in App Of The Day (AOTD), Featured

Posts for the iPod is a shining example of how to write an app that encourages usage and instead of finding a use for it actually makes you want to use it.  That’s a pretty strong opening statement but thanks to the Posts App I’m using my iPad to blog more than ever before.

Normally I use WordPress for my blogging needs but there’s several features that annoy me so much I’d rather not use it.  Just in case you’ve never used WordPress, let me elaborate on some of the issues that I’ve had.

Bringing up the keyboard covers your editing area and doesn’t automatically scroll to the point where you want to type.  Just imagine proof reading an article, placking the cursor at the editing point, tapping the keyboard and then having to scroll to find that cursor.  Tedious and annoying are two of the words that come to mine.  Secondly, picture handling..

When it comes to placing a picture within a certain area of a post, no matter what I do WordPress seems insistent in placing any images to the bottom of my article.  There,s no drag and drop, copy and paste is a no go which means heading back to the desktop for something so basic.  Ok yes I could go into HTML mode, copy, cut and paste but that’s a step to far.

Creating & Editing With Posts.

In its most default setting, Posts displays your 100 most recent posts but this is adjustable. So if like me you wind up wondering why an old post it isn’t appearing it’s a simple matter of changing your post synchronisation settings. As you can see entries are displayed in a magazine format, taking the main picture from your post and creating a magazine stands display style, a graphical flourish that’s welcomed.

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Tapping any entry brings up a preview of in a “read for later” style format where you can edit, share or moderate any comments.  The pop out display style really helps with focussing on what you intend to do and that’s  A nice visual flourish that doesn’t detract from what you’re trying to do but hope somehow just feels “right”.

Here we also have the ability to copy the articles link, open in Safari or Tweet your article as well as being able to manage any comments about that post.  And so we move on to…

Creating a posts entry

Granted that sometimes you may want Clean and distraction free interface to start creating your articles and again this all comes down to personal choice. Me, I want to have just enough graphical flourish to not feel like I’m in a dull environment and just enough graphical flourishes to inspire some content creation.

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Another advantage of Posts over WordPress is the keyboard management. In an article on Word press your cursor position is easily hidden by the pop-up keyboard and so you can end up with an inordinate amount of strolling if you want to edit text, insert a picture, and then go back to editing.

Switching between rich text format and HTML format is a simple matter of pressing signpost icon on the top right hand  icon at the top of the screen where the preview article icon situated as well. the rational basic HTML tags available including maps to insert a paragraph tag, div and pre tags.

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All the basics are there to get yours posts, posted but granted there Amy be the odd time that you need to head back to the desktop. That’s the same with all blogging apps that I’ve tested so far..

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Posts linking mimics the functionality of  Wordpress, linking to internal posts or those out there on the interweb.  Again be wary of your posts synchronisation settings.  If you only pull in the 100 most recent posts for example, you won’t see a post if it falls out of that range.

Posts Image Handling.

As I mentioned earlier the WordPress application is just plain abysmal and frustrating when dealing with images. No matter where you place your cursor, WordPress will always insert the image at the bottom of the post. This is made even more frustrating by the fact you cannot cut and paste images within the WordPress application. Posts on the other hand makes working with images a pleasure.

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Inserting an image is a simple matter of tapping on the recognisable Image icon at the top of the screen and then selecting your image from the camera roll.  That image is then automatically uploaded for any adjusting if needed via the inspector.  Resizing can be done via the inspector or those grab handles letting you resize proportionally or squeezed to how you want.

You can make further adjustments such as alignment, alt text is performed by double tapping on the image to bring up the image inspector.  At the moment you can only insert images from your camera roll and not take a live camera picture but I would imagine that this feature is coming in a future software update.

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Moving images is done via copy and paste.  Double tap, click cut or copy, head to insertion point, double tap, insert and bingo.  You’ll be glad to know that any tributes associated with an image are also preserved when you paste the image into its new place.

At the moment there’s no support for tagging one of your images to be a featured image if your blog theme supports it. The author is aware of this and has promised they will look into this in the future.

Another missing feature is to remove any border options in the image inspector and for some strange reason images that I have told posts to centre don’t show as cantered in the preview window  But if you save your article and then re-edits the images will appear as intended.

Dealing with conflicts.

This wasn’t something I initially thought about when I started the review. What happens if you happen to be editing an article online or on a different computer and then try to submit an article via the posts application?

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Again the ability to save your work locally to your iPad locally comes in handy once again.

Overall.

There really isnt that much in the way of negatives to write about Posts. Okay so there are a few basic missing features.  Lacking WordPress statistics integration, image border management and you might want to manage how many blogs are synchronised each time (I went with 50 for speed)and if I’m really stretching to find faults, the lack of a built-in spellchecker really doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyable experience of Posts.

It’s worth remembering that this is a still a early version 1 of this app.  With support for multiple WordPress based websites, Posts easily handles multiple blogs as well as the usual commenting moderation duties.

For the first time ever I’m going toward an application five out of five. The look, feel and effectiveness of Posts to enable me to do my blogging duties is simply amazing and is heartily recommended for anyone running a WordPress-based blog

Posts is available at the App store for $9.99 or £6.99 and is developed by picodev.com

Post has no problems making our EssentialMac application list.

Alternatives.

Blogsy is a true powerhouse of an application that does take some learning to really get the full potential from the application. With the posts application I felt comfortable editing, moving around and editing contents in a matter of moments without having to resort to the help guides. Yes Blogsy may have a bigger feature set but that also goes hand-in-hand with a higher learning curve.

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