Hands on With Poster for iOS

Fall in love with blogging again for the first time

February 11, 2013

During my guest appearance on Mac Power Users, David and Katie asked me about the WordPress app for iOS. I mentioned that it’s improved a great deal over time, and it has, though there are things I’d like to see it do better. Two days after we recorded, I discovered Poster, which had just released version 2. It found a precious spot on my precious home screen within 24 hours.

Down there at the bottom of this post, you’ll see that the developer has kindly offered a promo code to one lucky reader, so you might soon add it to your homescreen with no out of pocket expense. But you’re totally disqualified if you skip to the end.

I love it enough that I’ve pondered hacking into the 5by5 servers to splice a mention into the recording. And I would totally do it to, except for the fact that I don’t have any hacking skillz. Also, I think Dan knows where I live.

Let’s keep this simple with a bulleted list of why I like it so much:

  • It’s pretty. It’s a simple app which has a similar feel to the many great apps in the text editor genre. Like most of them, it does one thing particularly well; it offers a clean space to form sentences. And that’s how I’m using it right now.
  • Support for custom post types. Custom post types have been in WordPress for a few years now, though the possibilities for them are still only being realized for many WordPress users. Poster is the first app that I’ve seen that allows me to create and edit entries in custom post types. So, for instance, I’m slowly implementing a new custom post type to display what books I’m reading over there in the sidebar, and will later add an archive of the books I’ve read. With Poster, I can add a book or change it’s status with one hand while sipping coffee with the other. That’s some livin’ right there.
  • Dropbox integration. Tom, the developer, must have made the app he wanted to use. The result is some nifty little conveniences that will make this the app many will want to use. Like this one – when you sign in to Dropbox, the app lets you select a folder where you might, say, store drafts created in other apps. When you create a new post, it gives you the option to start with a blank post, or to quickly grab one of those drafts out of Dropbox. Brilliant.
  • Some essential WordPress features. Works with multiple WordPress sites, either on wordpress.com or self hosted. Featured image and custom post format support. Easy editing of custom fields.
  • iOS power user essentials. Textexpander support. Markdown support. URL scheme support which should be handy for tapping out a few words in Drafts before sending them over here to Poster.

So this post isn’t all sunshine, there are a few things I’d like to see from the app in future updates:

  • Padding in landscape mode. In landscape mode, the editor stretches the full width of the screen. I’d like to see it add some padding on the sides for a little better readability when writing and proofing.
  • Support for custom taxonomies.
  • No support for comments. Comments can be turned on or off for a post, and that’s as far as it need go. I like the focus on writing and editing, so I’m happy to keep the WordPress app around for approving and responding to comments.

Now, about that giveaway. For a few bucks, Poster is an easy sell. If you want a shot at it for free, leave a comment on this post, or let me know on Twitter or app.net . I’ll collect entries until 5pm EST, Thursday, 2/14, and then I’ll have one of my kids pull a name out of a hat. I’m very scientific like that.

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