There was a post titled (albeit linkbatingly) “Tumblr is Killing WordPress” on the Smedio blog about a week ago. The comments have kept coming in one by one, with the majority of commenters showing their support for WordPress. However, one comment that came up struck me as sort of telling on how the story stands thus far:
I agree. But where WordPress fails in comparison to Tumblr is in ease of publishing. While I can enable WP to be Tumbl-like, I still can’t use the official iOS app to post using those post formats. The Tumblr app supports these formats with ease. While I wish I could export the content, it’s a minor issue because of the to how easily I can create said content.
And you know what? I agree. (at least with the bold statement above – the rest… eh…)
The WordPress iOS App
Let’s face it – the iOS app does a great job in getting your WordPress blog on your iDevice. Unfortunately, that’s about all it does. Media remains cumbersome to upload. Images work well enough, but audio and video support is next to nonexistent – with good reason, mind you. Tumblr has those supported at the site level, whereas WordPress needs plugins to do them effectively. What’s left is a great app that’s lacking some pretty substantial features to really be a go-to app for on-the-go blogging.
The guys over at WooThemes released Express not too long ago, and it does fill a bit of a gap by utilizing the post formats built into their themes and any theme running the WooTumblog plugin. It still doesn’t do audio/video, but it makes the experience more seamless – images are treated as a separate post type and are allowed to be formatted as such.
It still lacks video/audio support… and it still has a hole that needs to be filled.
The Big Secret of the iOS App
Apple’s apps aren’t known for being open gateways, but WordPress has lovingly open-sourced the app that it holds. What does that mean? If you love WordPress and iOS development, they NEED you to get in there and make the app what you want it to be. I would venture to say that they would give you whatever help you needed (within reason) to make the iOS app shine.
With the right third party support (YouTube, for example), you could build into the app a pretty easy way to get video from your phone to WordPress. Even hooking into WordPress’ own VideoPress would be a step in the right direction, even though the service is pay-for – the people that need it know they do, and would more than likely pay for such a great service. Same goes for audio.
So, if you love WordPress, and are fluent in the iOS world, jump in and start working. There’s an untapped potential that exists that will turn a good app into a fantastic one. It’s one of the major stumbling blocks keeping quite a few tumblr fans from jumping over.
Edit: Forgot to show you guys where to go to get involved. The iOS team has a site set up with instructions on how to get in on their Trac system to help with development. You can find it here: http://ios.wordpress.org/development/.