Utilizing iOS or Android for mobile publishing helps to keep my tour kit light and powerful. Having almost the power of a laptop in device that is comparable in size to a cassette tape is one of the biggest ways bicycle touring has changed for me over the years.
I do a lot of work using both iOS and Android so this isn’t going to read as a head to head comparison with a winner. I’m platform agnostic. I love that there are two operating systems going head to head in competition, releasing feature after feature for users to argue over. So which do you choose: iOS vs Android mobile publishing.
Device Selection: iOS vs Android mobile publishing
Portability vs Power Consumption vs Utility
Goodbye Laptop :(
I need to be light weight and mobile. I would like a laptop. I neither want to carry nor power a laptop on my trip. I will consider sending a laptop to different points along my destination where I could spend 3-5 days publishing and backing up.
If I did bring a laptop the MacBook Air would be my number one choice. Bringing a laptop would simplify the related publishing, capture, storage, and software issues I face on a tour. To be effective I would need a source of electricity outside that which could be obtained via the portable solar panels and hub dynamos. I need to charge things while gutting out miles on the bike. I don’t want to sleep in hotels. I don’t want to be searching for power. For this reason the laptop is out.
Settled: I am not bringing a laptop. If you want more information about riding with a laptop visit maxthecyclist.wordpress.com and or tiredofit.ca. They both bicycle tour with a laptop and have a wealth of working experience and posts on thier sites.
Sayonora Tablet :(
Tablets are the next logical choice but they don’t do much more than some of the smaller handheld devices and they eat more power. I have charged a smartphone using a solar panel on my last bike tour and I do not want to increase my power needs. For this reason the tablet is out.
Settled: I am not bringing a tablet.
Hello handheld :)
There are many handheld devices that can access the software I need to publish. iOS vs Android mobile publishing devices will run ftp, wordpress apps, HTML editors, and access addtiional storage devices with the right workarounds. A bluetooth keyboard can be used with both to make composing easier. They eat much less power than a tablet and weigh less.
Settled: It’s going to be a smartphone but what operating system and manufacturer? This is the game. With every question answered you get a new question. Back to square one. I have chosen a handheld device as my goto publishing system. Which operating system do I choose: iOS vs Android mobile publishing?
Can you integrate iOS vs Android mobile publishing into the way you work?
Software availability: iOS vs Android mobile publishing
Since I am using WordPress for my site I can use the native WordPress app with iOS vs Android mobile publishing. I can also use the native safari and chrome browsers that come with the devices.
Look at your publishing needs and define your platform and device selection based on those needs. One operating system or device may integrate better with how you will be publishing.
I will take advantage of the WordPress App with whatever device I decide to go with. Both iOS and Android Apps allow me to create posts and insert photos, video, and/or media right in the app. If I am not in area where I have connectivity I can save the draft in my device and publish at a later date. This allows for some handy journalling abilities.
I have found that for most of the web development type tools I use that Android has more ‘free’ apps available for things like FTP and other system related apps. I have not found an iOS FTP program I like yet. There is also a ‘more availble’ native system structure to an android user. iOS does not allow a user to navigate a file system in the same way Android does. Since I am using wordpress this is a moot point.
Slight Advantage iOS: The iOS WordPress App is a little more ‘featured’ than the Android WordPress App.
Capturing content using iOS vs Android mobile publishing
In addition to being a solid publishing choice both iOS and Android have a number of apps available that piggy back their native camera hardware to allow for timelapse, exposure, panorama, filtering, and other specialty photography. With this case from Optrix I can do almost all of the same things with my iOS or Android device that I can with a GoPro.
I usually use a seperate point and shoot for all of my capturing but having a backup camera and/or the ability to do specialty timelapse, video editing, and photo editing all within the same device I was already bringing to help publish is a great advantage.
Advantage iOS: The iOS camera scores better than most of the competing android devices. In addition there are more camera ‘APPS’ for iOS and more 3rd part cases and accessories like the one pictured above.
Backing up content on iOS vs Android mobile publishing
While I like Apple’s OSX I was never too thrilled about the severely closed ecosystem that is iOS. For this reason I do not use an iPhone as my everyday phone. My publishing needs on a bike tour are pretty simple. So simple that I lean toward an iPod touch over an iPhone. The iPod is just as closed as the iPhone but I found a great workaround that allows me to back up to an SD Card.
AirStash is a small device that will allow me to capture photos or video on my Canon camera and upload wirelessly to my iPod/iPhone/Android device. I can then back up to the cloud, wordpress or write thes files to a seperate SD Card.
Advantage Android: Android is more ‘hackable’ than iOS. Many user groups online can show you how to upgrade systems and gain root over the filesystem. You are able to delete programs that are uneeded and can even better govern your battery life by making the system slower. I am working around this by paying $60 for my AirStash.
Keyboard Input: iOS vs Android mobile publishing
I will be using an external keyboard with my handheld device. I can use a bluetooth keyboard easily enough with both Android and iOS. Most Android devices that run 4.X and above can connect to a USB keyboard via an easily purchased Micro-USB 2.0 On-The-Go (OTG) Adapter
Advantage Android: The option of USB keyboard is attractive.
Conclusion: iOS vs Android mobile publishing
If I were making the selection today I would choose a top of the line Apple iPod Touch with 64 GB of storage.
With new devices coming out every 3-6 months it’s tough to say what I will choose in the next release cycle. The only clear winner when considering iOS vs Android mobile publishing solutions is us, the users.
So much power in the back of your jersey pocket. Who can’t be excited about the radical change in how we capture and publish our adventures. Carefully consider how you publish and put both systems through a lengthy test cycle. Choose what best fits your needs and then go for it!