Review: The WordPress Android App (Part 2)

I’ve decided not to do this part of the review on the go, as I thought that it wouldn’t be particularly fair or relevant since I can just as readily test it’s features anywhere. I’ll be giving the app a bit more of a grilling this time.

You might remember me saying before that the app is useless if you are starting a blog…but not totally. I’m going to try and create and use a blog, and see the difference in doing so.

Browser

Setting up the blog via a browser isn’t particularly daunting. It’s a linear process: you’re asked what you want the URL and title of the blog to be. You’re then shown through introductory steps to give your blog a tagline and a visual identity.

I decided to make my first post, and I knew that what it needed was a picture of my thumb. I had my phone to hand but, without the WordPress app to use, I had to tiresomely email the photo to myself and then download it to the computer before uploading it WordPress.

App 

One doesn’t have to turn on a computer to be a WordPress user, it seems. It’s easy to set up and account a start a blog from scratch, but alas, you aren’t given the nice introduction you get on PC. However, I was able to pick the nice Flounder theme for my blog, with Themes displayed clearly on the sidebar.

The rest of the appearance options weren’t to be found, meaning that I couldn’t insert widgets. This means that if I happened to start to generate traffic on the blog, I would be losing a significant opportunity to direct some of it to my social media accounts.

It’s easy to create a page or a post, and your tagging and categories options are available. However, don’t expect your first post to be an in-depth masterpiece. Images don’t always appear in the text box when you’re writing your post, unless sent from your phone, so if you’re looking for text wraparound, get to a computer.

You also shouldn’t bother using the app if you have a small touchscreen and research to do for your piece. The app is handicapped by the likelihood that you will have thrown your device against a wall after trying to search the internet.

Overall

The WordPress app should be viewed as a supplement for everyone apart from the casual blogger. It’s not convenient for every situation, but a keen WordPress blogger should not be without it.

DSC_0077

Here’s that picture of my thumb.

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Review: The WordPress Android App (Part 1)

This is the first part of my two part review of the WordPress app. The second part, which will constitute a hands-on on the go, will arrive on Wednesday at the earlier time of midday.

The app was tested on a Sony Xperia J mobile phone.

I felt a sense of doubt when I first launched the WordPress app. WordPress has so many customisation options and is pretty easy to use, but I feared that neither aspect would translate into the app. What I found was a well crafted app, but one that didn’t totally confront my concerns.

The most striking aspect of the app is it’s simplicity. There’s a sideboard but no dashboard, which seems to signal the intended use of this app: it is for blogging on the go, not for intricacies. That said, you can pick themes and look at stats, meaning that this is probably all you need after an initial PC setup.

Thankfully, you can write a post and no-one would be none the wiser as to the fact that it came from the app. The options are fairly comprehensive, though lacking the ‘kitchen sink’ found in the browser. However, images proved to be a source of hassle, by not always ending up where you want them despite alignment options.

You certainly aren’t the target audience of the app if you are a blog reader instead of a producer. WordPress’ reader is fully functional and is good for reading the blogs you follow. You won’t be happy if you’re trying to find new ones, though, as you can’t search by tag.

The app is fully functional and is a recommended download. It can’t be recommended as an alternative to the browser version, as it lacks the extensive functionality of it’s parent version.