Apr 3, 2012
The official Tumblr app is free. Why do we need ShortBlogger? Well, we still use third-party Twitter clients despite the free first-party app, don’t we? Even though Tumblr’s app has its roots in a third-party client called Tumblerette that they then bought and re-released as their own app on iOS, then brought to other platforms. The problem with these official apps is that they tend to be driven by the internal philosophy of the service, instead of being extensions of how users actually use the services.
ShortBlogger’s greatest stregnth may come from its support of animated GIFs. Tumblr users love animated GIFs and are a big reason as ot why the venerable format has stayed alive in a world of YouTube videos. The app handles them better than most WebKit browsers do. Any GIFs come with an icon saying they are a GIF, and must be tapped to view, but they work perfectly with this method. The official Tumblr app does work with GIFs, but they cause a bit of a slowdown because it loads them in-line. The app just feels much smoother and slicker than the offiical Tumblr app does.
New posts come with advanced options for posting to specific blogs, scheduling for specific times, adding to the queue, saving to draft, or posting as a private post. Audio posts can be posted using either URLs or from files uploaded from the phone itself. Photos and videos can be taken from the app, uploaded from the gallery, or from an external link. However, reblogs only offer posting to a specific blog, even sharing to Twitter is not given as an option. The app makes it possible to answer questions and respond to messages, something the official app has made it difficult to do.
The thing I’m impressed with when it comes to ShortBlogger is the way that it feels like it was actually designed by someone who uses Tumblr, and wanted to design an app to use it in the way that people actually use Tumblr. The braintrust at Tumblr have been guilty of taking the service in their own direction (particularly when they implemented new restrictions on messages last year), not really directing the service in the way that other users tend to use it, and while the official app added some of these features that ShortBlogger has now eventually, it felt like they still weren’t on the pulse of what users were actually doing. This third-party app gives that feeling.
Thankfully, both this and the official app are free, and while ShortBlogger does come with ads (with an ad-free version also available), we all gotta make money, eh? This app is well worth testing out for Tumblr users.