A New Way to Blog? Maybe.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Recently, an Android update informed me that my note-taking app, Epistle, was no longer supported. The developer had decided to create a new app for purchase, called Draft. When I first checked the page for Draft in the Google Play Store, it appeared that work was incomplete, and that for my purposes the new app was not as good as Epistle.

But then, about a week later, I noticed that my notes were no longer syncing, due to an API change in Dropbox and the fact that Epistle hadn't changed since 2011. This meant that I had to use something instead of Epistle. So I checked the page for Draft again at the Google App Store and found that significant progress had been made since the time before. Since the app is only about $2.50, I went ahead and bought it. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it does everything Epistle did and more. I was especially pleased with its better markup editing.

Among other things, I can dictate a note into my phone using Draft and Google Voice, and then edit the result as a markdown file without having to toggle app settings to do so. (Most of my other uses for Epistle/Draft are for plain text files.) Realizing this made me wonder how easy or difficult it would be to compose a blog post on my phone, so I tried it one afternoon. This post is the result.


P.S. I composed the above on the phone. Although Draft handles markdown editing quite well, I could not paste links into the document from my browser. That wastes time by requiring me to add them once I've imported the markdown into Blogger. Also, editing anything on the phone is a chore, and reminds me of a quip by some developer that went something like this: "If you're trying to replace the keyboard, your users shouldn't be saying, 'I wish I had a keyboard.'" The original editing, even for this short post took about twenty minutes. I then found myself editing it heavily in Blogger for a similar amount of time.

This was an interesting experiment, and it tells me that composing with Google Voice/Draft could conceivably come in handy from time to time, although it isn't easy and doesn't save time.

Apart from the above unorthodox use, I highly recommend Draft as a note-taking app.

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