WordPress 2 iPhone app makes blogging easier — if you can avoid the errors

There’s a new version of WordPress available in the iTunes App Store, but don’t expect to get an update notification — WordPress 2 for iPhone is a separate app download.

With the new release, developers are trying to improve user experience, making it easier and faster to switch between comment management and posting, offering a fleshed out commenting interface and fixing a host of errors that plagued the first incarnation of WordPress.

Clearly, these were good intentions, but it seems WordPress 2 users will fall into one of three categories when it comes to actual user experience. Some users have downloaded the app, experienced no problems and think the new version is pretty much the best and last word for WordPress bloggers. On the other hand, there are users who haven’t been able to even validate their blog, let alone explore the app’s new features, due to a crippling host of XML-RPC and communication errors. Then there are users, like me, who can use the app to post, but get errors on the comments side. Luckily, the app is free, so finding out which experience you’ll have is a no-cost endeavor.

I hijacked a friend’s self-hosted WordPress blog to give this app a try. I like that when there are errors, WordPress2 tells me what they are, giving me a fighting chance of finding a solution, rather than just crashing a la WordPress1. Once you have your blog information set up, the app defaults to a comments page, where you can read and manage comments, which is one of the most touted features of the new WordPress. However, because of comment-specific communication errors, this section was neither viewable nor usable to me. If you can get this section to work, it seems that there is no way to actually reply to comments in the app. Developers have said that this feature, along with push notifications, is planned in a future update, but it seems counter-intuitive to roll out an app with an entire section devoted to comments and not have this feature included in the first place.

Overall, WordPress 2 is a better blogging experience than WordPress 1 (I couldn’t even access my friend’s blog through that app). Posts appear online quickly, but I couldn’t find a delete function other than setting post permissions to draft, which removed the content from the site immediately.

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