Preview of the application WordPress for BlackBerry

When we manage a blog, it’s interesting to stay connected, and control the blog at any time, from everywhere. I am especially interested by writing ideas, as they come, and manage comments.

I was disappointed by the different solutions based on WordPress plugins: these solutions try to give us a usable administration interface, but they often slowdown the blog, and don’t meet our requirements. Sometimes, the interface is more complex than the orginal.

Few months ago, when I changed my mobile phone, and choose a BlackBerry, my objectives was to have a phone (of course), but also to be able to manage my blog from everywhere. For some weeks, owners of BlackBerry devices can use a new application named WordPress for Blackberry which is a big progress.

WordPress for Blackberry is available in beta version since the last july. The version 0.9.0.149 is available since last August.

This application is a big progress for blackberry’s owners, compared to the previous solutions. It’s a true Blackberry application that doesn’t required any installation in the blog. The application uses XML-RPC protocol to communicate with the blog platform.

A work session is always organized in three steps:

  1. A synchronization allows to download blog’s data, such as last posts, last comments, …
  2. Some local operations (create or edit a post, manage comments, …),
  3. A new synchronization to upload changes to the blog.

The main advantage of this solution, compared to ones based on plugins, is the ability to work locally in disconnected mode.

We will now start the visit of the application.

Installation

As usual with BlackBerry, you can install the application following to methods:

WordPress for BlackBerry
WordPress for BlackBerry

When you launch the application for the first time, it requests the usual security authorizations.

Add a blog / Parameters

At the beginning, the appplication displays the list of the managed blogs. During the first use, this list is empty.

Main menu
Main menu

If you press the key Menu, functions required to add a blog appear. The application asks the blog’s address, and the username and password.

Ajouter Add a blog: first screen
Add a blog: first screen

The two first parameters are the number of posts to download, and the activation of an image resizing function. This option allows to resize images before upload them, in order to reduce the amount of data that the application must send to the blog, which can be handy if you are in an area not covered by 3G.

Add a blog: part 2
Add a blog: part 2

Once blog is created, just click on it to display its components.

Manage a blog

The main screen gives an access point for each blog’s component: posts, pages, comments.

Main screen
Main screen

We will discuss later of the Options menu.

As mentionned in the introduction, the first step is downloading the last changes of the blog. To do that, we click on the refresh button.

Synchronization
Synchronization

The application connects to the blog, and download the last modified items (posts, pages, comments, and categories), then go back to the main screen.

Manage comments

The application displays first, the list of comments.

Manage comments
Manage comments

WordPress for BlackBerry has two modes:

  • The mode Simple, allows to manage one comment at a time,
  • The mode Multi allows to manage several comments.
Comments: the two modes
Comments: the two modes

In the mode Single, we can open a comment, and modify its status (approved, …).

Display a comment
Display a comment

In the mode multi, we can select a list of comments:

Multimode: comments selection
Multimode: comments selection

Then perform changes we want:

Multimode: possible actions
Multimode: possible actions

Some remarks:

  • Manage two modes is not very practical,
  • The comment management is limited to changing status. It’s not possible to create a comment, or respond to a comment.

Manage posts

When we select the menu Posts, the software displays first, the list of posts previously downloaded during the Refresh stage.

List of last posts
List of last posts

The number of downloaded posts is the exact number entered in the option page. In our case,we have 10 posts, and no possibility to see the others. If we want to see more, we have to modify the option, and perform a new refresh.

From this screen, we can create, edit or delete posts.

During the first synchronization, at the beginning of work session, only header of posts is downloaded. When we want to edit a post, the application downloads all the remaining data of the selected post (content, images …).

The post editor allows us to

  • change the status of the post (draft, pending, publish),
  • change the category, by selecting in the existing list of categories. The application allows also creating new categories,
  • insert images coming from the blackberry (or from a memory card),
  • add tags (but we can’t choose tags from a list).

It would be better if we could choose tags from a list, to avoid errors.

Options and parameters

The menu options doesn’t offer a lot of parameters. Interesting point: we can choose the communication mode (wifi, …).

Preview / Tour

The blog of the application provides a video:

Conclusion

The application WordPress for BlackBerry is a true progress for those want to manage a blog from their BlackBerry.

Compared to solutions based on WordPress plugins, main advantages are:

  • Ability to work offline,
  • the interface is optimized for blackBerry, and give us a true confort,
  • A better tolerance to network / bandwidth problems (lack of 3G for example).

However, this application is not perfect, it must be seen for what it is: a way to monitor his blog remotely, just a troubleshooting tool.

To go beyond, we need to

  • create or edit comments,
  • manage tags (create, edit, choose using list …)

WordPress for BlackBerry is a young application, in early development. We can hope that authors will continue this work begun so well.