Monday, November 12, 2012

Avery K Tingle

Four Mobile Apps For Writers and Bloggers

As writers and bloggers, we should have two primary aims; consistently churning out good content and building our audience. With the tablet and smartphone war in full effect, its easier now than ever to create and publish blog posts, or even entire novels, while on the go.

These five apps have made my life much easier as a content creator. Besides being remarkably efficient and easy to use, they didn't break my bank (okay, one came pretty close, but it was worth it). So for your perusal, here are the top apps I recommend for writing and blogging while on the move.

4). Pages (iOS, $9.99)
Pages for iPad
Apple's word processing application easily provides the prettiest user interface. The entire program just begs to be written on, and offers all of the standard features such as changing fonts, and offering a variety of templates to suit most writing needs. While I can envision writing entire novels here, there's a much better app (listed here) for that. This is better for flash fiction and standalone pieces. Pages falls short when it comes to importing to and from other word processors (a common problem), and while you can open a document in another word processor on your iPad, there is no way to upload directly to the cloud (via Dropbox or the like). Still, a very good all-around word processor.

3). QuickOffice (iOS $19.99)
QuickOffice for iPad
The most expensive app to make the list, Quickoffice let's you get your MS Office fix on and provides versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This app is complete office management software, allowing you to save to your device, upload to the cloud, save your document in multiple formats and even email it to you. As far as the word processor itself goes, a huge update has added a host of new features to this once-basic word processor. Functioning more like Word, you can now track changes and add comments on the fly to your document. Most of us get started in MS Word. If you're not quite ready to dive into a core word processor yet, you'll feel right at home in Quickoffice.

2). Posts (iOS $4.99)
Posts for iPad
This is the definitive blogging app for iPad. In fact, I'm using it to write this post. This app is a steal at five bucks for everything you get. It's compatible with both Wordpress and Blogger. You can add pictures, HTML code, and everything else you could do at a desktop. You can even schedule exactly when your posts go live and save drafts at either your site or on your device. I've also played around with Draftcraft Free, but not even its paid version can compete with posts. In my opinion, this is the best mobile blogging app available.

1). Storyist (iOS $9.99)
Storyist for iPad
If posts is the best app for bloggers, then storyist is a novelist/screenwriter's dream come true. I discovered tthis app on the NaNoWriMo forums at the end of October and was leery about spending ten dollars on something that didn't have a PC version I could sync too, but after hearing so many good things on the forums, I took the plunge. This app is so complete and thorough that I haven't needed to return to the desktop. It's even (nearly) made Evernote obsolete for me. 
This app comes with features that you didn't even know you needed until you start using them. You can add every last minuscule detail about your project to your project, thanks to the quick-add ability and custom templates for characters, settings, and even plot points. Your document itself comes auto-formatted for ebook publication (take that, Smashwords meat grinder) and if that isn't what you're looking for, you can easily change the formatting to suit your needs in the options. You can even add and edit separate sections to each chapter of your novel and then jump back and forth thanks to a drop down menu.
Put simply, this is easily some of the best writing software I've ever used, on any platform. 

Honorable mentions include;

1). Dropbox (free, easy to get more space, sync across all devices)
2). Evernote (the definitive note-taking software, also free and just got a huge update)
3). Page Centrex (free, works only if you have a Facebook page, provides in-depth analytics)
4). Kingsoft Office (free and like MS Word for Android)

Last but not least, if you need a couple of good time wasters, check out Zombie Gunship and Punch Quest for iOS. Both are free. Zombie Gunship is more fun than one should be allowed to have for free as you mow down cannibalistic crowds while saving wayward (and frustratingly stupid) humans. Punch Quest is a throwback to the old sixteen-bit era of side scrolling beat-em-ups in which you basically smash the holiday stuffing out of anything that isn't you. Pure mindless fun with just enough strategy to keep your mind from going to mush.

Zombie Gunship

So that's my roundup of best writing and blogging apps for the mobile market. If you've got any, of if there's one you think I should check out, please feel free to leave a comment!

Thank you for reading,

Avery K Tingle

About Avery K Tingle

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