A few years ago I noticed a linguistic habit of a certain Twitter user, and decided to emulate it by writing an app that would automatically add insults before nouns — NastyWriter. But that person is no longer on Twitter, and Valentine’s Day is coming up, so it’s about time we had more niceness in our lives. NiceWriter is an app developed for iOS and iPadOS which automatically adds positive adjectives before the nouns in any text entered. You can download it from the App Store for free — it’s complimentary!
Compliments added by NiceWriter are highlighted in pink to distinguish them from the original text. Most features are the same as in NastyWriter: you can use the contextual menu or the toolbar to change or remove any adjectives that don’t fit the context, to make sure the text is as perfect as the nouns mentioned in it. You can share the sweetened text as an image similar to the one in this post. You can set up the ‘Give Me a Compliment’ Siri Shortcut to ask for a random compliment at any time, or add a shortcut to add compliments to text you’ve entered previously. You can even use the Niceify shortcut in workflows in the Shortcuts app to add compliments to text that comes from another Siri action.
That last feature — parameterised shortcuts that you can use in workflows — was not yet in NastyWriter, so I’ve also released NastyWriter 2.1, which has that feature as well as a few new insults and bug fixes.
I’ve enabled running NiceWriter and NastyWriter on Apple Silicon Macs, but I don’t have one myself to test it on, so I can’t guarantee a good experience. Whatever your opinion on NiceWriter, let me know and I’ll make sure the adjectives you use to describe it go into either NiceWriter or NastyWriter, as appropriate.
A new version of NastyWriter is out, and it’s not just for iOS 11 any more! You can get it from the App Store. I’ve been casually meddling with it over the last few years, and these are the main changes:
Dark mode support — not only will the app itself display properly in dark mode, but the images you create using the Share function while in dark mode will also be in a dark-mode style.
Two Siri Shortcuts:
If there’s some text you want to nastify again and again, you can add a Siri shortcut to create a new nastified version of it in response to a voice command. Just tap ‘Add to Siri’ once you’ve typed in your text.
If you ever just need a single insult, add the ‘Give me an insult’ shortcut using the Shortcuts app, and whenever you speak your chosen phrase it will show you an insult surrounded by nasty emoji.
40+ new insults and closers (insulting closing statements added if you share a passage that contains no insults.)
The text field is now correctly positioned if you’ve paid to remove ads on a phone with a ‘notch’* such as the iPhone X, 11, or 12.
The toolbar above the keyboard is now the correct size on notched phones.
* I prefer to call this ‘horns’, because this style of phone gives you additional screen space rather than taking it away, but ‘notch’ is more likely to be understood.
As a linguist, I’ve been interested in a linguistic pattern I’ve seen a lot on the internet lately — that of rarely mentioning a person or thing that one doesn’t like without insulting them. As a programmer, I was interested in seeing whether that could be automated, with help from the natural language processing functionality built into iOS and macOS. As a freelancer, I was interested in finding out how the iOS App Store worked and proving I could write iOS apps, since decades of macOS development experience doesn’t count for much these days. So I wrote NastyWriter.
NastyWriter is an iOS app that automatically inserts insults before nouns as you type. Insults added by NastyWriter are highlighted in peach to distinguish them from your own text, and you can share the insult-ridden text as an image with the highlighting intact. You can remove or change any insults which don’t fit in the context, to make sure your stream of nastiness is just right, even when it’s just wrong.
NastyWriter runs on iOS 11 and is on the App Store now. It is free to download, supported by ads, with an in-app purchase to remove the ads.
From November 2021 I will be free for new work — either freelance or as a regular day job, in Vienna, Austria or remotely. I am open to relocating to the US, especially the Seattle area, but would work remotely until a visa can be arranged. If you’re looking for a developer, get in touch! I prefer working in Swift or Objective-C for macOS, iOS, or for the web. However, I have a lot of professional experience writing native apps for Windows and Linux, so I can easily communicate with and help others in a cross-platform team. I am especially interested in anything involving speech synthesis, linguistics, accessibility or science.
Spondee Software creates macOS, iOS, watchOS and web applications. Much of the software in development is related to poetry and writing.
A spondee is a metrical foot with two long syllables. For instance, ‘spondee’ is a spondee. You can’t really say one of those syllables faster than the other, or replace its vowel with a schwa. One way of representing stress patterns is with slashes for stressed syllables and dashes for unstressed ones, which makes a spondee ‘//’, as in the spondee software logo.