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.
- This post is an english translation of the post Test de l’application WordPress for BlackBerry
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:
- A synchronization allows to download blog’s data, such as last posts, last comments, …
- Some local operations (create or edit a post, manage comments, …),
- 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.
As usual with BlackBerry, you can install the application following to methods:
- Download the application from a Pc or Mac, and install it through the Desktop Manager,
- Install the application directly from the Blackberry, using the following url: http://blackberry.wordpress.org/install.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We will discuss later of the
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.
The application connects to the blog, and download the last modified items (posts, pages, comments, and categories), then go back to the main screen.
The application displays first, the list of 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.
In the mode Single, we can open a comment, and modify its status (approved, …).
In the mode multi, we can select a list of comments:
Then perform changes we want:
- 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.
When we select the menu Posts, the software displays first, the list of posts previously downloaded during the Refresh stage.
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:
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.