Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Karl recently covered how to mobile blog with your Windows Mobile phone using Windows Live Writer Mobile, and Daniel covered how to post to WordPress blog with your iPhone, but Android users need solutions that are just as useful and functional.
One of the problems I had with most of the Android mobile blog applications that I found to post to WordPress from your phone was that they were severely lacking in functionality. Sure, you could email text blog updates or use scaled down mobile blogging platforms to send a few blocks of text to my blogs, but what if you want to include an image, post to several blogs or manage your blog comments? I was very happy to discover WpToGo (WordPress for Android), because it allows you to do all of these things with your Android phone.
An Android Mobile Blog App That Does It All…Almost
One thing I’ve noticed with almost every mobile app that I use is that they rarely have the extensive functionality that you would hope they have. You can’t really blame developers, because they’re limited by the device resources, compatibility issues and of course screen size limitations.
With that said, there are sometimes those applications that come pretty close. For me, WordPress for Android is one of those apps. It does just enough so that I can post high-quality blog updates without wasting time, and using the application is intuitive enough that you’ll be blogging within ten minutes of installing it on your phone.
As you can see, WpToGo can handle multiple WordPress blogs. To post to or manage any one of the blogs, just select it from the main screen and you have immediate access to your live blog posts, your local “drafts” stored on the phone, and all of the new comments that are on that blog and not yet managed. Each of these three functions are featured on their own tab.
When you add a new blog – setting it up takes this one, single screen – that’s it. Type in your ID and password, and my favorite part – configure how the image that you upload from your phone will be displayed in your post. While I prefer aligning my image first image to the left and wrapping text around it, the option to center and place the image above your article isn’t a bad format either. By the way, before you’ll be able to post updates from your phone using WpToGo, you’ll need to go into your blog settings, under the “Writing” section, and enable XML-RPC.
Once that’s done, and you’ve configured your blog login settings into WpToGo, you’re ready to start viewing, editing, posting and responding to comments on all of your blogs, straight from your mobile phone.
On the first tab, you can view all of your live posts. If you’d like to review or edit the post, just long-click on it and choose from the options that come up. I’d advise against doing much online editing of the live articles, because the process of saving edits before you’re done takes a bit longer. Ideally, this app should be used for creating new blog entries locally on the phone.
As you’re typing, you can quickly save and the local copy will be updated and stored on your phone. This takes just seconds. You can close the app or turn off your phone and your local saved drafts will be ready for you the next time you turn on your phone and you’re ready to finish up your blog entry.
At the bottom of the edit page, you’ll find the features that make this Android mobile blog app so much more feature-filled than most other mobile blogging programs. Bold, italics, block quote and add links to your post to add variety to your update. Best of all, this is where you can add a picture to your post, and it’ll be inserted in the format that you defined when you set up the blog on your phone. Choose your tags and category and you’re ready to roll.
The publish option is what you’ll select when you’ve finished your final draft and you actually want to flag the post to be published the next time your phone syncs up with the blogs. You can also force it to publish before then by long-clicking on the title in your local drafts list and selecting to upload the post draft to the blog. If “publish” is selected, it’ll get posted live.
The most important feature of this app, for me, is the third tab for Comments. In this area, you can scroll through the most recent visitor updates and manage all of them. Just long-click on each individual comment and either mark as approved, unapproved or as spam. Now you don’t have to get on a computer or even try to track down Internet access, just open up your phone and manage your comments for the day while you’re riding the bus or waiting in the dentist’s office. You will never have another unproductive moment in your life, now that you have constant access to your blog with your Android phone – wherever and whenever you want.
Do you post to WordPress from your phone? What app do you use? If you use WordPress for Android, what’s your feedback? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.