Last week, Google posted a blog entitled 5 tips for using Blogger on your Android phone in order to promote the new Blogger app for android. As an iPhone user, this made me somewhat jealous. So, I set out looking for an equivalent Blogger app for the iPhone. Unfortunately, there is currently no official solution—there’s not even an HTML5 mobile version of Blogger.com for Safari. Which means I had to delve into third-party land to find a Blogger app for iOS. I came up with BlogWriter by VirtueSoft. As with most iOS apps from the App Store, BlogWriter comes in a lite and paid version. BlogWriter Lite is text only, while the paid version ($1.99) supports photo uploading, geotagging and in-line photos in your blog posts. I almost splurged for the paid version of BlogWriter, but then, I didn’t. Find out why in the rest of my review.
BlogWriter – A Lightweight iPhone Blogger Client with Some Rough Patches
BlogWriter bills itself as a mobile blogging client for Google Blogger (blogger.com and blogspot.com), WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress blogs and “others” (i.e. MSN Live Spaces, MetaWeblog). As someone who’s not always satisfied with the official WordPress iPhone app, I found the prospect of an all-in-one blogging client appealing. First, I tried it with my Blogger.com account.
Blog Setup with BlogWriter
When you first launch BlogWriter Lite, you are invited to set up your blog by Touching My Blog. You can also use BlogWriter as an RSS feed, if you want to. That white space you see at the top of the screen is where ads go. They are relatively unobtrusive, as far as mobile ads go.
The setup screen lets you choose a username and password, blog type and blog URL. You can also specify a port, if necessary. Login to my Blogger.com account was quick and easy.
I have multiple blogs in my Blogger.com account, so BlogWriter gave me the option to choose one.
Viewing and Composing Blog Posts in BlogWriter
Back at the main screen, you now have the option to compose a new post or view the posts in your blog.
In the free version of BlogWriter, you can view the individual posts from your blog, including the images.
However, you either can’t edit already published blog posts with the BlogWriter Lite version, or I’m too dumb to figure out how to do it. Either scenario is kind of a bummer. You can, however, delete individual posts on the go. That’s a reasonable workaround in case you blog something regrettable and want to rescind it via BlogWriter and write the post over again.
Composing blog posts is simple and straightforward. It’s pretty much just like writing an email. That includes the lack of rich text formatting.
Published straight from your iPhone, Blogger posts composed in BlogWriter Lite look just swell.
What About WordPress?
Heartened by the ease of use, I decided to try out a self-hosted WordPress blog. Unfortunately, the app crashed when I tried to link it up with my WordPress account. Same story with my WordPress.com account. Perhaps this is an iOS 4.2 compatibility issue that will soon be resolved, but for the time being, we are not smiles time.
Because of this, I can’t really recommend BlogWriter—yet. I would like to see them fix the WordPress support and see if they can work in some formatting options (bold and italics are really all I need) and I would willingly plunk down $2 bones for this app. But for now, I’ll have to remain envious of all you Android users and your glorious Blogger app.