Medium’s mobile limitations

There’s no doubt Medium is continuing to grow on me. I’m discovering more and more relevant and interesting content, having great conversations, and I enjoy the ease of publishing my writing here when using the site in desktop mode.

However, I remain very disappointed at the lack of great mobile options. For a site birthed in the mobile first era, Medium is strangely backwards on this.

Despite the addition of an iPhone app, the publishing features on the desktop browser still vastly outweigh those in the app.

I am writing this via the iPhone app as I’m away from home this week and didn’t want to bring my MacBook Air with me.

But that means I’m limited with what I can do with this post. I can’t use bold or italic. (Yes, it’s THAT limited.)

I have only one rather than three header options, and only one rather than two quotation options.

All of that I could cope with, but it seems absolutely ridiculous that when I’m ready to publish this post, there even won’t be any means by which I can add it to any of my publications.

I attach everything I write here to one of my publications, and it makes no sense to me that I can’t associate what I write via this mobile app with a publication.

Fundamentally, I just don’t get Medium’s strategy in crippling mobile features. I say it like that because I can’t believe they don’t have the talent in their team to create a fully functioning app.

Is it because they want to encourage high quality, thoughtful writing?

That’s all well and good but there are plenty of us who constantly switch between mobile and desktop while working on a piece we’re writing on.

I use iA Writer on my Mac and iPhone. I use either app depending on where I am. Though 80% of the time I then transfer it to Medium and publish from my desktop, it is hugely frustrating to not have fully-fledged publishing options when I only have my iPhone with me.

It’s also painful to discover a typo in a post and to have no means of quickly making the change in my iPhone.

Working on drafts don’t even sync between mobile and desktop, so it’s not even possible to start a draft on my iPhone and finish it on the desktop.

Honestly, it feels like I’ve gone back five years using the app for publishing. And I thought I was writing on a pretty futuristic writing medium!

I write this as a big fan of Medium, and I hope it is read in that spirit. But I do also hope they seriously up their game when it comes to using Medium on mobile devices. It just isn’t good enough for my needs – and I’m sure I am not alone in thinking that.

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