So a week or two ago, WordPress, where this site is hosted, threw a major bone to us Apple users, a Mac app! This means that I can read the blogs I follow, as well as write new posts, from a dedicated program on my computer, instead of in a browser.
So what’s so special about this app? Well, honestly, not much. It’s basically just WordPress.com in a special, separate window. Opening the app brings WordPress users to a familiar reader screen, with blog posts front and center. At the top are the two bars to switch between the reader and “My Sites,” a place to manage your blogs. Both of these screen have pretty much identical interfaces to WordPress.com in a browser, and the app won’t work at all without an internet connection. So if the app is basically just a web browser, what makes it useful?
Well, it’s going to be nice to separate my writing from any other tabs I have open. I often have multiple other tabs going when I’m writing a post (double checking information, getting app store links for reviews), and it’s a pain to switch back and forth between them. When there’s only two, it’s not a big deal, but four or five becomes a pain. Having a WordPress app means that I can have one window for my writing and another for research, and that’ll be nice.
As an aside, I’ve experienced a similar sensation using Google Docs lately. I do most of my writing for school in Microsoft Word, but I’ve been in a couple group projects lately, and Google Docs is hands down the best way to collaborate. Honestly I’ve really liked Doc’s web interface (it starts faster than Word) and the fact that all my documents are permanently and only stored in the cloud. However, as nice as browser word processing can be, it’s a total pain when you’re trying to switch between tabs.
Ooh, just hit a major snag while writing this post. I wanted to go back to My Sites to look at another post. Normally, when I want to do this, I just Command-click My Sites in the upper left, and it opens in a new tab. Uh-oh, no tabs here (funny how I just praised that so loudly). That’s going to be an issue for me, as I often look back at previous posts while writing new ones. I’m not saying WordPress should add tabs to their app (then, honestly, it really is just a browser), but maybe there could be a way to “minimize” drafts that I’m currently working on and look at other stuff. This is a good opportunity for WordPress to really make the app something special, and give it features that aren’t available in the web interface. Obviously, WordPress doesn’t want to exclude web users, but this would be a feature that fixes a problem web users don’t actually have (since they have tabs). Just a thought WordPress!
So anyway, I’m excited about this new app. I’m not sure whether I’ll use it long-term, but I’m definitely going to give it a shot for now. And even if I don’t like it, I’ll keep checking back. One good thing I will say about WordPress: they do an excellent job of continually improving their products. ••