WordPress For iPhone: 7 Features Needed In The Upcoming App
With iOS4 (formally known as iPhone OS 4) about to immerse the cult known as iPhone this summer, the WordPress team is busy adding the final touches to their updated iPhone app, which will include video and stats.
However before Automattic (the company behind WordPress) releases the new iPhone app to the masses, they are seeking feedback from the WP community on what features they should add to improve their beloved mobile app.
We’re very close to releasing 2.5, which will include support for iOS 4 and addresses some long-standing issues including cut-and-paste on the iPad. We’ve also got a nifty new setup flow for WordPress.com users: If you’re creating a new blog the process has been simplified, and if you’ve got existing WordPress.com blogs we’ve made adding all of them a breeze.
What we’d like to hear from you moving forward is what you’d like to see in the short term from the app. What do you think it needs most for the next release? We know several people have mentioned video and stats, so we’ll definitely be working hard to get those out. But what else? What haven’t we covered yet? If you could have one feature included in the next month, what would you want it to be? (Making WordPress for iOS)
Users are already posting comments on features they desire for the upcoming app (including yours truly), although here are seven features WordPress needs to incorporate in the upcoming WP iPhone app.
Advanced Push Notifications Please
Although WordPress did talk about push notification for stats, they made no mention regarding comments.
In order to keep this feature from overwhelming bloggers who receive dozens (if not hundreds) of comments per post everyday, WordPress could configure it to alert you whenever you receive a certain number of comments (like 10 or 100).
It would also be great if bloggers could receive push notifications for comments held in moderation (which would help publishers avoid receiving scathing emails on why their comment was “censored”).
Must Have: Formatting Buttons!
The fact that my WP Android friends and Blackberry buddies have this feature on their smartphones while my iPhone does not is rather depressing (especially since they loathe all things Apple).
Giving iLovers the ability to italicize, bold or underline text without having to memorize geek code would do wonders for us mobile bloggers on the go.
It would also make creating posts upon the iPad a little bit easier (as its screen is much larger than its smaller mobile cousin).
No More Groupie Images
Although I enjoy the fact that WordPress supports multiple images, what I loathe about the app is that it attaches them all at the bottom of the post.
Ironically the official WordPress app is the only WP iPhone app that does this, as both BlogPress and BlogBooster not only upload multiple images, but allow you to position the photos inbetween text paragraphs as well.
WordPress needs to do the same if it wants users to adopt the app en masse.
While we are on the subject of images, it would be great if WordPress allowed users to align their images, text and videos from within the app itself.
BlogBooster already has this feature for images and text while BlogPress has enabled this feature for images only.
Unfortunately neither app has perfected this art, so unless the WP masters provide enlightenment here, we may have to save alignment for the desktop.
Upload Multiple Videos
While one video would suffice most users, sometimes people want to be able to upload two within the same post.
It would be great if this feature was added for iPhone WordPress fans.
Intense Debate Moderation
With many bloggers choosing Intense Debate over native comments, it would be great if publishers could moderate their comment section from within the app itself.
This would appeal to not only those who choose WordPress as their platform of choice, but also to Blogger fans and Tumblr Tycoons who use the service as well.
Mobile Admin Access
This one is not a “must have” feature (as it is probably wiser to save this for a later update), although it would be nice to be able to configure plugins, view media, etc. from within the mobile app itself.
This suggestion is probably better suited towards the iPad due the larger screen real estate, but if WordPress found a way to make this feasible on the iPhone, it could help the platform attract new users.
For those of you who enjoy your iToys, what other features should the WordPress team add to their iOS app? Feel free to share your ideas with the rest of us in the comment section below!
Darnell Clayton is a geek who discovered blogging long before he heard of the word "blog" (he called them "web journals" then). When he is not tweeting, friendfeeding, or blogging about space, he enjoys running, reading and describing himself in third person.
Hey Darnell, thanks for the awesome suggestions. We really appreciate the feedback, and we’re definitely going to take these into consideration.
One point of clarification – the Video and Stats features are not going to be included in the upcoming 2.5 release. We’re working on those, but 2.5 is mostly a bugfix release intended to address issues many of our users have brought to our attention.
Video and Stats are at the top of my list for the 2.6 release, and that’s what I’m asking for users to give us input for in the Coming Soon post.
Re: “Intense Debate Moderation”. For WordPress sites running IntenseDebate, the comments automatically have two-way sync, which is a feature unique to IntenseDebate in the commenting space. That means that comments made in IntenseDebate are automatically backed-up to your WordPress comment system, while your existing WordPress comments are automatically imported into IntenseDebate.
For the WordPress iOS app, that allows you to moderate the comments in the app, and know that those actions will automatically sync back with IntenseDebate and appear to your visitor seconds later on your site.
@Chris: Thanks for the heads up! I guess that means iWP fans will have to envy our Blackberry brethren and Android sister-en for a few more months. :-(
@Raanan: Thanks for clarifying! That was one of the reasons why I originally didn’t use ID (as I thought comment moderation would vanish).
One quick question though: If someone comments on a blog via mobile (iPhone interface), does that sync to ID as well?
“One quick question though: If someone comments on a blog via mobile (iPhone interface), does that sync to ID as well?”
Yup, that will work and sync.
I still have got to get me an iphone. But i’m torn between that and the blackberry. I’m not a fan of apple, but the iphone just looks so fun :)
I personally think the iPhone is overrated, but what does draw me into this phone is the apps…you can’t beat it. The only way I would purchase the iPhone is if it had a slide out keyboard…that would complete the package.
I was going to get an iphone, but I ended up with Verizon so I’m stuck with one of the droids. But I do like droid now and I’m surprised at how good the android market is. Tons of apps.