A couple months ago, I ripped on, er, critiqued blogging on the iPad. At the time, I explained why blogging on the iPad isn’t yet ready for prime time. Now, thanks to some new and/or updated apps—along with the introduction of (limited) multi-tasking on the iPad—I’m beginning to change my tune.
Since the iPad WordPress app is still crap, I’ve chosen the apps that I’ve found make me the most productive, though I still finish the post either on my laptop or by copying and pasting the post into the WordPress app on the iPad. It’s not a perfect system, but it works for most posts reasonably well.
Finally, I’ve included two sets of links for each of these apps. The first list links to the application developer’s website and the second list at the bottom of the post will open the links in iTunes. Obviously, clicking that second list’s links on a machine without iTunes won’t work.
Without further ado, here are the essential apps for blogging on the iPad:
- TextExpander touch. I’ve long been a huge fan of TextExpander for the Mac. Now, this $4.99 iPad app brings the same functionality to the iPad. You add or install snippets in the app itself and it expands those snippets to longer strings of text. For instance typing “,a” will expand to “<a href=”">” for including hyperlinks in your posts. An absolute must-have on any iPad, whether you’re a blogger or not.
- Evernote. Another must-have. This free app synchronizes notes across your iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC or Android device. I often write my posts in Evernote and then finish editing either in my preferred blog editor (MarsEdit for the Mac) or in the WordPress app. The nice thing about Evernote is I can work on a given piece on any of my devices and keep the whole thing in sync at all times. Additionally, its great audio note and searchable image features let me collate loads of information from a variety of sources as I work on my posts.
- Elements. Although I’ve just started using this $4.99 text editor, I’m finding I like Elements better than Evernote for typing and organizing my thoughts. Elements requires a Dropbox account (see the next item) for synchronizing notes across devices, though I think that’s a plus. A really useful tool.
- Dropbox. Not just a necessary tool for facilitating file sharing with Elements, Dropbox is a full-featured online file-syncing application. Excellent for getting images, PDFs and all the rest of your digital detritus to your iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac or Android device. Yet another must-have tool for any iPad afficianado. Oh. And it’s free for up to 2GB of file storage. I have it installed on every device I own.
- Twitter. I imagine you’re familiar with Twitter. The iPad Twitter app works great as both an information gathering source and as a tool for promoting your posts. Of course, if you’re a WordPress blogger, try the TwitterTools WordPress plug-in to automatically upload your latest masterpieces to Twitter.
- Pulse. Every blogger need a continual stream of news and information as grist for their mill. Fortunately, this free newsreader makes it easy to keep on top of your favorite sources. I wish it gave you an easier way to copy the URL of the webpage from directly within the app, but since you can post links on Twitter or Facebook, email them to yourself, send to your Instapaper account (see below), or open within Safari, you’re just a couple of finger taps away from getting your favorite sources into your post.
- Instapaper. One of my favorite tools for both blogging and reading, Instapaper is a browser bookmarklet that lets you send any page from your desktop browser or Pulse reader to your iPad. The perfect tool for when you need to read a page—or write a post—later. The free version limits you to 10 links, while it’s paid big brother gives you unlimited for $4.99.
Again, for quick reference, here all the links to the apps on the iTunes Store (requires iTunes):
- TextExpander [$4.99]
- Evernote [Free]
- Elements [$4.99]
- Dropbox [Free]
- Twitter [Free]
- Pulse [Free]
- Instapaper Free [Free] or the paid version of Instapaper [$4.99]
Now don’t get me wrong. Red Sweater Software’s MarsEdit for the Mac is still my all-time favorite blogging tool (or, if you’re trapped in a Windows environment, w.bloggar for the PC). But, today, if you absolutely want to blog from the iPad, this is my favorite set of tools.
Are you blogging on your iPad? What works for you? I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a note or leave a comment below and tell us all about it.
Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.