Blogger.com And SixApart Take Note: BlogPress Is About To Steal Your iThunder

Filed as Features on September 12, 2008 1:29 pm

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Despite providing powerful platforms for their users, both Blogger.com (owned by Google) and Six Apart seem to be rather slow when it comes to creating apps for the iPhone. 

While SixApart has provided an iPhone app for Typepad, they have yet to develop anything for MovableType, leaving the field wide open for third parties.

One company from China however is taking advantage of this opening, by creating a powerful iPhone app for not only the “big three” (Blogger, MovableType/Typepad, WordPress) but for MSN Live Spaces as well.

Called BlogPress (which was previously highlighted by Andy), this app was developed by CoolLittle Things, who ironically encountered some resistance (note: english translation over here) submitting their app to the iTunes store.

But with BlogPress costing a whopping 999 pennies (or about $10 USD), BlogSpot and MovableType fans may wonder whether purchasing this app is worth it.

So instead of spending potential gas money (or even lunch), you might want to check out the review below to see if this iPhone app is worth spending money on.

The Good

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this app, the first being able to publish both images and text together on a single post.

I could even insert multiple images together, with text either above or below the image, a feature that will excite Blogger fans (as the mail-to-blogger feature only posted text below the single image on the iPhone).

Users can also edit previous entries, as well as save drafts (a deal breaker for mobile blogging if you ask me).

Even better, if you are interupted by a call, your post is automatically saved (note: unfortunately there is no pop-up confirmation informing you that your post was saved, although it did pass with flying colors after I tested it).

The other cool feature was the ability to post to multiple blogs at the same time–even on different platforms! (a useful feature if you have want to post a quick message across all of your blogs).

Last but not least, Blogger users will appreciate the fact that BlogPress uploads their images to their Picasa Web Album account, with the option of selecting which album the images will be uploaded to (as each Blogger blog has its own album).

The Bad

While this app was very powerful, it did encounter a few bugs/problems.

When one scrolls down to the bottom of the screen (after typing in a post), it is hard to scroll back up at the top.

Second, images posted to Picasa had a tendency to “flip upside down.” This may be an error on Picasa’s end (as you can easily fix them by flipping them right side up), but either way some users may find that to be a bit irritating.

There is also no way to resize the images posted, although that may have something to do with Picasa’s settings (and not via BlogPress).

Last but not least, BlogPress only uploads images to Picasa Web Albums, which may not please those wishing for the images to remain on their servers (or on another platform, like WordPress.com or MSN Live Spaces).

Conclusion

So, is this app worth purchasing? If you are a blogger fan, then the answer is yes!

The only thing missing from this app is the ability to add labels and adjust the posting date, but aside from that this app is probably what most BlogSpot users have been waiting for.

As far as MovableType goes, this app may hold you over until Six Apart develops an official iPhone app, unless you do not mind your images being hosted (for free) by the search engine king.

Note: For some strange reason Apple has not included BlogPress in its search index (as of this post), although you can download it by clicking here (link will open up iTunes).

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  1. By Huajun posted on September 12, 2008 at 2:06 pm
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    Hi Darnell Clayton,

    I very happy and exciting that you like BlogPress.
    I will keep working on it.

    About the scrolling, I am sorry it confuse you. Here is a tips for you, you can use the right edge of the screen to do the scrolling.

    I will release a quick fixed version (1.0.1) to add a tips of the scrolling and fix the small bug. The lables/tags will be supported in 1.1.0. (for Blogger and wordpress only, MSN spaces has no this feature … )

    You article greatly encourage me. I will keep going.

    Reply

  2. By Lacy posted on September 12, 2008 at 4:42 pm
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    an iPhone interface for MovableType has been available since September 2007;

    http://www.movabletype.org/2007/09/one_more_reason_to_buy_an_ipho.html

    Reply

  3. By Darnell Clayton posted on September 12, 2008 at 8:43 pm
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    Hey Lacy, thanks for commenting.

    The interface has been available for awhile, but that is not the same as a native app.

    I hate to compare it against their rival (as Six Apart is awesome in my honest opinion) but WordPress has had an iPhone interface as well (see http://wphoneplugin.org/about/ for details), but they released an iPhone native app for those on the phone.

    Six Apart did as well (for TypePad) but left self hosted users hanging (WordPress hooked up both self hosted users and platform hosted users).

