Product Review

Hemingway App Review

Daniel Midson-Short
December 8, 2019

Hemingway App is a free browser-based grammar checker software with a paid desktop writing and editing app. It is one of those services that’s always in the conversation when people start talking about grammar checking software.

But I wanted to know, is Hemingway App good for grammar edits?

To find out, I put it through a series of hands-on tests, comparing it to some of the top free and paid services on the market today, such as Grammarly and ProWritingAid.

Does Hemingway App live up to the hype? Find out in our Hemingway App Review.

Our Verdict

If you’re a college student looking to find a free platform to run some grammar check proofreading on an essay before turning it in, this feels like a system that you can get some quality use out of. But if you intend to improve your writing style, I recommend another service. Check out our Grammarly review or ProWritingAid for more information.

Pros of Hemingway App

1. Easy to Use

The first thing you’ll notice when you go to the official Hemingway App site is that it is remarkably simplistic, and I don’t mean that as a knock.

When you pop onto the site, you’ll notice that there’s a plain white page with some text already there. It’s pre-marked and has a readability score of 6. (More on those later)

This is just a helpful model showcasing the abilities of Hemingway as an editor.

Once you’re ready to begin, delete the sample text, then copy and paste your content into the page. I was shocked at how quickly Hemingway App tore through the work and marked it up.

highlights corrections
This is a sample document where it highlights corrections.

It’s pretty easy to understand. Items highlighted in blue are adverbs. Green highlights those spots where you’ve used passive voice. Purple shows sentences that can be simplified, yellow highlights sentences that are hard to read (like run-on sentences), and red are very hard to understand complex sentences.

From a grammatical perspective, it highlighted a lot of the same information that other top services have isolated for this same text. Overall, I was happy with the Hemingway App’s performance.

2. Informative Features

One of my favorite features of the Hemingway App is the sidebar on the right side of the page. It gives you a wealth of information about your text.

information about your text
A sample result where it gives you information about your text.

As you can see in the image above, Hemingway spells out the reading time of your text, the number of letters, characters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. That’s something that comes in handy if you’re trying to reach a specific word count or writing a speech that has to fit into a certain time.

It also lets you know how many grammar issues it discovered. While they don’t help you navigate your corrections the way Grammarly’s interface does, it still gives you a good impression of your mistakes overall.

3. Readability Score

A lot of grammar checking software will assign a score to your text. Hemingway App does that, but their numbers have a special meaning.

The numerical score actually coincides with a school grade. It’s letting you know the reading level of your text.

numerical score
A sample numerical score from Hemingway.

Our sample text was written at a seventh-grade reading level. That’s actually really good. Depending on your audience, you don’t always want to write something at a college reading level.

When you’re writing for a broad audience, it’s best to keep things simple at a sixth-grade or seventh-grade level.

4. Free Service

The online version of the Hemingway App is entirely free. There is no subscription cost and no option to subscribe and get more features.

On top of that, I didn’t see any oppressive ads on Hemingway. These tend to plague a lot of free services. (Looking at you GradeProof!)

But despite it being offered at no cost, I still really enjoyed the quality of the suggestions. This wasn’t a “you get what you pay for” free service-type scenario like NounPlus.

5. Writing and Formatting

You can write directly in the Hemingway App and format your work.

If you want to write freely without the text editor chiming in every two seconds, there’s a button in the upper right-hand corner that will let you switch to writing mode.

switch to writing mode
Hemingway has an option that will let you switch to writing mode.

You’ll also be able to format your work on the top, as seen in the image above. You can make your text bold or italic. You can also create headings from H1 to H3, develop quotes, arrange items via bullet points and numbers, or insert links.

Unfortunately, the free online version doesn’t allow you to export your work into a program like WordPress or Microsoft Word, but a quick copy and paste should do the trick if you want to write in Hemingway App.

6. Paid Desktop App – One Time Cost

The only cost associated with the Hemingway App is a one time charge of $19.99 for the Windows or Mac OSX desktop app.

Of course, with that added charge comes some additional features.

You can publish directly into Medium or any WordPress blog post. You can convert your writing into HTML or CMS coding. You can export to other editing programs like Microsoft Word. Exporting as a PDF is also possible. There’s even an option to export a PDF with all of Hemingway’s edits intact.

Cons of Hemingway App

1. No Plagiarism

Hemingway App does not include a plagiarism checker tool. Accidental plagiarism can have dire consequences for writers, so it’s best to use a piece of software that has plagiarism detection built-in.

This is something included with a lot of our top grammar checkers. We’ve also compiled a list of the best plagiarism checkers on the market today.

2. No Spell Check

Hemingway only checks for grammatical issues. There is no built-in spell checker. At first, I thought I was wrong about that, but I did a little digging and found that even Hemingway describes itself as “like a spellchecker, but for style.”

So spelling isn’t something you’re going to find on here. That feels like a glaring omission. I’ve never encountered a grammar checker that doesn’t also include a spelling component. Spelling and grammar naturally go together.

3. Little Direction

Hemingway is good at pointing out where you’ve made mistakes, but it doesn’t give you suggestions on how to fix them.

Services like Grammarly tell you precisely what you should do in most cases. It also tells you why you should make those corrections so that you don’t do it again. Looking at those suggestions is also a great way to break through writer’s block. Hemingway just tells you that there’s an issue and lets you figure it out on your own.

I feel like it’s not as helpful as some of its competitors when it comes to learning how to become a better writer.

4. No Customer Service

There doesn’t appear to be any customer service to speak of.

I found a “Help” email address on the site, but it was a little strange. It was a Gmail address and not an email account associated with a Hemingway domain.

contact Hemingway via email
You may contact Hemingway via the email on their website.

I sent them a series of questions three days ago, and I have not heard anything back.

Costs, Plans, & Payment Options

There is only one cost associated with the Hemingway App. It’s a one time purchase of $19.99 to get the desktop writing app version with advanced features.

When you click on the button to buy the service, you get redirected to Gumroad for the checkout process. Once there, you can pay with a credit/debit card or PayPal.

There is no monthly subscription.

Do I Recommend Hemingway App?

Yes and no. It really depends on who you are and why you’re using it.

If you’re a college student looking to find a free platform to run some grammar check proofreading on an essay before turning it in, this feels like a system that you can get some quality use out of. But if you intend to improve your writing style, I recommend another service. Check out our Grammarly review or ProWritingAid for more information.

The lack of a spelling tool also means you’d have to run your text thorough something like Microsoft Word that has a built-in spell checker in addition to your Hemingway edits. I also always prefer to see a plagiarism checker and some quality customer service in place. Hemingway has neither.

But if your needs are simple (and I mean like BASIC simple), this should be a decent find for you.