Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reveiw of Blogger for Android 2013

Updated September 2012.
I am posting this on Blogger for Android. I am happy to report that it is a better app than the previous version. I am also not happy to report that Google has delivered a product that seems to be uneven and confusing to first time users, again.
There are many things to like about this app. All of your Blogger blogs and their posts are immediately accessible. It is faster and more responsive. Switching between blogs is almost immediate. It does feel like the Blogger App is pulling the RSS feed of the blog instead of pulling it directly from the Blogger system but it still works quickly. (Which should help explain the problem I had were the Blogger app just stomped over a published post).
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If you are a Blogger user and need to note ideas for posts and work on drafts, this is what this app seems to be built for. However, since there is little or no layout formatting options, sites whose design language calls for a specific layout (e.g. each post has to have a related photo on the left side of the post), will find that final posting will still have to be done at the PC. Which is odd is because one of the highlighted features is the ability to include photos taken from the phone's camera. 
In fact, if you are thinking of using Blogger for Android as part of your blogging workflow, consider this advice: opening a saved or published post is a multi-step processs. First, the app will show the complete post, including labels. Then you need to select or activate/touch the post text to edit it. The good news is that it now hides the HTML formatting and show the complete formatting. 
Post settings are still missing from the Blogger App. But handling labels has improved. There has always been the ability to add labels to the post edited but now when you start typing, you get a list of previously used labels. Which is really useful if you have many labels and can't remember which one to use off the top of your head. There is still no Schedule option to schedule when you post will be posted. This makes using the App to post on Blogger seem like an all or nothing proposition. And knowing other Blogger users, they will miss the powerful SEO-friendly option of providing a search description because it still isn't available.The Blogger App for Android (2013) is now good to use for general blogging but leans towards immediate posting.
It could be that Google is now leaning towards Google+ a blogging platform. However, Google+ is still missing a killer feature: to customize the layout and therefore the user experience. If you blog using Google+, your posts is just a post in a stream of other posts. You can set up Google+ Pages but your audience will mostly come from reading your post in their stream as opposed to going to your specific Google+ page.
Also is missing is a way to monetize your Google+ posts or page. This could mean people who do make money from Ads will not be interested in posting in Google+. They may post publicly there to reach a bigger audience but it'll just link back to their Blogger site. It may not be a big revenue generator for most but some prolific posters will find posting solely to Google+ to blog, a turn-off.
Again, download the Blogger App for Android because it is great for capturing ideas and first-drafts. It is also increasingly becoming an equal companion to the Blogger site. 
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