iPhone Challenge: Review of the WordPress App

Editor’s Note: Ian calls me ‘benevolent’ a total of three times in this article. I have no idea why.

As promised, I’m going to talk a bit about one of the apps I’ve been using for my iPhone Challenge. In order to make posts on the blog during NaNoWriMo, I have to use the WordPress iOS app. Before I get into it though I’ll say this….I’m at Disgraceland DJing right now. Elizabeth Kurz is beside me writing her NaNo in her notebook, and will probably be typing it up and blogging about it later when she’s at her computer… and I’m blogging about mine right now FROM MY FUCKING PHONE. My point is, I love this app. It is amazing. The iPhone Challenge would be impossible without it.

Having said that, there are a few flaws with it that I should point out, not to be critical of the good volunteers who made the app, but to be helpful to others who may be using it.

…sorry I just had to spend like fifteen minutes with Liz brainstorming a name for the new drug that is going to appear in Grindstone Baby. Stay tuned for that….

Anyway, our benevolent editor pointed out to me that the app designers are aware of these problems and they’re trying to fix them, and since they’re volunteers we should cut them some slack.

The biggest issue I’ve been having with the app is saving. If I close the app to open another one—as I often do since iOS4 came out—it doesn’t always return me to what I was just working on when I go back into the WordPress app. When I do go back into the post I was working on my unsaved work is gone….that is if the post is even there still. This doesn’t always happen but when it does it’s very annoying. When I did my second post I lost it and had to rewrite it about five times before it was finally saved properly. The best way to deal with this is obviously to save before you leave the app, or if you’re feeling clever select your text and copy it so you can paste it back in if anything gets lost. Problem solved….that is unless you want to edit that you’ve already submitted. For those who don’t know, our benevolent editor likes to review my posts before they go up on the blog so he can fix the dozens of spelling mistakes, take out the numerous curse words, remove all the Morrissey references, and generally just make it look like it wasn’t written by a nine year old (apparently I’m the only blogger he has to do this for). If I try to edit something that I’ve already submitted, the app will crash when I try to save. I haven’t found a way around this problem yet. (Editor’s Note: Vile slander! I have never once removed a curse word from anyone’s posts!)

There are a few other pesky problems that I’ve had, but none of them are nearly as annoying as not being able to save your work.

Every time I launch the app I get an error message saying, “communications error. Sorry, you cannot edit comments.” Not really a problem, just kind of annoying since I was never intending to edit any comments to begin with.

Sometimes when you’re writing the screen won’t scroll down as you go and you’ll end up typing off the part of the screen you can actually see (basically it seems like you’re under the keypad somewhere, but you cant scroll down to see it). If you’ve never had this problem before you probably have no idea what I mean, but if you have I’ve found a simple solution. All you have to do is flip to landscape, and flip back to portrait and you’ll get your typing space back. Odd but it works.

Next is deleting. I’ve never figured out how to delete a post or something I’ve saved. If anyone knows, please tell me. this is getting really cluttered. The undo function wasn’t working a first, but it looks like they resolved that with the last update.

The only other problem is with publishing. Whenever you try publish or submit a post it always sets it to be published exactly four hours later (Editor’s Note: even when you tell it not to publish yet at all!). This isn’t really a problem for me personally, but apparently it causes a lot of problems for our benevolent editor. Obviously this doesn’t bother me the slightest bit. Who cares.

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