Just a quick shout-out for an app I discovered recently: BlogTouch. It’s an iPad app that lets you create, edit and manage posts for your blog with Google Blogger.
Google offers a free iOS app called simply “Blogger.” It’s pretty clearly the work of their junior varsity programmers. There is almost no text formatting allowed and you can’t even add a simple web link. In short, it’s okay if you need to correct an embarrassing spelling mistake on your blog but otherwise, it’s useless.
BlogTouch isn’t so limited. In fact, it’s hard to see how it’s limited at all. It provides nearly all of the functionality that I have working in the generally very good Blogger online user interface on my computer, including:
- a true rich-text editor that lets me do things like change paragraph alignment, indent, create a list, and more;
- ability to add a hyperlink easily;
- ability to insert an image (or movie) in a post either from a URL or from your device and format its size and alignment;
- blog management features like labels, scheduling, handling comments;
In BlogTouch’s editor, block quotes appear as block quotes, and photos appear as photos. It’s called WYSIWYG editing: “What You See is What You Get.” It’s a crazy idea, but who knows? It might just catch on.
As a photographer I am particularly pleased with BlogTouch’s superior handling of photos in posts. In this respect, BlogTouch is not just better than Google’s own app, it’s also much better than the current version of the iOS app for WordPress, Google’s big competitor in the blog biz. The WordPress app is a little prettier, I concede. But BlogTouch isn’t ugly, it’s just not trendy. And in the end, usability trumps prettiness.
I have only one small gripe about BlogTouch. When you create a hyperlink with some text already selected — which is how I normally do it, say, in Blogger’s editor on my Macbook Air — BlogTouch deletes the selected text. It then puts up a little dialog where you can enter (a) the display text to which the link is to be attached and (b) the link URL. This just seems to me to be a bug or design flaw. What it clearly ought to do is copy the selected text into the first field of the dialog, the way the primary browser-based Blogger UI does it.
Other than that, I think BlogTouch is fantastic and I recommend it enthusiastically. An app this good from an independent develop deserves support.
You can find out more about BlogTouch by finding it on your iPad in the App Store, or going to the BlogTouch blog page, or by watching this YouTube video which provides a short demo of BlogTouch’s features.