There are a few apps floating around the interwebs to assist with writing these days. With the wealth of offerings available, it can be tricky finding one with just the right around of features to avoid confusion for the user whilst still being powerful enough to get that document, article, email, etc… to a professional quality. After all, most human beings do not want to inflict cringe-inducing prose on the end user. This is where an app like Grammarly for Chrome comes into the equation.
From the hour or so that I spent tinkering with the app on the Chrome browser, I’ve found it to be quite useful in clearing up some mistakes on several of my writing wikis and I even noticed it catch at least one error whilst I was drafting an earlier part of this short review. However, you will need to have the internet connected and create an account in order to use it as the app saves settings to an online profile.
To use the app, you will notice a little icon near your web address if you are using the Chrome browser. Check to make sure that the right settings are enabled and away you go. When interacting with a document in Chrome, small icons and numbers will appear at the bottom of the workspace. Any problematic text will also be underlined in the workspace itself. Click on either to bring up information on identified issues with the text. If the secondary setting is enabled, you will also have access to associated thesaurus options. In this window, you will be able to opt-in of recommended changes. I am not sure how it will appear on a Chrome machine, but I suspect that it should be moderately easy to figure out.
How would I describe the app? I consider it tiny-yet-powerful. The reliance upon an internet connection does bug me though and I hope that the developers offer some packages for offline use at some stage, but it is not a game-breaker. In spite of there being a premium option, it doesn’t appear to offer this option either. Is this lack of offline use for the app enough for me to stop using the app? No, but it does mean that the occasional internet and power outages in my region will result in periods of time when I just won’t be able to do any software-assisted edits.
The purpose of the app is to polish a piece of writing by fixing grammar, avoid spelling errors and help tighten sentences as well as give suggestions on style, which it does really well. Based on my own testing of the app so far, I have found that it is fairly intuitive with customizable features. This focus on the user experience (UX for the cool kids) reduces the barrier for new users adopting this software. Premium .
Do I recommend it? I know that I like the features and usability of the product itself. Based on my own experiences, I believe that a bunch of other writers, bloggers and communicators will make good use of the software. We often miss typos, grammatical errors, etc… when we write something, and this piece of software is a great way to deal with those problems in a prompt manner. I would recommend that folks give the app a run to see if they find the features useful in their everyday activities. Also, note that there is also a standalone app for Windows and for Microsoft Office that folks might also consider checking out. I haven’t tried the Windows app yet but I look forward to giving it a run now that I have it installed. I don’t have the applicable version of MS Office yet so I am unlikely to try the associated version anytime soon.
To clarify, this isn’t a sponsored post for the app, merely an attempt on my part to share a piece of software that some of my friends might find useful with their own writing. I look forward to posting the occasional app review in future on top of the anime, TV, movie and music reviews that I have recently started posting. If you try the app, feel free to post your own findings in the comments section. If you have recommendations for Chrome and/or Windows apps, feel free to let me know about them as well. I look forward to learning about apps that you find useful in your everyday activities.