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Posts for iPad

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If you want to blog, or manage a blog, from your iPad, you could use your blog platform’s web page editor. But it’s unlikely that interface has been optimized for the iPad’s screen. Enter Posts, a $10 iPad app from Pico that lets you create, edit and view posts on blogs using Blogger or WordPress. (For the latter, it works with blogs hosted on as well as self-hosted WordPress blogs.)

After you enter the necessary information for your blog, Posts shows you all the posts your blog contains in a graphical timeline. The app’s sidebar contains links to the content of one or more blogs, and tapping a blog name expands its section to show the types of content you can access—Posts, Unread Comments, Drafts, Submissions and Pages.

Keep Me Posted: The blog posting and management app Posts uses a graphical timeline to show off all the posts in your blog. The sidebar on the left lets you manage multiple blogs.

You can scroll through the timeline to go back and edit older posts. The display is a bit choppy, even on the third-generation iPad, but it’s attractive, even though you don’t see full titles of posts. Tap on an existing post to view it, and tap on the pencil icon to edit that post. When in edit mode, you can choose rich text or HTML display. I prefer working in HTML, but the font is a bit small; there are no options to choose a font and size for either mode.

It’s easy to edit existing posts or create new ones, and the interface is similar to that of a Web-based editor. In rich text mode, you can choose styles, font size, font attributes (bold, italic, underline), justification, indent and more. HTML mode is also available, but Posts adds a lot of extraneous tags, such as <p>, <br>, and <div>. It’s easy to add a link; a pop-up dialog lets you paste the link, choose an existing post or page to link to, and add a “tooltip” text. You can add images or videos from your camera roll or Photo Stream or from a URL, and adjust their size and layout. It’s also easy to choose categories and tags from a Post Properties dialog.

Post Preparation: Posts offers an interface not unlike a Web-based editor for creating new posts or editing existing ones. You can work in rich text mode or in HTML.

In spite of the above, there are some limits to editing and posting in the Posts app. There is no find-and-replace support, and previews don’t show how a post looks on your blog; they look like the rich text display. There is also no Markdown support, something that many bloggers may want to use. (For this reason, you may actually want to compose posts in a text editor that supports Markdown, then copy the text and paste it into Posts.)

Aside from the composing part of Posts, this app is a great tool if you manage one or several blogs. In addition to being able to edit posts and their metadata, you can manage and reply to comments. Posts shows how many comments have been made to each post, and an Unread Comments section for each blog, in the app’s sidebar, shows new comments that you may want to check or reply to. There is also a global section that shows All Posts, for all of your blogs, all uread comments, and all local drafts.

WordPress’s own recently-updated iOS app is a good choice for those only running WordPress blogs, and the improvements in the current 3.1.2 version make WordPress a valid, and free, option. While Posts does have a more attractive interface and certainly stands out if one manages multiple blogs, the WordPress app gives access to the WordPress dashboard. While this essentially loads the dashboard’sWweb page, it does give access to far more blog settings than Posts.

All that said, if you need to write and post to your blog(s) on the go, Posts is a well-designed app. In spite of the limitations to its HTML mode, it offers a great deal of flexibility. And if you manage blogs, Posts is an excellent way to check up on them from an iPad.

[Senior contributor Kirk McElhearn writes about more than just Macs on his blog Kirkville. He also reads Ralph Waldo Emerson.]

This story, "Posts for iPad" was originally published by Macworld.

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At a Glance
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