App Review Series: This series is written by members of Social Fabric to educate other members about new apps, how to use them, and their opinions about the apps. These are not sponsored posts, but written by members who volunteered to do a review.
Every once in a while you’ll see me write this in the middle of a post “forgive any typos, I’m writing this post from my iPhone.” Most of these are Quickie Posts because I truly suck at typing on my iPhone and I’m famous for typos during texts, tweets etc. What this usually means is that I’m out and feeling like blogging, and only have my phone on me, and thanks to the awesome WordPress iPhone App, I am able to do that (fairly) successfully.
What better way to introduce this app to you than to actually write this review on the app itself? I have to admit I am cheating slightly and I’m using my iPad (and my handy-dandy iPad keyboard attachment that the Luv Luv bought me for Christmas last year) to write it, just to try to cut down on typos. After all, I do have SOME standards on this blog!
Anyway, like any other app, this app has a cool little symbol and is added to your dashboard through the App Store on you iPhone or iPad.
As you can see, my iPad apps are
not quite organised organized so that only I can find things quickly – but my iPhone is much more user friendly (all iPhone photos are being added after, since my iPad and iPhone are not synced to each other – yes I’m that disorganized of an Apple user).
It takes you to this awesome dashboard that is fairly easy to navigate – you can see all your posts listed, visit any of your pages, comments, view your stats etc…and even preview your site and admin dashboards for whichever pages you may have access to (as you can see I can edit and write on Singles Warehouse whom I have recently started working with). You just touch whatever you want to do and go for it.
As you can see, you can start a new blog post by pressing the little + sign, and there are options to save your work as a draft, pending review or published, just like on WordPress on your computer that you’re used to!
I also love that you can double check how your post is going to look before you actually publish, to get a good idea of what the final product would be.
One of the quirks that the app has that I was a bit confused about is that the app divides your post list into “Local” and “Posts.” Say what? So, with a little google searching, I found out that they are all posts that would be stored in your WordPress database, but the ones that are listed under “Local” are ones that have been written through the app and is stored in the app database as well. To me, it makes no difference, but I guess for some, they care about whether the post was written on a computer in a browser, or on an iPhone or iPad where they used the app? Or perhaps it is a way for WordPress itself to determine how useful the app is to their users? I don’t know… :S
The main downfall I’ve found with the app is that putting in photos or videos are a bit of a pain. I tend to insert photos after I’ve written all of my blog – just to save me time in the end, but the best way to do it with the app is to add the photos as you are writing. This is still a little awkward because you have to press the “done” button to close down the window in which you are writing and you have to touch the little camera button or video at the bottom right of the window to bring up the picture.
You have to wait for it to upload and update your entire post – which means that if you forgot to change your status from “published” to “pending review” or “draft”, you’ve just published your work in progress! You also cannot edit your post while it is updating, so the process can become quite slow and very time consuming.
After you upload you go to a screen preview of your post instead of back to the editing window – which again, is a little inconvenient. I also hate that the app assumes where your photo should be placed – and that I have to add my “center” and “/center” html tags to ensure that the photos are centered on the page (as you may see in a few of the photos above). You also cannot alter the photos in the WordPress app, hence the reason you all now know that I’m writing this post from the middle of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire (Thank God for public wifi!). Lastly, the photos are not saved in your WordPress media file (as far as I know), but locally on your iPhone or iPad, which can be quite annoying when you’re trying to re-edit a post after the fact.
This all being said, this little blurb on putting in photos took me longer to write than the rest of the post.
The other downfall of the app is that I don’t have access to my awesome plug-ins from the app – for example, I cannot set my SEO through my SEO plug- in unless I go onto my computer and edit. In the end, I ALWAYS end up going back to my computer WordPress platform and end up editing small things, for example, in this post I went onto the computer and had to shrink the photos to a smaller size and had to remove some things like weird HTML popping up once in a while (but again, I think that particular one is my fault, not the app)…unless it’s a really quick Quickie Post, then I usually am just ranting a short blurb without photos etc.
All in all, though, the WordPress App for iPhone and iPad is a very useful app if you’re on the run and come up with a brilliant blog idea. Personally, I tend to use it very sparingly because I’ve been trying to increase the amount of photos on my blog and the awkwardness of the process of putting photos on the blog through the app just frustrates me. What I DO use it for, however, is to start drafts – loads and loads of drafts for my posts. This way, whenever a brilliant idea hits me, I can record the draft directly into WordPress and have it accessible to me when I have the chance to get at my computer.
Serena is a 30-something, PR-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, “smug-married”, baby-wanting, self-proclaimed people-watching allergy-queen just trying to navigate this obstacle course called life. Her blog, Bewildered Bug, is her attempt to relay her everyday experiences as someone who is not yet a Mom, but no longer a party girl. Feel free to contact her there, on Facebook or on Twitter.