BlogPress, a blogging app that does Drupal!

My role as Web Developer for iPhone Life keeps me focused mainly on what goes on behind the scenes. The software we use, Drupal, wins awards for its functionality, not for its user-friendliness. And when I work behind the scenes, I'm not using an iPhone or iPod touch to do it. So when one of our bloggers pointed out that she couldn't post from her iPhone, that was news to me. It seems Mobile Safari doesn't yet support enough JavaScript to run our Wysiwyg editor. While we wait for Apple to improve the browser, well, there's an app for that!

Now, there are probably several blogging apps that will work with Drupal -- as long as it supports the Blogger Data API, MetaWebLog API, or Movable Type API, it should be good to go. So there may be better apps than BlogPress. But I only have the time to review one, so I'm focusing one the one with native Drupal support.

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Where BlogPress excels is the setup screen (above). Couldn't be easier. And as you can see, I can embed pictures direct from my iPod Touch. The photos can be uploaded to a complimentary BlogPress account (which I was not able to get working) or to a Picasa or Flickr account of your choice. My iPod doesn't have a camera, so I won't be testing the video upload capability (via YouTube), but it's there.

There are some limitations. BlogPress doesn't seem to support rich text (bold, italic, etc.) so in that respect I'm no better off than if I'd just disabled our site's rich text editor and posted in Safari. (this works, BTW.) Line breaks have a tendency to disappear -- I've gone back and added them from a desktop browser.  Also, BlogPress doesn't support landscape mode, so you'd better have small fingers.

Then there's the matter of categories and tags. iPhone Life has a LOT of categories available to bloggers -- one for each app we've reviewed, for example. Navigating this list (above) is impractical, so bloggers will want to revisit their posts on a desktop computer to tag them properly. In BlogPress's defense, this is a limitation in the API, not in their app.

Finally, if you have the same username on multiple sites, you may have trouble telling them apart in the menus (above)! But all in all it's a very good option to have, and I'm glad to be able to recommend it, so I can disappear back behind the scenes! :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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<p>Ben Stallings is a Web Developer for <em>Smartphone Magazine</em> and <em>iPhone Life</em>. He also does freelance Web development, specializing in the Drupal content-management system, under the name Interdependent Web. He lives in Emporia, Kansas.</p>