As WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg confirmed at WordCamp Dallas back in March, Automattic was indeed working on a native iPhone App for WordPress using the SDK. Sure enough, the official WordPress app was announced at the official WordPress for iPhone blog. It didn’t make it into the App Store in time for launch, but about two weeks later, it’s there. Let’s give it a try.
The one and only, the magnificent, the heart-stopping, the breathtaking, the WordPress iPhone App. From what started as just a concept floating around the minds of WordPress devs, has changed the world once and for all. So maybe we’re getting a little too drastic, but still, this thing is pretty cool.
You can find the WordPress app in the iTunes App Store under the Utilities category (iTunes Link). It’s a speedy download, even over EDGE, because the app is just 0.3 MB.
The splash screen lets you add a new blog or choose an existing blog that you’ve added. Setup is fast, and only requires the blog URL, and a username and password for the admin.
When you open your blog you come to a page similar to the Manage screen in the full version. The latest 30 posts are listed (you can change this at setup), and there’s no pagination to view older posts. You can’t view drafts stored on the server, only drafts you’ve written and saved on your phone.
The write screen is basic, but functional. There are four text areas: Title, Tags, Categories, and Status. The rest of the screen is used for writing a post. The editor is similar to the HTML version in the full edition. There aren’t any buttons, but double line breaks still indicate new paragraphs and you can write your own HTML if you want.
The WordPress app has a built-in Safari window so you can preview your posts, right there on your site, before or after you post. You can also add photos to your post by either uploading from your phone or using the camera to take a new picture. Additionally, you can set the publish date for future posts or lock your post with a password.
- Quick setup
- Decent post management
- Upload photos from camera or phone
- Live preview of posts in built-in window
- Recovery mode in case of phone call or other interruption
- Landscape keyboard mode would be a nice feature
- No way to format pictures or assign location in a post
- No copy/paste (though this is something Apple needs to do, not WordPress)
Overall, it’s a great app. There are certainly many things that could be added to it in the future, and because it is open source, some of these things have an even greater possibility of being added. I think that hardcore bloggers will have a hard time finding this app useful. It might be great for editing existing posts or jotting down ideas, but I think that the “personal blogger” crowd will be the ones that find this the most useful. I can see the WordPress app coming in handy when on a vacation for posting pictures to your site or adding quick updates while on the go.
Thanks to the Automattic team for putting this out. I think it has a great future.