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Blogging On the Go: Are Mobile Apps Up To It?

This guest post is by Barry Cooke of QDOS.

With the rise of mobile technology and citizen journalism, being able to blog while on the move is increasingly important.

Unfortunately, many blogging apps are limited, clunky, and make updating from your mobile smartphone or tablet inefficient.

Here we take a look at the main direct blogging apps, as well as a few additional ones that can improve the process, to see if they’re up to the challenge.

Blogging software

Blogger

The interface and functionality of this app is very stripped down. Your main and most important features are still intact—you can upload photos and videos into your post, but they have to be saved on to your device prior to posting, which means you can’t upload from YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video hosting site.

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Typing into this app is cramped but bearable, similar to sending a text or an email from your phone. If you’re using a tablet, then there’s obviously a lot more room for manoeuvre.

So, if your aim is just a simple, predominantly text-based post possibly involving a picture or linked video, then Blogger’s mobile app is perfectly adequate, however it’s not capable of posts that are much more complicated than that.

WordPress

One of the most proficient mobile blogging apps is available from one of the most proficient blogging platforms available.

The WordPress app is detailed, with a multitude of features including the accessible dashboard user interface, which gives you one-tap access to every blogging feature you need, from posting and creating new pages, to comments and checking statistics.

The quick action bar makes it easy to switch between which of your blogs you want to update, refresh the content, or return to the dashboard. Posting is a joy, with the formatting toolbar allowing you to perfect your text, post links, and embed photos and video. With the latter two, you can also change alignments and alter their sizes quickly and easily.

Tumblr

This micro-blogging site lends itself well to remote blogging on smaller handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets by its very nature. It’s fast and simple to post to, with a clean, minimal mobile interface, making it potentially the most attractive out of the major three blog platofrms.

The recently updated user interface makes it easy to check the other blogs you follow, update your own, and manage multiple posts on a range of blogs. The new and improved navigation bar is more intuitive than the 1.0 version, so bloggers can do more than just post from the dashboard—we can now reply to messages, switch between posts and imbed photos, videos and links with just a few taps.

Other helpful apps

There are also some fantastic third-party apps available that integrate with all the above platforms, as well as photo and video editing software. So if you’re often including rich media in your posts, these are essential additions.

Blogsy

This is, by far, one of the most capable blogging applications on the market. It integrates excellently with other third-party apps like YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, and Picasa, meaning embedding photos and videos into your post is as easy as drag and drop.

It also supports Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr, so if you’ve got several blogs on different platforms, you can use Blogsy to update all of them, and switch between each with just a few taps of your touchscreen.

The integrated browser means linking out is also a seamless affair. The unfortunate thing is it’s only available on the iPad, so those with smartphones won’t be able to take advantage of its myriad features for blogging on the go.

However, if you’re frequently uploading videos, photos and other sticky media to your blog, then investing in an iPad should be considered as it makes the whole process and far enjoyable and rewarding experience. And at just £2.99, Blogsy is well worth the pennies.

Snapseed

Of the numerous photo editing apps available, Snapseed is the most capable and most user-friendly, with an accessible interface that’s easily navigable even for first timers.

It offers good colour control, allowing you to alter the hue and saturation of your photographs, as well as the standard cropping, image enhancement, and scaling options you would expect.

There are a variety of filters you can apply, with very similar aesthetic choices to Instagram, including vintage and black-and-white effects. It’s also possible to integrate it with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr so sharing your perfected photos is easy. Priced at £2.99, it won’t break the bank.

Pinnacle Studio

For video editing, this app is your best bet. Its clean navigation and easy drag-and-drop interaction makes splicing your video clips uncomplicated and a lot of fun. There are options to add text and titles to your finished videos if you want to give a little contextual explanation. And uploading it to YouTube can be done with a couple of taps.

