Sunday, January 12, 2014

App app hooray...

 Hello there, it's Dale from Diary of an Internet Nobody again.

Today I'd like to rant at you talk to you about the technology available to those of us who rely on mobile devices for our internet and blogging activities.

In case you weren't aware, everything that I do on my blog - including all the photography, video, electronic music, stop motion and digital animation (like this little gif) and general cyber-silliness - is brought to you via the miraculous little silicon cells in my smartphone. (and, since boxing day, my lovely new Android tablet) 
This has never really been a problem for me as WordPress, who host my blog, have a very stable and user-friendly Android app that allows me to post pretty much what I like, without any glitches or crashing issues.

However, the same cannot be said for the Blogger platform.
Ever since I've been writing guest spots for the esteemed Mr Harvath, here at Ramblings of a semi-mad man, and Lanthie over at Life Cherries, I have had to wrestle with their incredibly fiddly desktop dashboard, squished down to the size of my four inch phone screen, something that has caused me no end of problems. Even in tablet form, the site's lack of any sort of convenient mobile format has resulted in me spending literally hours meticulously constructing blog posts, only to have the bloody photos rearrange themselves of their own accord, links vanish into thin air, fonts magically freeze in the italic mode, or suddenly find that I'm writing in massive text for no fucking reason whatsoever

I suppose you would be perfectly within your rights to say "Get with the programme Dale, write your blog on a sodding computer like everybody else, you dickhead", which while being slightly impertinent, would be perfectly reasonable to a certain extent.
But why should I have to?
I hardly think it's a surprise that everyone is mobile these days is it?

We all have mobile phones, i-pads, i-pods, tablets and Kindles, so you'd think that the über-geeks and boffins responsible for developing the software and apps for all these small objects of desire would make sure that they actually did what the bloody things were supposed to do before they went on the market.

But no, despite the fact that the producers of these all-singing, all-dancing marvels of technological excellence cheerfully claim that they'll enable you to compose the next number one hit single, best-selling novel or award-winning screenplay, whilst they simultaneously mow the lawn, cook dinner for two and give you an earth-shattering blowjob, half the time you'll have enough trouble just installing the useless sodding thing without your phone crashing, your blog disappearing into the ether, or your tablet deciding it's going to take up speaking Arabic all of a sudden.

In the last two days I have installed (and then unceremoniously dumped) no less than five, yes FIVE, allegedly fabulous apps that are supposedly ideal for the on-the-go Blogger user. They claim to include all sorts of time saving gadgets, high-tech features and unique selling points, when in fact what most of them boast is an endless supply of malicious ad-ware, viruses and other internet gremlins, meaning that they either simply don't do the job for which they are designed, or worse, they disable the virtual brain of your device to such an extent that it needs the equivalent of an electronic enema to clear out all the crap that's been imported into it's poor defenceless little silicon synapses.

The worse thing about all of this, is that every single one of these so-called helpful pieces of software has come from the official Google Play app store. 
I mean, doesn't anyone check these things out before allowing them to be offered for installation by the thousands of people who use Android devices? 
You'd think it was in their interest to make certain the widgets and gizmos associated with their own site didn't bugger up the very hardware they're trying to sell you, wouldn't you?
Otherwise, why bother posting all the warning notices about only downloading apps from "recognised sources"?
Maybe their philosophy is; "If anyone's going to fuck with our hardware, we only want to use authorised rip-off merchants to do it"

Now though, I think I might have actually cracked it.
After battling with the seemingly stable and well behaved fourth variation of blogging application until nearly three this morning, carefully putting together a photo compilation for Lanthie's blog, I got up today anticipating a trouble-free half hour of easy uploading before I could see the fruits of my labour online.

How stupid of me to be that optimistic.

"Upload failed" blinked smugly at me from the screen after ten minutes of vaguely promising, pulsing status bar.

Oh bollocks.

Five seems to be the charm though, as barely fifteen minutes later I found this app (for any of you experiencing similar frustration) which, miracle of miracles, does almost exactly what it claims to do in the blurb.
Five minutes after that, Lanthie had her post, steam stopped coming out of my ears and my tablet was no longer in danger of being bounced round the room.

As if that wasn't enough, I also discovered a special mobile device registration code, enabling me the use of Google Chrome to operate the Blogger desktop dashboard without it resulting in me wanting to bang my head on the wall.

Isn't technology wonderful?


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