    It would be great to see Six Apart develop an app for all of their platforms–unless of course they do not mind out sourcing that to BlogPress (who are planning on even more updates for their app).

    Reply

  4. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on September 12, 2008 at 10:43 pm
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    It’s always nice to see competition in the blogging world. We all benefit when services compete.

    However, I’m sure those behind BlogPress realize that they are probably pushing a trademark issue with the name. I do hope they will reconsider the name choice.

    Reply

  5. By Byrne Reese posted on September 14, 2008 at 12:31 pm
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    @Lorelle – Really? What trademark are they infringing upon? A search for “BlogPress” in the US Trademark Database reveals zero results. Of course this is really the domain for lawyers as anything can be contested I suppose. Is Automattic planning to take issue with the name?

    Reply

  6. By Ahmike posted on September 15, 2008 at 2:44 am
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    That’s awesome!! But, You could hardly find it in Malaysia. However, I’m using Blog for Sony Ericsson P990i …

    I pray that i could get Iphone-wordpress =)

    Reply

  7. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on September 15, 2008 at 2:16 pm
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    @ Byrne Reese:

    If you use Koka Kola, Coca Kola, or anything even close, there are trademark laws in place that protect Coca Cola due to “similarities” in the name. The same could easily apply to another famous “press” if they chose to exercise those rights. Quite a few websites and blogs have come down recently due to the fact that they used a corporate name within their domain name, even though it wasn’t the whole name but a representation of the name or part of the name.

    When choosing names for products, services, and domains, it pays to take care and avoid trademarks. Nothing may happen, but something could. As a beginning service, it might be wise to make the change now and not later. Besides, wouldn’t it be a smarter move to step away from association and stand independent as a competitor?

    I don’t work for Automattic so I don’t know what they will do with anything. It’s just a comment and observation. I’ve heard some very sad horror stories from bloggers recently getting slapped for Trademark violations. Maybe we can get Jonathan Bailey to write something on the subject here on the Blog Herald.

    Reply

  8. By Darnell Clayton posted on September 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm
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    @ Lorelle and Byrne: I just received word from DirectInCorporation (who was kind enough to do a thorough trademark search for me) and BlogPress is not trademarked–at least in the US.

    As far as the “Koka Kola” example goes, I could see the soda giant suing over that because of the similar sounding name (the “ka ka” sound).

    However, I do not think the courts will give too much sympathy to an WordPress over “BlogPress,” as the former is a blogging software creator while the latter just creates mobile software (on one device) that connects to various blogging platforms.

    If the courts are dragging their feet regarding the “Googles vs Google” and “uTube vs YouTube,” they may show little interest in the battle of the “press” (especially since BlogPress is located in China, making this an international matter).

    Reply

  9. By MT posted on September 15, 2008 at 5:03 pm
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    WordPress is also the name of an blogging app for iPhone, so it’s not like it’s way out in left field to suggest that BlogPress is trying to capitalize on the similarities of the name.

    Funny, though, that even though they’re calling themselves “BlogPress” for obvious reasons, they didn’t manage to capitalize WordPress correctly in the interface.

    Reply

  10. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on September 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm
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    @ MT:

    The WordPress iPhone application is part of Automattic, the owners of the trademark.

    Reply

  11. By Kenny posted on September 28, 2008 at 10:41 am
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    I just wanted to say I am now using blogpress for all my blogging now and its a awesome program! Although I have yet to see the option for the full keyboard on any blogging software. Im hopping blogpress will be the first to help us bloggers with big fingers. With the longer keyboard on the iphone I never make mistakes and can type much faster.. If that happens then I will be the happiest blogpress customer ever!

    Reply

  12. By Satya posted on October 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm
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    Really good article. I have been following your blog for last 3 months. You have good knowledge
    on Mobile(cell phone) Industry and happenings. Please continue the good work. Thank you.

    Reply

  13. By Jake posted on July 22, 2009 at 3:04 am
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    First of all, I LOVE THIS APP! I use it all the time, and is definitely worth the money.

    Secondly, why is the default resolution for images 187×281?
    It is frustrating, because I want the photos to be larger, but when I increase width or height (and keep the ratio), they are distorted when they post to my blog in the increased size. Even if I only increase from 187×281 to 250×375 it is visibly distorted.

    Please let me know if I am missing something. It is frustrating.

    Reply

  14. By kunio takafuji posted on October 14, 2009 at 5:52 am
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    using movable type I CAN’T access my server

    Reply

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