By Jared Newman | Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm
In the past, I’ve said some nasty things about the WordPress iPad app. For the tasks I needed to do here and on other blogs — add and resize images, format text and link like crazy — the app’s barebones approach was simply inadequate. The app was also pretty buggy.
Today, WordPress released a big update to the app for all iOS devices. Most of the bugs are apparently gone, and there are some new features, including a quick photo button for camera-equipped devices, access to stats and support for 10 new languages.
Unfortunately, WordPress’ latest app update is still missing major features that no blogging tool should be without. That means I can’t use it for anything but rough drafts.
It’s inconceivable to me that a blogging tool would lack the ability to create links, but there’s still no easy way to do it in WordPress. Oddly enough, WordPress offers to make a link if you start typing out the HTML tag, but if it’s so easy to drop in the code, why isn’t there a link button specifically for that purpose?
For that matter, the WordPress app offers none of the HTML buttons that you find on the proper website. There are no lists, block quotes, italics, page breaks or strikethroughs, and the lack of spell check is particularly dangerous given the difficulties of using a virtual keyboard. I’d stick with the WordPress website, but it’s too crash-prone to rely on, and it’s not formatted for the iPad.
The last time I wrote this rant, a helpful commenter pointed out BlogPress as an alternative. Indeed, it’s miles ahead of the official WordPress app, complete with HTML tags and the ability to resize images while maintaining proportions, but it has drawbacks of its own. You can’t, for instance, preview exactly how a blog post will look on the web, and I can never get images to nest perfectly in an upper corner as they do in many of our blogs here. There’s no spell checker, either.
If you type as many words per day as I do, writing on the iPad can be a lovely change of pace when monotony sets in. But I’m still waiting for a blogging app that lets me do it all, so I no longer have to retreat to a laptop when the actual writing is complete — as I’ve done just now.
(Update: After posting this, I noticed that the timestamp on the article was all wrong, causing the post to show up out of order. Because I generated the post within the WordPress app, I’m assuming this is a bug with the app or a user error that’s too easy to make. Fixed now.)