All about the ‘out of the box’ experience
Byword and WriteRoom are basically digital typewriters with optional live stats. Focused adds music and transparency effects, which can be disabled. The audio’s pleasant, even in the background when working elsewhere.
Ommwriter is comparatively textured: you can use a plain background but alternatively a snowy landscape or hessian pattern. There’s audio, but most options are music-like and distracting; the audio also obnoxiously stops when you switch apps. Oddly, the app eschews menus, in favour of fiddly icons that appear on moving the cursor.
iA Writer used to go for broke with minimalism, but has since relaxed. You can optionally display a bar with statistics, syntax or formatting assistance, and either a pane with your library (saved files) or a preview. Annoyingly, text size adjusts based on screen space.
Ulysses has a bare full-screen mode, but headings, navigation, stats and a Markdown guide are available via pop-ups. Two optional panes enable document access.
Focused feels the most modern of the apps on test, with some smart transparency.