Blogging from your phone or tablet can be useful, for sure. We love seeing students documenting trips and projects as they happen and being able to upload that content immediately to their blogs. Teachers are able to moderate comments or keep tabs on students’ posts from anywhere.
Before digging into more about moible blogging, we wanted to share that you will no longer find the ‘Edublogs’ apps in the iOS or Android app stores. The good news is that the mobile browser experience is better than ever, and you have several options to meet your mobile blogging needs.
For those of you who may miss the app, we discuss our reasons for removing them from the app stores in more detail at the end of this post.
The Browser Experience
Our recommended way to post to your blog from your device is to use a browser. No app needed!
Simply enter your blog URL in the address bar, login, and off you go. You’ll find the same dashboard that you are used to, but in a size and form that works on any screen size.
This is our preferred method for several reasons. First, it is the same experience as on a desktop, meaning no extra time needed to familiarize students with the app experience. Also, updates happen immediately for all devices – no need to wait for app updates to have the latest tools.
Everything in the mobile browser will be the same as the desktop experience: editing and publishing posts, uploading media, changing themes, and activating plugins.
Our CampusPress customers, who often use services like Google or Shibboleth for Single Sign On will find their logins work seamlessly in the browser – something not possible with most mobile apps.
Tip: Save Your Blog To Your Home Screen
Even better than just using the browser on your mobile device is saving your blog to the home screen. This is a quick and easy trick that will let you add an icon that looks just like all other apps on your device. Tapping your icon will take you directly to the login screen for your blog.
We put together a detailed guide that you can save or print out to help with blogging from your browser and saving to your home screen. Download the PDF guide here.
For those that still prefer a more native app experience, there are other options for mobile apps besides the old Edublogs apps too.
The only trick is that you’ll need to know the full URL of your blog and enter it after installing the app. There is a ton of great information on the apps here.
To help, here’s a quick guide on how the WordPress app works!
Post By Email
Did you know that it was also possible to simply send an email to a secret email address, and it will automatically publish to your blog?
Many teachers use this method to have their students post to a class blog. All it requires is setting up the Jetpack plugin and having a WordPress.com account – which powers the Post By Email tool.
Here’s a one page cheat sheet to make setting it all up easy.
What About The Edublogs Apps?
It wasn’t an easy decision to stop work on the Edublogs apps, which have been around for over 5 years and used on tens of thousands of devices. But there are quite a few reasons why we have reached this conclusion.
First, with the various ages of devices in use and the differing versions of operating systems across them, it has become nearly impossible to support them all. For good reason (they aren’t cheap!), schools tend to use devices for longer than the manufacturer (particularly true with Apple) intended.
Second, we originally built the Edublogs mobile apps off of the free and open-sourced WordPress apps – which are actively contributed to by multiple companies and a massive community. They get updates regularly, and there is no way that we can keep up with that work – especially given that the WordPress app is also free and works quite well for most.
Lastly, the browser experience continues to improve considerably, and we believe that it is now the most complete and easy to use way to blog from a mobile device. And with the trends changing such that more schools are adopting devices like Chromebooks and laptops, and not tablets, we’ve seen the use of mobile apps generally to be on a steady decline. It makes the most sense for us to put all of our resources into improving the browser experience for all sizes of devices, and leave the apps to others.
We know that this decision may be disappointing for some, and we welcome all feedback and your questions. Leave a comment below, or reach out to us directly at edublogs.org/contact.
The Complete PDF Help Guide
If you’d like our new Mobile Blogging Help Guides in one handy ebook, you can download the PDF below.