Unfortunately the controls are quite small, so this application isn’t compatible with smartphones and even if it was, it would be impossible to use. If you’ve got an iPad then the interface isn’t so bad, but many bloggers recommend getting a touch pen or stylus if you do a lot of video editing on the move as it makes the process considerably easier.

Your picks

Which mobile blogging application you choose will largely depend on the nature of your blogging, how advanced your posts are, and which media you will be uploading.

What is undeniable is the fact that if you’re embedding a lot of photographic and video content, and you’re doing it frequently while on the move, then it’s well worth investing in a tablet. The simple fact that it’s bigger makes the blogging process more efficient and far more enjoyable.

What mobile blogging apps do you use? Share them with us in the comments.

This article was written by Barry Cooke. Barry is a respected mobile usability consultant who has been working in the mobile market for over 15 years in a number of different sectors from online dating apps to finance and travel.

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Comments

  1. Andrew Marc says:

    Hi Barry, actually I do not use any (other than FB or Twitter)… only for the reason my posts would be very short due to the “typing” on a smartphone. I know there are some people who are fast at texting, but not me.. guess I too used to my dual 24″ screens, lol.

    However, Blogsy looks interesting.

  2. Samuel says:

    Blogging on the go is going to happen on your journey to blog success.

    Luckily I have a smartphone with 3G and can monitor everything that is going.

    Heck, I can work directly from my phone sometimes :)

    Thanks for the article and the apps in it.

  3. I’m still not convinced about blogging on mobile devices. Unless the post is pure text, I don’t like it yet.
    What about Squarespace mobile app?

  4. I agree, that the perfection of Smartphone technology makes blogging easier when we are in time and place are not quite right, so it only took a Smartphone to connect with the world of blogging.

  5. Hi Barry,

    Cool breakdown. I am of the old skool laptop blogging crowd, so no mobile apps, but I can see the need for functionality as more bloggers use mobiles to publish on the move.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  6. Santosh says:

    Thank for the kind words I am glad you liked the post ..you’ve complied a great checklist I like the idea of call to action elements. Most bloggers and internet marketers tend to miss this one out

  7. Novi says:

    I use Blogger on my iPhone. Hope they will add more web version functionalities to the mobile app

  8. Jane says:

    I have the WordPress app installed on my Tab. I blog on the go while I travel or when I go to my home town once in a month off to a place where there is no broadband. I have 3G (pretty good speed), so while I’m away I always draft my posts – don’t want to lose those ideas that spark in my head while I’m relaxing :)

  9. You can’t beat WordPress in my opinion, it has a perfect learning curve. It’s great when you just use it as a default install, and you can mod it to your heart’s desire.

  10. David says:

    I’ve tried using the wordpress app on my iPad because I’m working abroad and didn’t have a laptop with me. Eventually I gave it up as a bad job because typing is hard (it keeps autocorrecting me wrongly), inserting images is hard and getting a long post including images formatted properly is almost impossible. I also found some things on the wordpress admin screens impossible to do, usually those where you have to drag and drop…

    If you want to post a quick video or picture onto your blog, with a brief writeup it’s fine, but I struggled with doing anything bigger or more complicated.

    I will probably try out Blogsy though, see if it helps :)

  11. Mark says:

    Another new method is in utilization of Apple’s Newsstand. Bloggers can take advantage of publishing their content to their very own newsstand app which can be updated issue by issue for their users to see!

  12. Jeet says:

    I personally prefer WordPress as my blog is based on it. But I don’t think blogging through a mobile app can help us as well as it help via the usual and traditional way of blogging via your laptop or desktop. It helps in SEO for you blog (if you use any such plugins) while the mobile apps doesn’t support that.

  13. Ehsan Ullah says:

    I blog on the go ones in a month when I’m away from my PC and I use all of the useful blogging apps on my Android.

  14. no matter how many changes or how many updates are being provided in order to improve the blogging apps they can never be able to give the sort of experience we have on our PC. i have tried all sort of apps in my iPhone, be it blogger or wordpress…nothing makes me satisfied….its better to have atleast an iPad.