 percent to 237.9 million units during 2021: “due to strong performance by the iPhone 12 series”.

IDC says part of the reason for Apple’s strong year was a 40 percent surge in shipments to Chinese customers. It also says Apple showed supply chain strength at a time other companies ran into problems with component shortages.

Supply chain woes

Research director Nabila Popal says; “The fact that 2021 would have come in drastically higher if it were not for the supply constraints adds even more positivity to the healthy 5.7 percent growth we saw for 2021”.

Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo make up the remainder of the top five phone companies. Third place Xiaomi showed the strongest year-on-year growth with shipments up almost 30 percent.

Beyond the top five phone brands it was another story. The rest of the market saw shipments drop 12.5 percent during 2021.

Smartphone Shipments Declined in the Fourth Quarter But 2021 Was Still a Growth Year with a 5.7% Increase in Shipments, According to IDC.

Counterpoint Research: Global Annual Smartphone Market Grew for the First Time Since 2017; Record Annual Shipments for Apple.

Dealing with a monopsony

America’s regulators watching big tech firms have shifted their focus from monopoly to monopsony.

Monopolies remain a problem. They are when a single company dominates a market from a sales point of view.

Customers have no choice who to buy from. That can lead to monopolies abusing their power and charging high prices.

One buyer to rule them all

A monopsony is where there is a single buyer. Their customers have no choice who they can sell to. Monopsonists can decide what they pay for a product or service.

In the case of technology, monopsonic transactions tend to be at the wholesale level.

Apple is, in effect, the only buyer of apps for iPhones or iPads. Any company wanting to reach customers has to go through Apple’s App Store.

That’s not the whole story. An app developer can try selling direct to customers, it won’t get far.

A similar monopsony exists with Google’s Play Store. While there are alternative stores selling Android apps, Google dominates.

Amazon monopsony

In the same way, Amazon has the ability to decide what it pays to companies wanting to sell products through its online store.

Google and Facebook have control over publishers who want to sell online advertising.

As always with these cases, the powers are not absolute. Sellers have alternatives, but they are rarely practical. A company not selling iOS apps through the App Store will sell a fraction of what its rivals selling through the App Store might achieve.

It’s a new approach for American regulators looking at the tech sector.

There’s a counter argument from the tech giants.

App Store wealth

Take Apple, its App Store has created untold wealth for many software developers who might otherwise have struggled to find customers.

At the same time, it creates value for consumers. People can buy apps from Apple’s store confident that they meet basic standards. Having a central point of sales simplifies buying and finding suitable apps. And there’s a case to be made this process means that apps are more affordable than they might otherwise be.

Developers complain about a lack of flexibility, Apple’s rules can seem rigid and, at times, arbitrary.

The other complaint is that Apple takes a hefty 30 percent cut from every transaction. There is no question this creates a huge revenue stream for Apple. In 2020 the store took $64 billion.

Yet this is in line with the margins software developers offered retail sales back when software was sold in boxes on store shelves. And at that time there was a distributor cut on top of the sales margin.

How long should you keep a phone?

New phone models arrive all the time. The main phone product lines each get an annual refresh.

Apple holds its annual iPhone launches all at once. In recent years this has always happened three or four months before Christmas.

Android phone makers like Samsung, Xiaomi and Nokia have more than one product lines. Each line gets its own annual update. The phone makers tend to stagger launches throughout the year.

Add in the smaller brands and we see a dozen notable smartphone launches each year.

Goodbye two year phone refresh cycle

Phone makers expect you to hang on to a device for at least two years even if they refresh their model lines every year.

Carriers agree. Their phone plans are two-year contracts. Remember carriers make money when you to buy new phones and roll over two-year contracts. While two-year contracts remain popular, they’re less common today than five years ago.

New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department depreciates phones at 67 percent a year. That implies a life expectancy of under two years. Depreciation rates are similar in other countries.

We’re holding on to phones for longer

Most of us now hold onto phones for considerably longer than two years. No-one forces us to operate on a fixed timetable. People think nothing of keeping PCs and other devices for much longer.

There’s a noticeable difference between Apple and Android phones. Android phone users tend to keep their phones for a shorter time than iPhone users.

Apple’s sales figures reflect this. iPhone revenues peaked in 2015. Apple now focuses more on selling services to its customers to make up the revenue shortfall.

Android phones last less than iPhones

In 2016 Benedict Evans reported Android users keep phones for under two years. Back then, Apple iPhones stayed in use for more than two years. In many cases closer to three years. There are interesting theories about this in the comments on Evans’ post. This also explains why second-hand iPhones hold their value better than Android phones.

