App Smart

Mobile blogging options for storytelling on the go

Iam sitting in my favorite coffee shop as I write this column. And instead of using my traditional computer setup, I am writing on an Internet-connected iPad with easy access to blogging apps.

Blogging, it is very clear, has come to mobile computing.


Free on iOS and Android

The WordPress app (right) is my favorite for mobile blogging. Its design is relatively simple, but effective for creating posts peppered with images and links. It is also quite good for distraction-free writing, with little to interrupt you as you work.


When you load the app, you have to log into a WordPress account, which is free. From the main interface, you can reach blogs you have already set up or start a new one. Once you are in your blog, writing a new post is as easy as clicking on the plus icon. A new page for entering text opens, with sections for the post’s title and the body text.

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As you type, you can select words and use formatting controls to make them bold or italic, or you can turn them into links to other websites.

To add a photo or image from your device’s archive, tap on the picture icon. You can also preview what your post will look like when it is published online through the eyeball icon. It then takes just a few taps to tag your post with keywords and to publish it.

This app is simple to use, but it does have limitations — particularly on iOS. In the iOS edition, editing your post’s format inserts code into the text, which may be disconcerting if you are not used to HTML. The app is also only for posting to WordPress blogs.


$5 on iPads

The Blogsy app is a great alternative to the WordPress option. It lets you write blog posts that are compatible with WordPress, but you can also post blog articles to your accounts on other popular blogging platforms like Tumblr and Blogger.


Blogsy (right) feels more full-featured than the WordPress app, and writing with it is more like the kind of what-you-see-is-what-you-get experience of typing into a desktop publishing program like Microsoft Word. For example, when you make a word bold, you see it bold on the screen right away. The app also lets you drag and drop photos and videos to just the right place in your post from your device’s archive or from online services like Flickr and YouTube.

There are familiar dropdown menus for controlling design issues like font and text size. There is even a “Save” icon, to reassure yourself that your draft is saved if you want to work on it again before publishing.

To get to the HTML code that makes your blog post work, you can tap on the little “” icon. This makes it easy to change parameters like the size of images and alignment of text.

If you are clever, you can also use this feature to learn the relevant code: Simply edit the post in the main view, then flip to see the code.

All these features make Blogsy fun and easy to use, but I find it a little more distracting than a simple empty page. Its interface also has a few quirks, and it will take a while to learn where all the controls are in the different dropdown and pop-up menus.


$5 on iOS


If Blogsy’s busy interface is not to your taste, you may like Byword, with its spartan design.

It works a lot like Blogsy, and can post to your Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, and other accounts, though to use this feature you have to pay another $5 for an in-app upgrade.


Each free on iOS and Android

Blogger and Tumblr are alternative blog-writing apps that post only to those specific blogging platforms. The apps work perfectly well, but I find them too restrictive and frustrating to use. Your mileage may vary, of course, and the apps are free, so there is no harm in trying them.


Free on iOS and Android

Finally, mobile bloggers often need to keep track of many Web pages to link to in their posts.

I find the Pocket app (right), by Read It Later, incredibly useful for this. It offers clever bookmark storage for website addresses and videos or other material I have found in other apps like Twitter. Learning how to use it does not take long.

The joy of these apps is their mobility. Have a story to tell and don’t want to wait until you get to your home computer? Now you don’t have to.

Kit Eaton writes on tehnology
for The New York Times.