The iPad 2 has proven to be a remarkably useful writing device for me in the early days of ownership. Naturally, one of the first things I tried to do with it was post my initial impressions on my blog, Writer by Night. However, using the Blogger dashboard in Safari on the iPad turned out to be a less than satisfying experience. I couldn’t format text, add hyperlinks, or even scroll in the text entry window.
BlogPress: Basic Blogger Functions
A quick search for blogging apps in the iPad App Store turned up a lot of positive comments for BlogPress, an app designed to work with the most popular blogging platforms, including Blogger and WordPress. I dived right into the app, and its bare-bones but functional interface was easy to learn without reading any instructions.
The writing interface corresponds to HTML mode in Blogger: there is no “Compose” or WYSIWYG mode. It didn’t bother me, because I’m used to writing HTML, but users who aren’t HTML-savvy might find this a bit unnerving at first. The HTML button inserts the appropriate code for basic text formatting and adding hyperlinks as you type. Of course, advanced users can simply type in the code themselves.
The left-hand pane of the BlogPress interface contains a list of your published posts, along with sections for local drafts and online drafts. Local drafts are stored on your iPad, and can be converted to online drafts, which are stored in Blogger but not published. When you finish writing a post, you have the option of saving it as either type of draft, or publishing it directly to your blog.
Adding Pictures and More
Another convenient feature of BlogPress that’s totally absent in the web interface for Blogger on the iPad is the ability to insert pictures. You can select images from your camera or media library. After placing the picture in your post, you can tap on it to adjust the alignment and size, and add a caption or hyperlink. In the Settings menu, you can also configure BlogPress to post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. BlogPress even has a setting to save videos to a YouTube account.I
In summary, BlogPress is a basic but functional tool that makes up for the lack of iPad support in the Blogger Dashboard. If you’re a WordPress user, you probably won’t need BlogPress, since that platform has its own iPad app. However, Blogger users who’d like to keep their blogs updated from an iPad will find BlogPress worth the $2.99 price.