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WordPress 2 for iphone: Lets You Blog on the Go in Style

06 November 2009no comments iPhone Apps

grey-lIf you haven’t read Hillel Fuld‘s review of the first version of the wordpress application, I suggest you start there. Granted, it doesn’t cover the iPhone version, but it will give you a good insight into a good app that does the job. The main difference in a nutshell is the interface: the blackberry version is very much “blackberry like” and the iPhone version, “iPhone like”.

The first impression is that not much has changed: when the app is first installed, you are prompted to set up a blog. The steps are very much the same as on the previous version. You still need the details (URL, username, and pasword) and to turn on the XML-RPC feature on the wordpress web interface. That’s where the similarity ends.

The next impression is really good. The interface has clearly been reworked and convincingly improved: it is a lot slicker. First of all, the blogs screen that shows the blogs already set up now shows a clear list of the blogs. The look and feel has been adapted to be very similar to the rest of the iPhone.
The improvement doesn’t stop there: select one the blogs from the list and you are taken to a screen that shows the list of comments. At the bottom you have three tabs that allow you to navigate between comments, posts and pages. Again this looks great and is a big improvement on version 1: on that version, you had a list giving the 3 options which meant that you had to move up and down between the menus.
The posts and pages are organized in a similar way: you get the usual “create new” iPhone icon in the top right corner. The messages are organized in the same way, by categories, although the categories are different from post and page. Unfortunately, the order of the posts cannot be altered, so you can only see the most recent one within a category. This is where the differences end: entering a new post is identical to version 1.

Unfortunately, in the process of writing this post (this is the third time !) I have been faced with an issue with local drafts which didn’t seem to happen in the first version. Even though I had pressed save on my post, the post didn’t save properly, and all the changes were lost. Now, I am one of those person who has been working long enough with computers and electronic gadgets to know that you need to save your work regularly. But we’re talking iPhone here and typing is not as easy and takes that little bit longer than on a normal keyboard. I don’t know if this is a user error on my part and cannot really pinpoint what triggered the local draft not to be saved, but this is a key issue that needs to be addressed, especially for more hardcore bloggers than I am !

Regardless of that issue, I think that this is a great upgrade on WordPress for iPhone version 1. The user experience has been dramatically improved and the interface looks a lot more natural: it now matches the intuitive messaging interface of the iPhone. Did it deserve to be a completely new version? The developer in me doesn’t think so: there aren’t any new features and the functionalities are the same. At the same time, the functionalities on the previous version worked well so why change them? Now that I am finished with this post, I will definitely remove the version 1 of the application and keep on using version 2.

My verdict: 3.5/5: it would have been a 4 if I hadn’t lost bits of the post 3 times and probably a 5 as a simple update !

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