WordPress iOS Update Brings Video, Still Flubs the Basics

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Months ago, I gave up on the idea that Apple's iPad could stand in for my laptop and get work done. My primary trade is blogging -- oh yes, it sounds as strange to me as it does to you -- and the iPad is not up for the job.

Artwork: Chip Taylor

This was largely due to inadequacies with WordPress, the blogging platform we use at Technologizer. I'm a big fan of the platform on PC Web browsers, but the iPad app needs more features, and the Web site can't access the iPad's photo album. The release of WordPress 2.6 for iOS adds video and swats bugs, among other things, so I decided to revisit iPad blogging with renewed enthusiasm.

A few minutes playing around with the app was all it took for me to give up once again.

My main gripe with WordPress on the iPad is still the use of HTML instead of rich text. Links, italics, block quotes, bullet points -- none of it's available without a working knowledge of HTML. I'm surprised this update doesn't even add buttons to insert HTML templates. If you want to link to another story, a practice that is the cornerstone of blogging, you better know your HREFs.

Nonetheless, I was prepared to deal with the issue, as long as I could upload a photo in the size of my liking and post it in the top left-hand corner, as we often do here. Unfortunately, you can't do that either. Instead of letting you specify a precise pixel count on the images in your photo album, WordPress provides three boilerplate options for size -- thumbnail, medium and large -- and only "above text" and "below text" for justification. Knowledge of HTML might provide a workaround, but only if you can wade through the jumble of code with your pointer finger.

The last straw was not a missing feature, but a terrifying bug. The new version of WordPress for iPad may improve local draft management, but saving directly to the Web was a disaster. On several occasions, the article I was editing would adopt the headline from another article, causing a momentary panic when I thought I'd accidentally overwritten an earlier blog post. I had to rush onto my laptop to make sure no previous work was ruined, at which point the entire purpose of working on the iPad was lost.

I never even got to try the new video function in WordPress for iPad. It sounds wonderful, but I've already made plans to stay far, far away.

This story, "WordPress iOS Update Brings Video, Still Flubs the Basics" was originally published by Technologizer.

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