Mobile Blogging Battle: Android or iOS

Little did you know it but my last two posts, Slapping Microsoft Word Into Shape and Evernote Clearly Improves Reading Experience across Platforms, Devices, were part of a grand experiment – a test of mobile blogging experience on my two smartphone, one iOS and one Android. I used the free WordPress app for this self-hosted WordPress blog for both posts. Slapping was written on my iPhone and Evernote was written on my Android powered LG. I started from scratch – finding my topics through my mobile reader program on the respective device, capturing images, and then writing and publishing the posts to see if there was a clear winner in the user experience area. And what did this mad scientist discover?

 

While I preferred the WordPress UI on the Android phone, the experience overall on the iPhone was smoother. This was mostly due to some glitchy performance on the Android phone, which I am generally accustomed to, but it did make the process longer and a bit more difficult. I find it easier to navigate in mobile Safari than I do on mobile Google. Image capture is simpler on the iPhone. But the WordPress Android app is a superior product: the post text and layout is easier to read and you can even access your WordPress Dashboard within the app – you can’t do that in the iOS app, and can only get there via the browser.

 

I have gotten use to typing on these tiny touch screens, so that aspect of the process isn’t a bother. However I have to add that the keyboard on the Android is not nearly as elegant as the iPhone’s keyboard – the Android feels pretty much like you are bludgeoning the language, relying heavily on a sketchy spell checker to fix the ham-handed errors.

 

But, when it is all said and done, the latest versions of these mobile apps are a huge improvement over my early mobile blogging experiences from two or more years ago. I am happy to report that mobile blogging is not the agonizing experience it used to be and is more than doable now, making posting one more time killing option while waiting for an oil change or Motion call. That is, if you can tear yourself away from Angry Birds. And WordPress isn’t your only option. Tumblr, Posterous, and Blogger all have their own mobile applications.

 

And, because I can, this blog post is being drafted on my iPad using the very robust cross platform app, Blogsy. Now. Go forth and write!

 

Evernote Clearly Improves Reading Experience Across Platforms, Devices

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Reading web content is an adventure, to say the least. Ads, flashy banners and irrelevant links everywhere. If you already have bought into the joys of Instapaper, Readability or Read it Later, and you use Evernote, then you have the means to dramatically improve your reading experience across any device that support an Evernote App.

Evernote Clearly is a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that will allow you to clip full web pages online and automatically rid them of bling for easier off line digestion. Much like Instapaper and it’s competitors. But I like Clearly for a couple of reasons. You can keep your content organized in one location – the much more robust Evernote ecosystem. You can set font size and typestyle for maximum ease. And if you are like me and rock both iOS and Android, Evernote offers the best option for cross-platform collection and viewing.

The only downside is the lack of a mobile extension to similarly collect and clean up web pages on the go – mobile Safari’s built in Reader button can help you in that context. But if you collect on your full Chrome or Firefox browser, you can consolidate your clipping and reading in one convenient application no matter where you happen to be.

Slapping Microsoft Word Into Shape

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Microsoft Word is a necessary evil. I still miss WordPerfect but have been forced by my corporate overlords to adopt Word. Just because I have to use it, though, doesn’t mean I have to like it.

As MS has updated Word, and the Office suite generally, they have added more and more geegaws to the interface, making it look more and more like a victim of Orange County Choppers. TUAW to the rescue here with a bunch of great tweaks for stripping it back down to its elements. I already employ many of these tweaks, such as turning off tool bars and using full screen mode. But did you know you could disable the status bar, set your default folder for new files to DropBox, and even set your visual preference to return your view to the old DOS blue-screen-white-text? Now there’s a throwback for you!

Thanks TUAW for the great Word Improvement tips!