Here’s one thing that got drummed into me very strongly On Tuesday when I spent the day working on my iPad while my laptop was ‘indisposed’. Somebody needs to write a great blogging app for it right away. It is crying out for one and I bet if someone creates a really good one, it will be huge hit.
The iPad itself is eminently capable of being a great device to work on for a a full day – at least for the sort of work I do. I can happily spend hours at a time on it – keeping up with email and Twitter, following news via RSS feeds and other sources, taking notes and working on reviews.
The biggest limitation of working on the iPad for me – by a long way – was the lack of a great blog editing app to use to publish posts. Or even a good one for that matter.
The three main blog editor apps I’ve been aware of since fairly early iPhone App Store days, and which still appear to be considered the leaders in this area, are BlogPress, WordPress, and iBlogger. The first two have already come out with iPad versions (though with very, very little added to them as far as I can tell) and the third is able to run in pixel-doubled form.
All three are hugely flawed though. We are not talking small issues or a slight lack of features here either. Here are some examples of things that are missing, taken from amongst the three – as they are all much of a bad muchness right now:
— None of them offer a clean, simple way to insert a Read More break – something which is used in a huge percentage of blog posts.
— None of them make it easy to position where an image goes within a post. Mostly, you have no control of whether an image is placed at the top or bottom of a post, or elsewhere.
— One makes it near impossible to tell if you have even actually managed to insert an image when you have asked it to.
— You have little to no ability to format text – no making it bold, no use of block quotes, or any other standard sort of formatting controls.
— One of them has a bizarre bug (which it has had since its early iPhone days and has still not fixed) which causes posts to be published several hours back in time. So a brand new post does not appear at the top of a site as it is supposed to.
— Another doesn’t allow you to see anything beyond a Read More break if editing a post you just published for example. So, you may have just published a five-paragraph article that had a break after the second paragraph – well, you will not be able to see the final three paragraphs, at all.
The above is just a very quick, top of the head list – based on working with all three apps across the iPhone and iPad. None of them has improved much after months (years really) in the App Store, which is especially shocking in the case of the WordPress app, given how huge the platform is.
The iPad is a gorgeous device – and one that I think lots of bloggers are going to embrace as a great second option for writing and perhaps even their primary writing tool over time. The only thing that is letting down the side right now is the lack of a good blogging app for it.
Hopefully some brilliant developer is out there right now planning out a blogging app to do the iPad justice and put these existing ones to shame – which really won’t be a hard trick.