Despite the fact that every other major blogging platform boasts a presence upon the iPhone, the core developers of Textpattern have yet to show interest in the device, let alone provide the necessary code for third party developers to build one for Textpattern fans.
While having an official iPhone app would help Textpattern compete against rivals (like WordPress, ExpressionEngine and Joomla), it probably would be wiser for the community to combine their efforts and create an Android app instead.
Although skipping the iPhone entirely would be foolish (as Apple still has millions of loyal fans of the device), creating an Android app first could help convince the core developers that mobile blogging is not only needed, but relevant for the Textpattern community.
Media Uploading Please
Unlike iOS (which powers the iPhone), Android allows users to directly upload media files from the browser directly into the server (a service Flickr is taking advantage of).
While the feature may not work for all media file types (especially if one is using rare video files), this feature would allow a third party developer to create a native app (with an in app browser) that could potentially compete against rivals (like WordPress for Android).
Whether Apple likes it or not, according to market trends Android is officially the dominant mobile OS in North America, with some forecasting that Android will become the dominant mobile OS after Symbian by 2012.
Although iOS does have a large (and passionate) user base, they’re overall reach is limited on where Apple is willing to sell iOS handsets (which is mostly in affluent western and eastern nations).
Android on the other hand isn’t limited by a manufactuer, phone or license (assuming that Oracle fails in its lawsuit against Google), which means Textpattern could reach places like Africa, exposing the CMS to new users thus helping them improve their market share.
Focused For The Greater Good
Instead of dividing up their resources among several different mobile OS’s (ranging from Windows Phone 7 to RIM’s Blackberry), it might be wiser instead to pool their resources into creating one spectacular Android app.
While the community should eventually create apps upon other platforms (a strategy WordPress has taken), starting with Android first will allow them to test the waters before diving into the world of mobile blogging.
Should Textpattern Ditch iOS?
Despite Apple’s declining global presence (at least when compared against Android), iOS is still a market share too large to ignore.
Hopefully by the time Textpattern 5 rolls out, the core developers will either launch an official Textpattern app for iOS or give iPhone developers the codes they need to create one for them instead.
While the community should continue to demand an iPhone app (as Textpattern is the only major blog lacking a presence upon iOS), they may want to instead give Android a second look.