When I first purchased my new iPad, I hoped that it would finally drop the bane of having to carry my laptop around with me on long trips just so I could do a bit of writing, and although there is a great choice of writing apps available for the iPad, I found it difficult to find one that would allow me to post directly to my blog. Then Posts came along, and how I blogged on my iPad was changed forever.
The most important part of any blogging app is how it does text input. Some apps go for an HTML-only interface and others a rich text version — thankfully, Posts allows you to switch between the two seamlessly. On the writing screen (where you’ll probably be spending most of your time) you have a myriad of options, from adding bold print to the text to inserting bullet points. Posts also gives you loads of room to see your writing so you’re not constantly searching up and down your post to reference what you’ve previously written.
One notable exception from the writing experience in Posts is Markdown support. For those of you who are yet to be acquainted with this über-simple writing language, here is a handy guide. Writers such as myself adore this way of writing because not only does it let you focus on the words and not seeking out formatting options, it also is extremely simple to learn and master. It would be great for Posts to be able to support this language and offer previews of the code because I really do find writing is more pleasant in Markdown.
Although you’ll probably be spending most of your time in Posts writing, that doesn’t mean that a lack of features in the other elements of the app is acceptable. Fortunately, that’s nothing you’ll need to worry about with Posts.
Unless you bought the 4G/LTE iPad or are constantly in a Wi-Fi zone, you probably know how frustrating it can be when a good idea strikes but you only have an iPad with no Internet connection. Normally when this happens to me, I just tap out my post in my word processor of choice and copy it into my blogging app later when I do have a connection. But thanks to Posts amazing offline support, I can add both images and rich text to blog posts, all without ever having access to the Internet. Posts will then handily save all of your offline work into a Local Drafts folder that you can use later for easy publishing.
As I said above, Posts supports HTML blog posts, so if you write your blog posts in HTML, it’s got you covered. It has a very handy preview feature which worked very well for me. You can easily see a preview of the code that you’ve written so far at any point by selecting the HTML Preview option in the upper-right corner. The app also has some handy shortcuts at the top allowing you easily insert common HTML elements into your post.
At present, Posts supports two of the largest blogging platforms out there: Blogger and WordPress. Perhaps in the future we’ll see support for LiveJournal and some of the less popular platforms, but seeing as Blogger and WordPress are the most popular, most users should be covered.
Although I love most of the interfaces in Posts, one that particularly stood out was how you viewed your earlier articles. In apps such as WordPress’ official offering, not much attention is given to your previously published posts. Posts takes a completely different route to this, instead making the main screen a tiled view (similar to that of Reeder and Evernote) of all your earlier masterpieces.
The manner in which Posts displays your previous pieces is what really blew me away. As I previously mentioned, Posts goes for the tiled view and so all of your articles are laid out just like your RSS subscriptions in Reeder. If there is an image in your post, it will halve the tile and use the top to display the image and the bottom to display a small snippet of the text. This makes referring to earlier posts not only easier, but more visually appealing as well.
The rest of the app has a really classy feel to it. There are lots of subtle gradients, nice overtones and colorful icons all of which are very easy on the eye (users of Tweetbot will know what I’m talking about!)
For bloggers with a Blogger or WordPress blog, I highly recommend Posts. It blows the native WordPress client out of the water along with all the third-party alternatives that I’ve tried before. It uses a simple and elegant interface along with a massive feature set to make sure that the app becomes your one-stop shop for blogging, and it succeeds amazingly at this task.