Laptops may still be number one for most travel writers, but apps like these make it more doable to accomplish some pretty thorough work from your iPhone or Touch.
iPhone Apps for Writing and Editing
According to Brancipater Software, TextGuru is an “advanced, desktop class, multi-function text editor.” With this app, you can read and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint docs, as well as PDF files, in landscape and portrait mode. TextGuru features cut, copy, and paste, find and replace, autosave, a search funtion, web previews, and email capabilities.
My Writing Nook
This free web app and $1.99 iPhone app use Google’s App Engine infrastructure to allow writers to write and edit documents anyplace with Internet access. The concept is pretty much like Google Docs: just sign in with your Google account and start writing.
Both apps allow you to email the document, or save to your computer as an RTF. They even include a dictionary/thesaurus feature. And with the iPhone app, you can type in landscape mode, putting your thumbs to good use.
While most people, myself included, don’t like typing much more than a text message on a phone, I’ve found this to be a really great way to sneak in a little bit of writing when I have a few minutes to spare. Those little sessions add up to a decent word count at the end of the day!
When I got my first ever laptop – a clunky Compaq – I remember buying an external numeric keypad because not having one drove me nuts.
But NumberKey by Balmuda Design turns your iPhone into a keypad! The app uses wi-fi to function as a numeric keypad for your laptop – no USB or other connections necessary, just set your iPhone next to your laptop and you’re ready to go!
Before using, you need to download NumberKey Connect. Pretty cool app, particularly for use with spreadsheets and budget docs.
iPhone Apps for Blogging
Those who blog regularly know that short and sweet posts are essential; hardly anyone writes an long essay every day for their blog. And usually the best ideas for those quick posts come while your out. These apps for bloggers help you get a post up while you’re out, including pictures.
For bloggers using WordPress, this free app works great. You can enter several blogs to manage, then post, add pics, and manage all pages and comments right on your iPhone.
The WordPress app allows you to enter all parts of a post, including tags and categories. There are two versions available, WordPress and WordPress 2. I tried the first, and it worked just fine. However, the second didn’t recognize my blog and crashed on me.
Judging from the reviews, a lot of folks who switched from the first to the second had this problem. However, I’d recommend giving it a try – they’re both free, and the second seems to have a lot of great updates if you can get it to work!
This app works with several blog platforms, including WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, and Joomla. For the price, you get the ability to upload video from your YourTube account to your blog, uses a visual editor, and lets you send one post to multiple blogs, even on different platforms. A little higher price, but likely worthwhile.
iPhone Apps for Printing and Exporting Docs
Print n Share
This app is a great example of something that works exactly as promised. Within minutes of downloading Print n Share, I printed an email off of my iPhone onto a printer that my laptop wasn’t even connected to in the first place.
In order to work, you need to download WePrint helper software onto your computer, which is free. Once it’s installed, you can use Print n Share to print any files, emails, web pages, contacts, and images from your iPhone. I use this one frequently – it’s incredibly easy and super helpful.
Another freebie that writers who use Google Docs have no reason not to download! Simply put, Google Export lets you browse and export your Google Docs as an email attachment. It’s free. It works. Not much else to say – if you’re a big Docs user, this is one to get!
iPhone apps for Notes and Research
All writers know the rule; inspiration hits when you’ve got nothing to write with. Many learn to carry a little notebook around at all times, and Notes on the iPhone works well for jotting things down. But if it’s a big idea, sometimes those thumbs just don’t type fast enough!
iTalk Recorder is an easy-to-use voice recorder for vocal notes or interviews. Download the free iTalk Sync, and you can drag and drop them as AIFF files on your laptop. There are two versions available – try the Lite for free and see how it works for you!
Yes, I know – Wikipedia doesn’t count as research. But I do use it, and often, and Wikipanion is a great way to navigate the site from my Touch. With the free version, you can bookmark (including individual sections), view history, and save images to your Photo library.
Know of any other iPhone apps freelance writers are missing out on? Share your favorites in the comments section!
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