Mobile Blogging

This is what Sex would look like if it
came with a Data Plan.
When you write a blog, you never know when the inspiration may strike to write your next great post, and having the ability to write on the go is very desirable. These days smartphones are everywhere, have more power and utility than my first five computers combined and are a great way to quickly jot down an idea or churn out some word count anywhere.

In fact, this post is being written on an iPhone while I'm on a break in a training seminar.


Depending on which blogging platform you choose, there are dozens of different Apps to blog on the go. Most, however, are geared towards Photo Blogging as opposed to actual post writing, but there are a handful of apps that will allow you to blog just about anywhere.

The official Wordpress
App = Pure Win.
On the iPhone, at least, Wordpress is extremely easy; providing an official and feature-rich free app to manage all your blogs. It gives a complete mobile dashboard that allows you to do just about anything that you can do on a proper computer. Writing posts, managing comments or tracking stats are all available to you any time you can type on your phone and not walk into a lightpost.

Blogger, on the other hand, is a little more difficult. For some odd reason Google doesn't provide an official app to write posts, but instead have an E-mail based system for creating content. It is much less robust than the Wordpress app, but does allow some limited functionality.

A quick search of the Apple App Store will bring up dozens of apps - some free and some available for a fee - that will allow more integration with Blogger. This post, for instance, is being written by the free version of BlogBooster, an ad-supported app available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7 that will integrate with just about every blogging platform out there. It is by no means perfect - with one or two extremely annoying quirks - but at least it allows me to do things like italics and bold and not just plain text. And, hello? Who builds a word processor without a flipping undo button?

With both of these apps you can sync the phone with your blog so that you have a copy of your drafts and recent published posts on your phone, which allow you to work on them offline. Very handy if you don't have access to reliable Wifi or 3G coverage. It also removes the bandwidth concern of being constantly connected to a website; just type away and upload your post when you're done.


iPhone 4 Keyboard: Not as bad
as it seems at first.
Mobile phones these days come with all sorts of different keyboards, from standard QWERTY style hardware ones, software based ones like the iPhone, or simple phone-style numberpads like on the Blackberry Pearl or other more conventional phones. Obviously, a keyboard with proper, physical keys is easier to use, bit I'm surprised at how good the soft keyboard on the iPhone is; and autocorrect is not nearly as evil as I was led to believe. I find that typing is fairly quick, given it's a two-thumb process and accuracy is not all that bad with a little practice. I find the keyboard is much easier to use when using it in the horizontal position.

Editing, on the other hand, is a pain in the ass. With no arrow keys it's very hard to precisely position the cursor on the word or letter that needs changing, which results (autocorrect thought that results should have been exults for some reason) in retyping whole words when attempting to change something small. And selecting the right word is challenging for someone with the dainty thumbs of an 800 pound Mistvale Gorilla.


A smartphone, no matter how sophisticated or sexy, is by no means the ideal blogging device. And while I would never want to write anything substantive using this iPhone again, I certainly like having the (thus? Really autocorrect?) option to be able to do some writing on the fly when a computer isn't readily available. The app options available are varied and most will do a very good job at the basics, but will quickly run into the limitations of a device that just isn't designed for the task.

For the record, this post was written on the iPhone and edited on my main computer at home. This Dwarf's mommy didn't raise a masochist.


  1. Oddly enough, I've written some substantial posts entirely on my iPhone with the Wordpress App, and found it to be much easier than I expected. There's a story called "Gone Fishing" that I wrote at night during a week at the beach that made my hands hurt from typing on the phone all the time, but the story HAD to come out.

    And editing IS a pain in the ass. Sometimes two-finger scrolling will move the text around the way you want it, but that's a hit-and-miss method.

  2. I've been thinking about getting myself one of those fancy phones, just to always be able to write down a thought. Currently I use the good old pen and paper (do people use those anylonger?) and that works fine for just typing down some key words. I suppose as long as doing real editing and actual posting of decent texts is too much work on a phone, I might as well use my little note book (yeah an actual one, not the computer), and do the writing at home as I do now.

  3. Yea, I have been using my new iPhone (4) to read on the go, using the Google Reader app. It's a really great feature, which covers a range of features. The only problem being the difficulty in commenting on blogs, which at times can really prove to be impossible. So I usually mark it for when I get home.

    However, I wouldn't see myself posting on the device. This is mainly because I feel the quality would suffer immensely. Though I do see it being the norm in the very near future. Especially with the rate that new technology is advancing.

    - Jamin

  4. I've used the Wordpress app for comments on my own blog for quite a while, but I wrote my first post on it last week. Big, big fan. I use FeeddlerRSS to read blogs, which syncs nicely with Google Reader.

    I agree with Jamin, though, regarding commenting on other people's blogs on Wordpress or Blogger. I'd love to find a way to make that easier.

  5. I used the wordpress app on my iphone some, but got frustrated as my iphone 3G (not 3GS) has become more and more out of date.

    I recently picked up the ipad 2, and was trying to use the wordpress app, but found I actually did better just going straight to my wordpress powered site and updating from there.