Free Is Good!

On July 31, 2008

A bit of friendly advice–

Always look at the free alternatives on the App Store before hitting the "Buy" button.

Yeah, I’m sure it goes without saying, but with so many apps and so many of them cost more than a dollar or two it is always good to remind one another.

Case in point…

I have the good fortune to be a contributer to the blogs Just Another Mobile Monday and Gear Diary. Both use WordPress so it only made sense to check out the available options for blogging to them from an iPhone. What we found is yet another example in which a free app comes close or surpasses a paid app.

We tried BlogWriter, a $9.99 app and we tried WordPress, which is free.

I won’t go into details on each since I will be posting reviews of both later today, but I will offer my conclusion…

The WordPress app does one thing only- it allows you to post and/or edit a WordPress blog. It feels polished and powerful. In short, despite being just version 1 with updates on the way, it feels like a finished product.

BlogWriter… not so much. Set up too longer since we were requires to erase the template for adding our log in info and redo it. Once that was done the rest went better. While you can add text and an image you cannot add tags or categories. Moreover, editing a post, while doable, was painful at best and the picture I included failed to post to the blog.

To be fair, BlogWriter does a few things WordPress doesn’t. It can post to more than just WordPress blogs, including MSN Live Spaces. Plus it has a built-in RSS reader to help pull news items for post to you blog.

At the end of the day, though, when BlogWriter is $9.99 and WordPress is free it is hard to justify spending ten dollars for those additional functions unless you really really need them- especially when in every other way WordPress kicks BlogWriter right in the post.