When comparing StackEdit vs iA Writer, the Slant community recommends StackEdit for most people. In the question“What are the best Markdown editors for OS X?” StackEdit is ranked 1st while iA Writer is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose StackEdit is:
StackEdit works within your browser. You need internet access to connect to the website, but once it's loaded, the site does not require an internet connection - you will be able to edit and save files locally. Additionally, you can use [Fluid](http://fluidapp.com) to turn it into a native desktop application.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Works online and offline
StackEdit works within your browser. You need internet access to connect to the website, but once it's loaded, the site does not require an internet connection - you will be able to edit and save files locally. Additionally, you can use Fluid to turn it into a native desktop application.
Pro No need to install additional software
StackEdit works directly from the browser, there's no need to install additional software as long as you have a web browser installed on your computer.
Pro Real-time preview
The preview shows in a collapsible pane on the right hand side.
Pro Instant publishing
StackEdit allows pushing a document directly to a list of publishing or file storage platforms or any SSH server.
Pro Supports various Markdown flavors
Supports standard Markdown and Markdown Extra.
Pro Multiple export options
Can export to .txt, .html and .pdf.
Pro Syncs via Dropbox and Drive
Files can be synchronized through Dropbox and Drive.
Pro Simple workflow
It is very easy to toggle between the preview and the editing windows. The black makes it a very focused writing environment. Of course it's possible to change that if needed.
Pro Great when in full-screen
Pro A mode that brings focus to the sentence you're working on
Enabling Focus Mode will dim the whole text except the sentence you are currently writing on.
Pro Can tell how long it would take to read through what you've written
Pro Noise Free Writing Experience removes even the program bar
The Noise Free Writing Experience is one of the first approaches to create a first class distraction-free environment. The feature hides the Mac program bar when you start writing.
Pro Markdown support
Pro Syncs using iCloud and Dropbox
iA Writer can sync documents using iCloud or Dropbox from within the editor for use across multiple devices.
Pro Create whole document by including separate images/markdown docs
This is new and very awesome feature in iA Writer 4.0.
Pro Can export a Word document
Pro Available for all Apple devices
iA Writer is available for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Con Saves files in browser's local storage
Local storage is limited and if the browser crashes the text can be lost.
Con Cannot be accessed while being offline
Even though the editor itself works offline, you need internet access to open the website and the editor.
Con Lacks a good integrated spell checker
Uses the built-in browser spell checker which may not be as good as spell checkers other editors have. Depending on the browser, of course.
Con Publishing to GitHub requires giving write access to repos
In order to publish documents to GitHub, StackEdit requires writing access to your repos, something which many people may not be comfortable with.