WordPress for iPhone

Standard

I’m typing this from the WordPress for iPhone app (http://iphone.wordpress.net). When I first heard about this app, I was excited. As good as some of the plugins are to make the WP admin more “iPhriendly”, they’re far from perfect. I think this app has a lot of potential, but it’s far from ideal.

photo photo photo

Obviously, this is a first generation product that will only get better with time, but lets quickly weigh the Pros and Cons of having a native WordPress app on the iPhone/iPod touch.

Pros:

  • Assuming you’ve already synced up with your WordPress blog once, you can then write on the go – whether you have a connection to the net or not.
  • Save local drafts.
  • Insert photos saved locally on your iPhone/iPod touch and/or add new photos that you take with your iPhone. (If you’re into moblogging, I could see where this could come in handy.)
  • Quickly add new posts to multiple blogs.
  • It’s free!

Cons:

  • The inherent problem with blogging from a mobile device is that it’s a pain in the ass to type anything of great length.
  • Doesn’t take advantage of Location Services. Posts could potentially be tagged with geolocational data, but they’re not.
  • No settings menu for WordPress under the global Settings in the iPhone 2.0 software. (Granted, this is not a huge deal… I just wish there was some consistency within apps as to whether preferences will be managed directly in the app, or through the Settings preference pane.
  • Once you add a blog, I don’t see any way of removing it or updating preferences for it. The clickable area to update an existing blog on the main “Blogs” screen is not very large at all. It took several attempts to access the screen to update settings of a blog or to delete it.
  • Working with images could be better. You can’t position/align them. By default it posts the images full-size and it doesn’t post them inline with the post. My first experiment with adding photos ended up placing the photos at the very end of the post, with each appearing on their own line. This is definitely an area where this could and should use WordPress’ newish Gallery feature…
  • App only appeared to sync one-way. This post, for instance, started out as a post within the app. I then started making changes via the web interface on my PC. When I went to refresh the posts with the WordPress app, it still kept the local copy that was already on my iPod touch.
  • No “Admin” stuff. You’re not going to be able to admin your blog in any way with this app.
  • Posts only. If you’re looking to add or update Pages of content to your WordPress blog, you’re out of luck.

The Verdict?

I think this is a great app. Yes, there are some downsides to it, but all of them are fairly minor. I don’t see people using the WordPress app as their primary means for updating/maintaining their sites. I see it more as a means to add content on the go. I’ll probably use it to jot down ideas for blog posts.