One reason people now hold on to all brands of smartphones for longer is that hardware and feature upgrades are more incremental than in the past. A few years ago there would be dramatic changes from one year to the next. Now phone makers emphasise cameras and cosmetic changes.

It’s no accident that phone makers hold launch events that look like fashion shows. They want to create the impression that you need this year’s design.

You almost never do.

Android support cut-off

Android phone makers are still more aggressive about moving customers onto new models. In early 2022, Google announced it will stop support for the Pixel 3 phone.

As the media reported, this meant there would be no more operating system or security updates for what would otherwise be a perfectly usable phone.

This sounds awful yet it is an improvement on what used to happen with Android phones. Until the last three or four years many Android users would get the operating system that was available when the phone launched and never see an official update. There were workarounds, but it could be hard for non technical people.

Compare this with Apple. The iPhone 6s was released more than six years ago. Late in 2021, Apple updated its phone operating system to iOS 15. That includes support for the iPhone 6s.

It’s worth noting that phones will work after they are no longer supported. They may not be as secure and there may be things you’d like to do, but can’t.  If you take care, you can continue to use an old phone without upgrading.

The latest version of iOS will not work with an Apple iPhone 5 or older. Yet there may be security updates for older Apple models.

How long should a phone last?

Phones can take a beating. Owners handle them many times each day. They get dropped, knocked, scratched and soaked.

Yet, there are few moving parts to seize up. (Avoid any phone that does include moving parts such as a pop-up camera.)

If you look after your phone and it doesn’t pick up too much moisture, the battery is the first part to wear out. Constant use and charging cycles mean they degrade over time. After about three to four years use they hold as little as half the charge they managed when they were new.

You can replace phone batteries, even those in sealed phones. It can be difficult, there are official repairers and a cottage industry exists.

Although it may look expensive, paying someone NZ$100 to replace a battery is cheaper than a new phone.

Officially Apple has given iPhone owners the right to repair their phones. Later this year it will sell spare parts and the tools needed to make repairs. It’s not for the fainthearted.

Screen life

Screens last three to ten years depending on the technology, build quality and your use. Often the screen backlighting goes first. Again, repairers can fix these problems.

There are times when a new phone model is compelling.

Sometimes moving from one year’s model to the next brings a must-have feature. Even so, you can expect to get at least two years from a device. They should last for three or more. Five years is no longer exceptional.

There are users who give their phones a pounding. If that’s you, or a family member, you have two choices. You could buy a more robust phone model. Or you could opt for a cheaper model that won’t break the bank when replacement time rolls around.

How long should you hold on to a phone?

There’s no simple answer to ‘how long should you hang on to a phone’. What works for one person doesn’t work for another. You should hold on for at least two years. Yet that’s unambitious.

For some people the best time to replace is when the battery life is not enough to get you through the working day. For others it’s when the operating system is no longer supported and there is a security risk. That’s six years for Apple iPhone users.

If you think that is bad, spare a thought for Android users. Six years is more than double the official supported life of Android versions.

If you love Android and worry about phone longevity, chose a Nokia phone. The company has a policy of keeping phone software up to date.

It guarantees two years of updates but to date has extended support beyond that time. It may be far less than Apple, but that’s better than rival Android brands.

This post was updated on January 29, 2022 to reflect recent changes including Google cutting off Android support after three years and Apple giving customers the tools and parts needed to repair old phones. 

Photo by David Mellis. Creative Commons. 

Phone sales peaked five years ago

In 2016 the industry shipped a shade under 1.5 billion phones. By 2020 that had slipped to under 1.3 billion.

Statista graph showing IDC phone shipments 2008 to 2020Last year’s numbers are not in yet. The early indications are the 2021 tally will be a shade below 2020.

Gartner explains that the fall is down to delayed product launches, longer delivery times and inventory problems.

This sounds plausible. Yet the underlying five year trend remains down regardless of short term considerations.

Gentle decline

Phone sales numbers have not dropped off a cliff. They show a gentle year-on-year decline with the occasional quarterly uptick.

There are people in the industry who think the shift to 5G will rekindle consumer interest.

It’s possible, but not likely. There’s little new and practical that 5G networks have to offer to phone buyers. You won’t get to do anything new with a 5G phone that you can’t do with a 4G phone other than access a previously unavailable part of the frequency spectrum.

That lack of new capability gets to the heart of the problem.

Saturated market

The phone market is saturated. There are few new buyers entering the market.

At the same time, there has been less innovation in phone technology. There are no compelling reasons to bring forward an upgrade. That means people hang on to existing models for longer.

You upgrade when your existing phone dies or degrades.

