WordPress iPhone App Needs Work

by Christopher Paul on March 16, 2010

I’m writing this post from the 5 Train. I have no cell phone service (this time, NOT AT&T’s fault) as I’m on my way to the UES to run some errands. I thought I’d take the time to do start some serious blogging and try to live up to my New Year’s Resolution to write more often. It’s been a struggle with a newborn to help look after and work has had me occupied with some exciting projects. So I thought I’d use the WordPress iPhone app to fire off some commentary or observation that would make you think. Instead, I’m fighting to release a few words on how crappy the WordPress iPhone app is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love having the app on my phone as I can rattle off a post if I want. It comes in handy if I want to moderate comments, too. But design decisions have made the app burdensome, slow, and has limited the value such am offering would normally provide.

The first things that gets me is the need to syncronize all your comments, posts, and settings for every blog you use with the app. I have four blogs set up on the app and the communicating that takes place on load prevents me from navigating around the app. Yes! If the app is talking to the server, I can’t write a post, moderate comments or move to another blog! It’s crazy. I don’t know why I need to automatically sync on load and I don’t know why I can’t use the app while it’s loading.

The other thing that gets to me is the comment moderation: there is no “select all” feature. I don’t get many comments on the site (yet). But I get a ton of spam comments that need moderation. It would be nice if the app had a button which would let you select all the items in moderation. Or, at the least, have some settings to help deal with the hundreds of messages I have to review each day.

The last thing that I wish the app had – which I can’t say is a design flaw at all – is an intelligent compsing screen with an HTML editor or some kind of process which auto formats URLs and easily let’s me apply tags like and . I also think it would be nice if the app had a built in browser you can use to move back and forth between sits you want to write about and the post you’re writing. It would make copying and pasting quotes or links a lot easier. While the HTML an browser ideas might seem seperate, I think they go hand in hand with an enhanced composing experience that I hope to have.

I love WordPress. I love my iPhone. But the two together suck. I hope Automattic steps up the development pace and improves the mobile blogging experience soon. In the meantime, does anyone know of a better WordPress composition app? Does MarsEdit exist for the iPhone? I hope so.

(NOTE: I’m well aware of the irony of complaining about the WordPress iPhone app WHILE USING the WordPress iPhone app)

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