I’ve mentioned this before both here and over at our lovely iPhone (and much more) sister site: it seems incredible that (according to Appshopper today) there are over 280,000 active iOS apps and there is still not a single really good blogging app.
It is even more astounding when I see that there are also now over 35,000 iPad apps available. And, despite all the nonsense you may see said in some places, the iPad is a superb tool for creation, in all sorts of areas – not at all just a ‘consumption’ device.
I know that as someone who is now blogging very close to full-time, the iPad feels like an ideal tool for bloggers, except for one huge missing piece – a good app to do it from.
The screen size is more than good enough to write short to medium length articles on. I do nearly all my review notes already on the iPad, and there are several excellent apps for doing those in. Even for a long review, it’s easy enough to use a good iPad stand and a BT keyboard.
Working with images is a breeze as well – whether it’s pulling in photos from my iPhone, adding effects to images, or pulling them down from the web or email attachments etc.
When it comes to actually getting a post up though, I have not come across a single app that does a good job. I almost never try to post from the iPad, because I know the experience is full of nothing but pain and frustration.
The three ‘leading’ apps in this space are BlogPress, WordPress (for those, like me, who run their sites on the WordPress platform), and iBlogger. All three are lame, disappointing, and lacking in basic features – and have been for a long time now, with no sign of major improvement in their current versions.
Here are just a few of the issues you’ll run into when trying to use any of these as a blog editing tool:
— No easy way to work with multiple images in a post
— No easy way to control positioning of images
— No easy way to format text as bold, block quote and so on
— Clumsy handling of links
— Clumsy handling – or complete lack of support for – of posting drafts to a site
— No simple way to add something as basic as a ‘Read More’ break to a post
The WordPress app also can generally be counted on to be slow and crash-prone.
I look at these apps and then I think of what Apple has done with the superb Keynote app for presentations. In Keynote everything is wonderfully easy and intuitive to do. Format text, move images around, re-order slides in your presentation. Add text, edit text. Add transition effects, duplicate slides, and on and on.
OK, I realize that coding-wise it is likely far more complex to have to deal with HTML and CSS and all the other things that come into play for blog / web sites – but developers have done some truly amazing things with iOS apps in so many areas, can we really not expect a single decent blogging app after two plus years of the App Store opening its doors?
I’ve said this before as well, but I feel sure it’s true. If somebody writes a really good blogging app for iOS, and for the iPad in particular, it will be a big success. Even if bloggers are a small percentage of App Store users, I bet lots and lots of them would be more than happy to pay for a good app. I know I would.