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WordPress for iPhone: if code is poetry this app is music to my ears!

22 October 2009no comments iPhone Apps

blue-lFirst things first: as I am writing this, I am sitting on plane, going home from meetings in Budapest, Hungary. How? You may ask. Well this is the beauty of the WordPress for iPhone application.

You probably think that I am a hardcore blogger, sitting on a plane, frantically typing away on my small screen. This, I am not (check the number of posts by me on this website to convince yourself). And this application should not be thought of as a tool for heavy bloggers.

A quick overview of the app. The first time you launch this application, you are asked to set up a blog. This is very easy even if you are new to WordPress. All you need is the URL (web address) of the blog you will write on, a username for that blog, and a password. Please note that a certain option needs to be enabled on the blog before you can actually publish onto it, XML-RPC. This option lets the app actually communicate with the blog. This option can be found Under Settings by clicking on the “Writing” link.

Once the setup is complete, you can see the blog’s title listed, as well as the option to add more. Only one negative point here: when the blog titles are entered, WordPress converts the characters into more web friendly code (HTML entities for the more tech savvy). This obviously works well when your viewing the blog in a web browser (it is actually good practice). Unfortunately, the conversion to normal text doesn’t happen in the app and as a result, the title might look gibberish.
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Once you have selected the blog you want to write on, you have three options: posts, pages, comments. If you have used WordPress a bit, you will be familiar with these terms, but for those who are not, posts are the main content of a blog, a bit like articles. A page is a more static piece of content. Comments are just that!
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Posts and pages work in a very similar way: you can view, edit or delete them. If you are not online (as I am now, just flying past Munich), the posts/pages won’t be available. You can, however, create new local drafts which are stored on the phone until published.

At the bottom of the post/page edition screen, you can see four options. The first one, write, is the main edition screen: here you add a title, tags, categories, and the body of the post.
The second one, photos lets you add a picture from the library or actually use the built-in camera to take a photo. When selected, pictures are placed at the bottom of the post.
The third one lets you preview your post in your theme. If like me, you are not online (going past Nuremberg) you can still view the post in a default theme.
Finally, settings lets you adjust post settings, like the date of the post or the size of photos.
Pages only have two options: write and photos.
Comments are the only feature that doesn’t work offline. Essentially, it lets you view post comments.
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All in all, I think this is a good app, for occasional bloggers as well as more heavy ones. It contains all the features needed to maintain a blog, while not draining the battery. As things are, I have just spent the best part of my flight writing this post, doing something useful while being entertained. This is the first time I have used it extensively, but I will most definitely carry on to do so!

My rating: 3.5/5
Almost home!

PS: you can also check a review of the similar app for blackberry by @hilzfuld here

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