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My Android phone has been one of the few turning points in my blogging career. With Internet access, a hotspot and dozens of blogger-specific apps, my Android is one smartphone that keeps me working at any time (by choice or circumstance). 2011 was a big year for blogger apps as some (like WordPress) improved on existing features, while others (like Tumblr) completely revamped their Android app from the ground up. As mobile blogging really settles into its own, Android’s become a perfect playground for a generation of ready chroniclers.
WordPress made an early entry onto the Android Market, and has steadily improved its mobile blogging platform accordingly. As one of the most widely-used blogging services for professionals, WordPress has a responsibility to incorporate as much of the backend functionality into its mobile version as it possibly can. 2011 brought some noteworthy updates that make its app feel more like the web version, offering more control over your publication with scheduling, post passwords, HTTP authentication and several interface changes geared for mobile use.
Tumblr has really taken off as a blogging tool in 2011, gaining widespread popularity and a soaring number of users. Thanks to some major updates and added functions, Tumblr’s competing with the likes of Posterous and WordPress in many regards. A completely revamped Android app shows Tumblr’s appreciation for its mobile user base, offering a one-stop shop for syndicating blog posts across all your social networks. The interface was designed for Android hardware and software, and the ability to manage multiple blogs was added. You can create a post directly from the app, and access messages for each blog. You can find people to follow directly from your address book, and quickly create posts with the home screen widget.
Evernote tends to make its way onto most “top” lists, whether they’re for bloggers, the workplace, organization or just an all-time favorite pick. There’s a reason for Evernote’s staying power, and 2011 proved just as successful for the popular app. Not only did Evernote launch a new note-taking and annotation app called Skitch, they also updated its Android app to increase notebook sharing control, which can be key for a blogger’s use of Evernote’s service. There’s new ways to share a notebook, including a designated URL (which can even be edited for premium users), or limited to certain people. Combined with other useful capabilities, such as the option to create blog posts from drafts saved as a note, with easy exporting to an existing blogging platform (like WordPress), Evernote’s “remember everything” mantra is always finding new uses. Evernote also released a new home screen widget for easy note-taking, among many other hidden gems.
Sometimes video is the best way to convey a message, and Qik is one of the best apps for video bloggers available in the Android Market. As one of the early video-sharing apps for Android, Qik’s been a go-to for bloggers like myself, and things have only gotten better since being acquired by Skype earlier this year. The 2011 launch of Qik Premium extends features most useful to professional bloggers, with things like unlimited video storage and sync for video management on the desktop. You can also create and share video mail, create a specified gallery on your Android device, and record in HD and 3D. Qik already had easy sharing options, including live chat during recording sessions, and social network integration.
Path is a social startup that’s gained significant traction in 2011, putting a new spin on the way we post and share content. Combining automatic capabilities (such as location check-ins and silencing notifications at bedtime) with traditional media-sharing, Path lets you blog with ease, and with the right people in mind. The app had a major update when it expanded its sharing options to include activities, music, locations and more. And social connections make posts collaborative, so you can post about a song you’re listening to at a certain place, with a certain person. Headed by former Facebook platform executive Dave Morin, Path also has a penchant for design (Morin is an ex-Apple employee as well). Photos in your stream become the cover for your Path blog, and an unobtrusive animation pop-out displays your content posting options. With an entire team designated to design, Path’s focus on its Android experience makes it one to watch.