Safari

WordPress Are You Listening? Fix Your iOS Experience.

I just spent 30 or so minutes composing a post using the WordPress App for iOS on my iPad. As I was wrapping up I began to insert images into the post only to have about half of them fail. Apparently the latest update to the app has broken the insert image feature. If you select more than two, it will fail to upload all of them to the WordPress servers. Along with this, the app no longer posts to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

I have been a WordPress user for six years now, and for the most part a huge fan. When working correctly it is a powerful content management tool, that is far more robust than Blogger, or SquareSpace in my opinion. Note that I said “When working correctly”. WordPress if you are listening, you need to take note of the following constructive criticism.

About a week ago WordPress updated its desktop authoring environment with a new simplified editor. As the screen takes what seems like days to load yu are greeted with the juvenile “Beep, beep, boop” phrase. If and when the page finally loads, there are far fewer options than the old editor, a confusing UI, and a slightly cleaner look. WordPress must know that they have issues, because in the upper right corner of the screen they have a link that takes you back to the classic editing environment, which I have done every day since they rolled out the new set up.  This isn’t such a big deal for me, well not a big deal until they get rid of the classic editor and force us to use the new one. At that point I’ll probably drop WordPress and move on. Yes that is how much I dislike it.

I chose WordPress because it was billed as a professional tool. Because 6 years ago and earlier it had recieved so much good press and reviews from people y that used it daily, and because even businesses were using it do to the robust tool set and depth of professional themes. The latest update feels like they have rolled it back to amature hour. I get ease of use. I get clean simple design. I get streamlined UI. What I don’t get, is “Beep, beep, boop” and the removal or hiding of tool sets.

Now lets talk iOS.

WordPress for the iPad is a joke. There is no other way to say it. It’s horrible. The app is so bad that with each new update they break something new. In the latest version they broke image uploads, social media hooks, spell check, categories, and more. They failed to fix the ability to embed video from Vimeo, or YouTube.  With each update the iOS app has remained unstable, buggy, and feature broken. With each update WordPress says it has done “Bug Fixes”, but with each apparent fix, they have introduced even more.

WordPress in Safari, or Chrome on iOS is no better. The pages do not load correctly, even when you “Request Desktop Site” in Chrome. The editor simply doesn’t load correctly. Simple things like scrolling, and selecting don’t work. Embedding images and video is difficult, and the overall experience is just goofed. Even simple acts like selecting a line of text don’t work well. It’s so bad that if I have to use my iPad, i now have a multi-step workflow that involves drafts, and multiple apps.

The first step is to write all the text out in the Pages and copy the text.

Step two, go to the WordPress app, create a new post and paste.

Step three, save the draft.

Step four go to Safari and open the draft.

Step five embed video and save the draft.

Step six, go back to WordPress, open the draft, embed any images one at a time.

Step seven, select the image tag, cut, go to the insert point I want the image to appear and paste. (Yes the iOS app doesn’t embed images at the place where your cursor is. It embeds everything at the bottom of the post. Another fix needed) Save the draft.

Step eight. Launch Chrome, and spell check. Save the draft.

Step nine launch Safari, open the draft, and publish.

WordPress are you listening. This is an excercise in frustration. You need to step it up and fix your product. Fix it, test it, and then roll it out. Right now it feels like your dev team is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks.

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iCab Mobile, The iPhone/iPod Touch Browser Alternative.

Are you tired or frustrated with Safari as your only browser choice on your iPhone or iPod touch? I know I am. I want Firefox to be available for my browsing experience. I also want the Flash Player but that is a topic for an entire post unto itself.  As for the browsing options things just got a little better for all of us with the release of iCab Mobile.

iCab Mobile is a web browser for the iPhone and iPod Touch that has a great feature set and some  useful tools not found in other iPhone browsers. One feature is scrolling via a  scroll pad (tap the screen with three fingers to activate) that lets you go to any location within the web page instantly. iCab supports Tabs, Bookmarks and has a built-in filter that blocks advertising banners. Tab support is a huge plus for me. I know Safari sort of does this with multiple windows, but I like real tabs better.

Another feature of iCab Mobile is that It has a full-screen mode which hides all toolbars so the web page can be viewed screen. iCab Mobile also has a built-in  download manager can handle multiple downloads even over a 3G connection, and can upload files back to a computer over a Wi-Fi connection at a later time.

Another feature that I am really liking is the auto-fill function for forms and fields that require you to fill in personal data. iCab Mobile can save web data and restore the form data content later with a finger tap. To help prevent identity theft the saved forms data can be password-protected.

iCab mobile also lets you download YouTube video and save it as an MP4 file directly to your iPhone/iPod touch. It supports international domain names, There is a built in customizable url filter, you can switch off loading images to speed page loads when band-width is limited, and the download manager lets you download any file type from the web which can be transferred to your computer  later. If the iPhone OS supports the file type iCab lets you display these same files directly in the browser. (audio, video, text, images etc.)

Other features include the ability to lock the screen in either portrait or landscape view. If selecting “private browsing”, no history and cookies will be saved.

The Latest version sells for $1.99 on the app store or via iTunes. Not bad for a full feature browser.