It can be a pain in the ass when the Internet goes out on you, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster—especially if you have an iPhone. Here are seven of my favorite apps for news-gathering that can help in an emergency, or just while you’re on the go (all paid for by me, so scamper off, FTC):
If you’re looking for a fast-and-easy way to publish online, it’s hard to do better than Twitter. And if you’re looking for a slick, highly polished app, Tweetie 2 is the best. It has everything pretty much every other Twitter app has, but…imagine a suit that fits OK versus a suit that fits so well, you don’t even realize you’re wearing a suit. Tweetie 2 is the latter.
The latest iteration of WordPress lets you do pretty much everything the Web version does: Publish, manage comments, manage pages and manage multiple blogs. Posting is super-fast and you can even preview your posts.
How awesome would it be to get instant messages delivered to your phone? Well, for $10, you can do it and you can even receive them via push notification (just like texts). Beejive is relatively high-priced, but if you’re a frequent chatter, it’ll justify its cost quickly.
Think Twitter, but with Audio. There isn’t much more to this app, which is part of the appeal—sometimes you’re in a situation that’s so crazy, all you really have time for are a few words, spoken into a mic.
YouTube (comes with iPhone)
The version that lets you upload video is only available for the 3GS and higher, but that makes sense, since only 3GS-and-older versions are the only ones that can shoot video (unless you’ve jailbroken your phone). While I haven’t used it extensively, the ability to shoot, edit and post video within a few minutes is alluring and it’s easy to imagine situations in which it could be useful.
Alternative for 3G-and-older users: 12seconds – Think Twitter, but with photos and video. On a 3G, you shoot three photos and record 12 seconds of audio, then the app stitches it all together (3GS and higher does 12 seconds of video/audio). The Wenatchee World made good use of it a while back.
I was starved for a good RSS app for a long time (sorry, Google, but you weren’t cutting it*) and Reeder’s recent update landed it on my front page. Syncing with your reader of choice can take a little while if you’re subscribed to a ton of feeds, but I haven’t noticed it to be any slower than regular browsing. The real power is in the sharing options: You can automatically post to Twitter, Instapaper and a host of other link sharing services.
Other apps may offer more options (Best Camera, for example, lets you add filters and post simultaneously to multiple photo-sharing sites), but Flickr gets the job done just as well for free and offers geotagging, which can be a huge advantage when you’re reporting news.