I do a lot of my writing and editing on my iPad these days, and use a variety of iPad apps every day when blogging. These range from text editors to photo editors, and random utility apps – and some of them are Universal apps so you can use them on your iPhone too.
Here are 10 of my favourite iPad apps for blogging, in no particular order…
If you’re anything like me you prefer a distraction free writing environment to the bells & whistles filled New Post page on your blog admin. This is one of the main reasons that I prefer to draft my blog posts in an app rather than directly into WordPress – I love to just concentrate on the writing first then add photos and the rest of that sort of thing later. It has the added bonus of not having to worry about somehow losing your post if your site has a wobble, too.
ia Writer is the app I’ve used for the last few years for writing blog posts. It syncs between iOS and Mac with no fuss, and lets you preview a document formatted in Markdown which I find really handy. I switched to writing a lot of my blog posts in Markdown earlier this year and find it suits my work flow much better – I have it enabled on my blog via the Jetpack module.
£4.99. Universal. Also available on MacOS for £19.99.
I’ve switched to using Bear for my writing quite recently and am really enjoying the app. You can use it for free, or pay a subscription fee for the more advanced features – which include syncing between devices, so I can edit blog post drafts on my iPhone, iPad and Mac and switch between them as needed.
Bear is a bit more feature rich than ia Writer (and pretty fancy looking!) and lets you pop photos into place which can be useful while drafting posts – even if you have to essentially reinsert them when the time comes to upload the post. It has a Markdown compatibility mode which makes it great for me, and you can see the formatting as you go a bit easier than with ia Writer.
Free. Universal. Also available on Mac. Pro subscription £1.49 per month / £13.99 per year.
A lot of bloggers (including myself on occasion) use the Unsplash website to find royalty free gorgeous photographs to accompany their blog posts. The Splasher app lets you browse and download photos from Unsplash right in the app, using a rather nice interface.
You can browse the latest, oldest & most popular photos, and also search for that ideal photo. Tap a thumbnail to view a photo full screen and from there you can choose variations of the photo (and choose from original, blurred, b&w, etc), download the photo, and view other photos from the same photographer.
I have been editing photos on my succession of iPads for years and although the built in editing tools are great for tweaking the light and saturation, Affinity Photo is truly a fantastic photo editor. It’s super powerful and not difficult to get to grips with – especially if you use it’s big brother on the Mac/PC.
Over the summer I used it to retouch some old photographs and even completely remove objects from photos and have been really pleased with it. As well as all the usual photo editing features, you can also use it to add text and logos etc to your photos which is great for social media images.
Side note: I use both the Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer apps on the Mac too, and cannot wait for Designer to be out on the iPad – it’s in the works.
£19.99 (and worth it!!). Also available on Mac for £48.99.
Workflow is a Game Changer. If you use an iOS device for any sort of productivity regularly, you need this automation app. It makes some things which can be a bit of a pain on iOS, like getting an export of an image at a certain resolution, so much easier.
You can use it to grab images from a website, download files easier, log your water intake, and so on – it can interact with loads of different apps and services, and generally speeds up everything that was previously a bit of a pain. Even better, it was purchased by Apple this year so is now FREE to download. Get it. There is a tiny bit of a learning curve with how to create your workflows but if you get that figured out you will love it.
The official Google Analytics app is really useful for tracking your site statistics on your mobile devices. You can get quite a bit of information on the app – and it’s widely known that Google Analytics are the ‘standard’ in web tracking, even if you use the Jetpack stats module I’d recommend having GA set up as well.
Although I prefer not to edit posts with the Automattic WordPress app, I do use it to manage comments, reply to them, and also keep an eye on site stats etc. You need to have a Jetpack enabled site to use this app – there are mixed opinions out there on Jetpack but if you use plenty of the features and manage it well then it’s worth having.
For Squarespace users there are a couple of official apps out there to use too. I think blogger users have to resort to third party ones, but there are some pretty good ones on the App Store.
Mindmapping can be really useful for content ideas; I saw a talk at BlogOn ages ago (I think it was by Grace Hall) and she demonstrated how to use a mind map to come up with content ideas based around different themes or seasons.
I also use them in my work to map out the navigation of websites I’m building so that could be useful for blogs too, if you have pages & sub-pages, categories & sub-categories, and you are organising your content.
MindNode is a really nice app for creating mind maps, and one I’ve been using for years now. It’s easy to use, and can be really useful.
iWork – Numbers & Pages
It’s an odd choice but if you monetise your blog then Numbers & Pages from Apple’s iWork suite are really useful apps for basic account keeping. I have tried accounts apps but find spreadsheets that I design myself easier.
I use a third party app on my Mac to track my working hours and then use Pages to make invoices, and Numbers to record my accounts. Pages and Numbers sync seamlessly so I can create invoices and log info into my accounts spreadsheets on my iPad as easily as I can on my Mac.
So there you have it, 10(ish) of my favourite iPad apps that I use in my day to day blogging life. I’d love to know if anyone else has any suggestions?