GadgeTell Review: WordPress App for iOS and Android

Sections: Mobile Computers, Reviews, Web Apps

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In my last post on traveling with technology, I mentioned I’d been frustrated with the WordPress app. I used both the iOS and Android versions, and, while they worked, they lacked some functionality and were not always user-friendly.

If all you want to do is publish text posts, the apps are fairly easy to use. You can select Categories, tags, set a post as Draft or Published, and schedule posts for publication in the future.

Here’s the Dashboard in the Android version, which I like better than the iOS version. All the options are here, easy to find and access. They are scattered throughout the app in the iOS version.

The options are what you’d expect, mostly around creating and editing posts, but you can approve comments and even check analytics, if your blog is set up to track those. See that “Dashboard” option near the bottom. That brings up your full Dashboard, as you’d see it when you logged in through the web. Obviously, that’s easier to work with on a larger tablet. It’s not bad on my iPad. It’s pretty small and hard to read on my Nexus 7.

Unfortunately, the app falls flat when working with images. As far as I could tell, the iPad version only allows you to place an image at the top or bottom of a post, and only placed in the center. If I’m wrong about that, please feel free to let me know in the comments. I spent a good bit of time looking for image placement options, and I couldn’t find them. See why I say it’s not user friendly?

The Android version does allow editing the placement of an image, but it took me a long time to figure it out. The website for the app proudly claims “The new formatting toolbar rests above the keyboard and allows for easy rich text editing. You can now add media content wherever you like, and edit the Title, Caption, Placement, and Size of images.”

Well, that’s sort of true. Yes, the formatting toolbar does exist. You can add an image from there, but you can’t edit the image placement from it. To do that, you long press on the image, which brings up another window where you can edit size and placement. I had mixed results when I tested it out. I tried setting the placement to left justified, but it was still in the center when I previewed the test post.

Synchronization with the WordPress site is dodgy. See that “6” badge on the Comments icon? I’ve tapped the “sync” button several times while creating this post, and you’d think everything would synchronize, right? Wrong. Comments don’t sync until you actually open the comments screen and sync again. I actually had 52 comments on that blog awaiting moderation.

I realize that WordPress is a powerful tool, and I don’t expect an app to give me all the options I have on my site, but I would have liked to see better image editing and synchronizing. And it could be a lot more user friendly. Maybe in the next versions?

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