Top 5 Mobile Apps For Writers
With the increasing penetration of the mobile world into every facet of our lives, it was inevitable that the mobile world would eventually develop things that would become useful to writers, instead of just providing a constant distraction.
As a member of a generation that has seen the mobile world explode and smartphones and tablets become massively popular, I find myself almost as comfortable writing out a blurb on my smartphone or tablet as I do on my laptop. In fact, with the exception of writing for long periods of time for my main branch works, I usually don’t spend any time on the computer anymore. Being that my smartphone is nearly always within reach, its important to me to have applications available that will allow me to work on my ideas without necessarily requiring that I be at a computer.
Below you will find 5 primary apps and 5 secondary apps, in no particular order, that have become a major part of my writing on my mobile devices.
The first app is Evernote. For a long time this app was just something that I used to jot down an idea here or there, without any real thought as to how it could be used. When I only had 1 device to worry about, Evernote’s cloud sync option didn’t really appeal to me. I always had my device near me, so why would I need to worry about syncing my notes.
Now that I have multiple devices, however, I’ve found it very handy to write up a plot idea, a chapter snippet or any other random bits for my works in Evernote. The program automatically syncs between my smartphone and my tablet so I can always go back and continue with what I was working on, regardless of what device I was using when I had the idea.
Next is the app Read It Later. This application allows you to save full pages of websites, blogs etc to the cloud and, as the name implies, Read It Later.
This app is exceedingly useful to me as I have very little time to read as it is, so searching for an article that I found interesting doesn’t really fit into my schedule. And where bookmarking a page would be useful on a single device, I don’t always remember where I saved a certain bookmark for a certain page. This app allows you to save the page for offline or later reading and access it from any mobile device or from a web interface if you want to use your computer to access the pages that you’ve previously saved.
Moving right along, two of the most popular office suite apps available right now are Documents To Go and Office Suite. These apps allow you to view and edit documents and spreadsheets and view pdfs. I’ve found this very useful for when I want to write up the beginning of a chapter or a short story and then continue it later on my PC. This takes out the step of having to copy and paste from a note taking document.
They both have very similar features, though the main difference are that Documents To Go will allow you to access your Google Docs account, whereas Office Suite doesn’t, and Office Suite is not available on iOS at this time.
Android Market: Office Suite for Android
Dropbox isn’t strictly a mobile app. However, when combined with Documents To Go or Office Suite, Dropbox can be a life saver when it comes to limiting the number of different copies floating around on your various devices. Dropbox gives you storage (by default, 2GB for free) which is sync’d across multiple devices and platforms. You can use this to sync multiple files between your computers, as well as on your mobile devices.
Drop a file from your laptop into the Dropbox file, download it on your smartphone or tablet via the Dropbox app and edit using one of the document editors. Save and re-upload to have the changes available when you go back to your laptop.
Everyone needs a dictionary or thesaurus once in a while. And that’s where the Dictionary.com and Thesaurus apps come in handy. I know I’m kind of cheating here by squeezing two apps into one section, but they go hand in hand.
These next apps aren’t necessarily beneficial just to writers in the area of their work, but are more general use apps that I’ve come to know and love.
Blogger is the official Google app that allows you to access, edit, read and publish posts to your blogspot account. Handy for writing up a quick blogpost while you’re out and about and don’t have access to your laptop or the time to sit down and do a full write up.
Amazon Kindle should be a fairly obvious one. It’s one of the most popular formats for ebooks.
A similar program that I’ve found handy is FBreader for Android. I’ve used this to export my own ebooks before they are published (using the bookbrewer website) to take a look at formatting and what not.
PocketCast is a great app that allows you to easily organize and listen to podcasts.
Pulse helps you keep your RSS feeds straight. With a maximum of 60 feeds (12 per page, 5 pages) you have the ability to keep up to date on blogs and news feeds in an easy to use interface.
Finally, I would suggest looking into an alternate Twitter App. I personally use Tweetdeck on my phone and am currently using Plume on my tablet because I like its tablet interface better. These apps are exceedingly useful in keeping on up your social media presence.
If you have an app you’d like to suggest, or have a problem with one of the apps that I suggested, let me know in the comments!