Best Writing Apps for Bloggers of 2012
Choose the best blogging app for your style and audience
It’s important to choose a blogging platform that fits the way you write and the features you use, and most writers just naturally gravitate toward the one that makes the most sense—you don’t find the same readership on WordPress as you do on LiveJournal or Tumblr. If you’re a tablet or smartphone geek, however, you might also want to look at your platform’s mobile client to find the best fit for you. Here are a few of the big platforms’ mobile apps, and some additional tools to make blogging from your phone or tablet easier.
1. Dragon Dictation (iPhone)
The biggest limitation of blogging from your phone is the keyboard, so good dictation software should be your first stop. There are other apps out there of varying price and quality, but this is the highest-rated free dictation app for the iPhone, allowing you to dictate large quantities of text that you can paste directly into your mobile blogging app. Early implementation of dictation technology was inaccurate, frustrating, and hard to use, but recent versions have shown dramatic improvement.
2. Winscribe Digital Dictation (Android)
Winscribe is the most popular dictation app available for Android devices. While it’s primarily intended for users of their professional dictation service: doctors, legal professionals, etc. For that reason, Winscribe offers a number of bells and whistles such as barcode scanning and geo-location functionality that are probably not much good to a casual blogger—all you need is the ability to copy text to your device’s clipboard. Still, it accomplishes that purpose well, and it’s free. According to user reviews, T-Mobile LG users may find that the app switches off if the phone goes to sleep, so you might have to swipe the screen once in a while to keep the dictation running.
3. WordPress (Android, iPhone)
WordPress is a great platform in general, and their mobile client is no exception. You can publish and edit posts (including images and video), moderate comments, track your page-views, and read other blogs—pretty much everything the browser-based client can do, in a tighter, cleaner interface. If you get comfortable with dictation, posting from your tablet or smartphone may actually be easier than doing it from your laptop: all you’d have to do is copy/paste the spoken text and apply any rich-text formatting manually.
4. Squarespace (Android, iPhone)
Squarespace’s mobile app is about on par with WordPress in terms of functionality, with access to advanced text editing and page view statistics, as well as full comment moderation. It’s almost universally praised by users, though WordPress has simpler-to-use rich-text functionality and a slicker interface. Squarespace is a small up-and-comer, and it’s intended for professional bloggers: while the app is free, you’ll pay $8.99 a month or more for your Squarespace account. Ultimately, that’s the killer—free blog platforms are so abundant that it’s hard to justify a paid one—but if you already use Squarespace, this app is essential.
5. Posterous Spaces (Android, iPhone)
Posterous has a strong, dedicated user base, and it’s tailored for bloggers who like to vary the readership of their posts (there are some things Grandma doesn’t need to read about); so if that’s you, Posterous Spaces provides a great mobile client. Unlike WordPress, text editing and graphics are limited, but other than that it has essentially the functionality of the browser client. If you love Posterous, this app won’t disappoint, but it also won’t replace blogging from your laptop.
We looked at a few other mobile apps—Tumblr, Blogger, Typepad, and others—but all were plagued by design issues and/or low functionality compared to the browser client. WordPress was the clear standout, so if you’re looking to start a new blog or switch platforms, and mobile blogging matters to you, the choice is pretty clear.
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