I’ll start off by saying that I’m not complaining. I really like the revamped Safari in iPadOS 13. It is a smoother and more powerful browser that takes you were you want to go without the extra fuss of requesting desktop sites or the annoyance of still getting a mobile site afterward. It works about 98% of the time in my limited experience. It just isn’t quite all the way to what I get with Firefox or Chrome on my Windows laptop. At least not yet.
Here are a couple of examples of pitfalls that still remain. First off, I am actually typing this article in the WordPress web interface. I NEVER did this on iOS in the past. While the iOS app for WordPress isn’t perfect, it has come a long way over the years. It gets the job done and handles all of the basics. I have always relied on it because of consistent weirdness anytime I did try to use the web interface from an iPad in the past. Plus it does offer offline editing, which is a challenge for any browser.
With the new iPadOS 13 beta, the majority of the issues with WordPress’ web interface are gone. I was able to post this entire article without any major hangups. This is definitely a positive development because there are some features that aren’t available or things that are more difficult to do in the app.
However, there is one strange bug that still caught my eye. As you can see in the image below, the image file size doesn’t look right when uploading media to WordPress. All of the options are shown at the same size, which is too big for the default 2 MB upload that WordPress allows. The iOS app can’t downsize images, so getting this to work on the web using an iOS device would be a solid step forward.
Thankfully, this is just a small glitch. Once you select a size under Full Size and your media uploads to WordPress, then you’re ok. As you can see here, the correct image sizes appear when you upload to your post.
While this works, it is confusing. I almost gave up when I got that first pop up that showed all of the photo file sizes the same. I don’t know if this is an Apple issue or a WordPress thing, but hopefully issues like this one will be tightened up over time. I have a feeling we will all find lose ends like this in different places as Apple works things out over time.
The second Safari issue I came across is a bit ironic because it’s an Apple service that doesn’t work. For those who aren’t aware, there is a web interface for Apple News called News Publisher that is available at iCloud.com. If you aren’t using a plugin that automatically posts from a Content Management System, then your posting method is to enter your content using News Publisher’s Drafts interface. This is currently the way I post our articles there. Even if you don’t post directly from there, all of your editing capabilities for already posted content and analytics are also available in News Publisher, so access for Apple News publishers is important.
Unfortunately, when you go to iCloud.com using an iOS device, you get this:
This is a step up from the old placeholder that you used to get for iCloud.com on iOS. However, my News Publisher is notably absent.
Using News Publisher is the only reason that I still use a laptop as part of my normal workflow here at the site. I typically do all of my primary posting from my iPad and then share to social media and Flipboard using my iPhone. This process will only get easier now with Apple’s new iPad multitasking and file management features. However, unless Apple decides to plug this small but seemingly obvious hole, it looks like the new Safari won’t get me quite all the way to fully handling my writing from my iPad Pro.
I am going to file a Radar, so hopefully Apple will take care of this small feature gap before iPadOS releases this Fall. The fact that the address bar shows “beta.icloud.com” gives me a little hope that maybe this is still a work in progress. If so, maybe News Publisher via Safari on iPad is still coming. Trust me, I know that this is a super niche request. However, things like this illustrate the small but closing divides that still exist between the iPad and traditional computers.
At the end of the day, I still really like what we got from Apple in Safari for iPadOS. It enables us to do things that either would have required an app, would have been harder, or just weren’t possible before. Like most of the features Apple delivered in this new offshoot of iOS, it is a big step forward that brings the iPad closer to the feature set of a traditional computer OS. I’m all for anything that makes my favorite Apple device more powerful and this new version of Safari definitely does that.