PreApproved.com

App reviews for the WebOS

webOS + Post'er = Convenience

Posted by groovdafied on December 31, 2009

Many WordPress bloggers  will appreciate a tool to help them edit their posts, especially when that tool is developed on a mobile handset. Not everyone can lug around their laptops; therefore Post’er will try to fill that gap for blog owners on the go. WordPress is an open source platform, designed to administer and skin blogging websites. With the release of Post’er, the application allows users to access their WordPress account or domain with the WordPress shell installed. The application costs 99 cents and is developed by a team at http://poster.nizzoli.net/, who also uses WordPress to publish their website and what looks like test posts for a future update.  I’ll explain my predictions later.

The developers are testing their application with features that are not present in the v.1.0 release.

Their support page is setup through their commenting system and they also accept emails at .  Using the comment system will allow other users to view these issues and possibly find a solution. It would probably be a good idea to implement a discussion forum, but I believe that is a bit too early with the current state of the app. The ‘help’ menu takes you to a page with the version of WordPress required to be installed on your site and minimum OS requirements to run on the webOS, which is version 1.3.1  There are two other buttons that will setup an email composition on your handset or take you to a mobile version of their WordPress support site; nice touch. The application has a basic appearance; you wont find any splash screens or fancy graphics here, which is fair because it’s a productivity tool. Your first screen is to setup your account by tapping the “+” plus icon in the bottom left. You may need to log in to your wordpress.com account or domain and setup your admin account to allow the app to have access to your blog. Click SettingsWriting – Check mark XML-RPC and save your account. If this feature is not setup correctly, you will have an error message similar to the third image below.

To re-configure or delete an account from the app, tap the Post’er menu and tap Accounts. You can swipe to delete the accounts or tap the account to change the Username, Password and Domain. Once you’ve completed these configurations, you can then “Sing In”. Yes, sing in to your account because you’re so ecstatic for installing this nice application onto your phone. Even though it’s a small error, it’s a funny easter egg if you’ve caught it.

I suppose this is the best opportunity to sing Whistle While you Post.

This is the option to select within your Writing Settings

This is the settings pane where you'll find the XML-RPC option

The app's error message if the option has not been set in your WordPress account.

Once the account(s) has been added, there will be two hideaway fields; “Local Storage” and “Posts”. You’ll need to tap the ‘Fetch 5 More Posts’ button to download the first five posts from your blog, this will be sorted under the ‘Posts’ field. The button’s status will change to ‘fetch 5 more posts’ to add additional posts into the app.  The Local Storage will be used for any data that will be stored locally on your handset first if you create or edit any posts that you do not submit to your blog. For example, it’s like saving drafts directly to your phone first, and when you have finished editing or creating your posts, you can then send it to your blog, thus removing the draft post from your Local Storage section. To remove these posts from both sections, simply swipe to delete and tap the Delete button.

The main area of a WordPress account. Local Storage (top) Posts (bottom)

The interface to create or edit a post is also pretty simple and straight forward, allowing for simple viewing and corrections. If you’re editing a post, you’ll have the “Post Main Body” and “Post Additional Text (Optional)” sections. These fields should be renamed, there was some small confusion with what the second field was for. Originally I thought that field was for the “Excerpts” field which is located in the WordPress application under the Edit Post window (see snapshot). I assumed the boxwas the Excerpts because of the following definition; “Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme“. After testing this “Additional Text”, the function was to add a teaser paragraph and hide the remaining post under a Read More link. This is the same feature as adding the <!–more–> tag in the HTML or clicking the following icon .Given with the current form factor of the Palm Pre and Pixi keyboard, creating blog posts would most likely be a painful and frustrating process. However the main purpose I expected, and is also explained at their website, the app’s primary function is for editing simple words and adding links. The posting page has a straight forward layout; Title, status (to set the post as published, pending review, privately published and draft). Page also has the main body area to type the post and another area listed as “Post additional text (optional)”. After testing the app, the ‘additional text’ is used as a teaser on the blog site. This will add the <!–more–> tag within the HTML of the post, thus adding the ‘read more’ link. At first glance, this wasn’t very clear with the functionality of this particular field until the post was completed. Perhaps the developer could consider rewording the field to represent it as the ‘teaser’ post.

The standard layout for creating or editing a post.

The bottom row has four typical rich text buttons; bold, italics, underline and three dots that is actually a URL adding tool. The text does come out as it should when selecting these formatting tools, but the buttons fails to alert the user that the tool is still active. The URL link could use some updating as well; my first recommendation is changing the icon. At first glance, the button made me believe that there were more options. Maybe this is the developers original idea to add more features in there and not just the URL tool. This will be determined in their upcoming release v.1.1. The URL tool could use some additional work, but it does add the URL link by allowing you to type in the actual URL address in the top field and entering the text it will display below it.  For example, I will type http://preapptastic.com for the URL and type Click Here in the bottom text box. The result will have a URL link that is typed as Click Here, and clicking that link will send you to the website. Unfortunately the link will be added to the end of the post and copying & pasting the URL link will not retain the link script, and only paste regular text. There’s also no options to have the link open in a new window or tab, that type of customization will require the user to log into their blog site and re-edit the post. Once you’ve edited your post, you’ll tap the send icon in the bottom right corner and the app will update your site with the latest post and treat it according to the status you’ve assigned it. When using the swipe back gesture, this will locally store the post on your handset until you’ve sent the post to your blog. This will not send the post to your blog.

The different status's to use on your posts.

Formatted text, using the Bold, Italics, Underline and URL tools.

I personally would like to see this application succeed and expand with it’s new features. Since the launch of  http://preapptastic.com, I’ve been working quite a bit in it, and with the convenience of administering my site through the palm pre definitely deserves a shout-out to anybody else I know who uses WordPress. I would like the developers to see this review as constructive criticism, because the application does need some polish and under-the-hood adjustments to make the feature set more feasible and complete. Some features I would like to see in the new 1.1 update; management with the categories, comments and user accounts. The site already has tested image uploads and categories too, but I do not know what the procedures are to do this. I do take a lot of screenshots with the Pre that I upload to my posts. Uploading the images directly to my blog may be able to cut the time it takes for me to whip out my sync cable, download the images to my PC, upload the images to WordPress and insert the images.  And judging the blog posts made in late December 2009, it looks like the developers are committed to the application and expanding the app’s capabilities. This will make a lot of users happy when they see this growth, plus the potential this app has with the convenience of using WordPress.

The app is receiving a 6 out of 10 in terms of features and functionality, but is receiving 9 out of 10 brownie points. I will re-review the application as it starts to mature with how it works with WordPress, and I’m positive that this app will succeed.  After the  I am waiting patiently for the 1.1 update and will keep everyone appraised of the latest Post’er updates.

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