IDC suggests sales will grow between now and 2025. At that point, total shipments will reach a new high of a fraction over 1.5 billion.

Flat, or, at least, flattish

Even if this is correct. It can’t been seen as anything other than a flat market. In effect, IDC says total shipments will climb less than two percent over a decade.

Apple kicked off the modern touchscreen smartphone era in 2007 when it released the first iPhone.

Over the years since then, the company’s share of total unit sales dropped away. At one point more than seven Android phones sold for every iPhone.

When it comes to revenue, Apple’s share has always been far higher. And higher again if we look at profits made from selling phones. Many of the company’s Android rivals were, in effect, buying market share by selling at cost or even at a loss.

Today Apple’s unit market share is climbing again as Android rivals exit the market or otherwise fade.

Apple the winner from Huawei’s woes

Apple has benefited from Huawei’s troubles. Sales of that company’s phones have plummeted since the US applied sanctions two years ago.

The most recent phone market snapshot from Canalys says:

“Apple accounted for 22 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in Q4 2021, thanks to strong demand for the iPhone 13.”

Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia says: ““Apple saw unprecedented iPhone performance in Mainland China, with aggressive pricing for its flagship devices keeping the value proposition strong.

“Apple’s supply chain is starting to recover, but it was still forced to cut production in Q4 amid shortages of key components and could not make enough iPhones to meet demand. In prioritized markets, it maintained adequate delivery times, but in some markets its customers had to wait to get their hands on the latest iPhones.”

Worldwide smartphone shipments and growth
Canalys Preliminary Smartphone Market Pulse: Q4 2021

Vendor

Q4 2020 market share

Q4 2021 market share

Apple

23%

22%

Samsung

17%

20%

Xiaomi

12%

12%

Oppo

10%

9%

vivo

9%

8%

Preliminary estimates are subject to change upon final release
Note: percentages may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding
Note: OnePlus is included in Oppo shipments from Q4 2021
Source: Canalys estimates (sell-in shipments), Smartphone Analysis, January 2022

Typora markdown editor review

Typora is a great Markdown editor that brings distraction-free writing to Windows and Linux.

There’s a smorgasbord full of Markdown editors for Apple users. Windows and Linux users who want to simplify writing have fewer options. Typora changes that.

It’s possible to run Typora on a Chromebook. While there are no versions for Android or iOS, that may change.

Markdown editors are stripped-back distraction-free writing apps. If you want to focus on getting your words onto the virtual page and nothing else, they are your best option.

Many writers swear Markdown improves productivity.

Typora offers a different Markdown take

Markdown editors have a limited range of type and formatting options compared to traditional word processors like Microsoft Word. Even Google Docs offers a wider range of choices.

That’s deliberate, it keeps things simple.

With Markdown editors you can enter formatting codes directly into your text. A pair of * symbols tells Markdown the next few characters are in bold type and so on.

Keep it out of sight

Other Markdown editors tend to keep these codes in sight. You type onto a blank pages and can see your markup codes. You can then switch to a second screen to see how they look after formatting.

Typora doesn’t do that. In normal use, it styles the text as you type. This takes us back to an acronym that we don’t hear much these days: wysiwyg – what you see is what you get.

There is an option to choose a view with pure Markdown codes. Yet, for the most part, Typora keeps this out of sight.

I’m not convinced this is an improvement, but you may feel otherwise.

Themes

The other departure from standard Markdown editors is that Typora offers a series of themes. Many allow you to switch from dark text on a light background to light on dark, or perhaps, format the output in different ways.

Typora takes themes further than that. There is a theme gallery, you can download more themes If you are handy with CSS, you can create your own custom themes.

While this is neat, it is a form of distraction. Instead of procrastinating over font choices and layout options when using Microsoft Word, you can now waste valuable writing time looking at these themes.

Document format

There are Markdown editors that store files in a proprietary format. Thankfully, Typora does not do this. Proprietary formats are a backward step.

The files store as .md documents that you can open with other Markdown editors and applications or services that accept Markdown input. This can be handy if, say, you have a WordPress blog.

You can save direct to Word format if you need to stay compatible with colleagues. Typora has HTML and PDF output too.

Typora verdict

If you already use a Markdown editor, Typora can make sense if being able to see formatted text as you type appeals. I find it doesn’t help, but it doesn’t do any harm.

Typora is the best Markdown editor I’ve seen for Windows and Linux systems. If you want to simplify your writing and you use one of these, it is the smartest option.

If you are a Mac user, take advantage of the free trial period to see if Typora suits better than the other Markdown options.

Typora costs a one-off US$15. There is no cheeky annual subscription to worry about. I couldn’t find it in app stores, you can buy direct from the Typora site.