Friday, November 16, 2012

Blogger app

At long last, Google has released an upgrade of their (free) Blogger app (version 2.0.0) for managing (Google) blogs (like this one). The previous version (1.0) had very limited functionality, so I never used it for anything but experimental tests. This version has enough functionality that I am using it for at least some of my entries here (starting with this one, at least the first time round; a snafu wiped out its contents and I am rewriting it on my PC to be safer).

On my (iOS 5.1.1) iPod, Blogger recently (?) started reporting a warning about Safari not being a supported browser to manage blogs:

With the Blogger app now usable for basic posts from the iPod, I now have an alternative to Safari (although I continue to "risk" using Safari for some Blogger use).

In the Blogger app, you can assign labels, though without the benefit of seeing existing labels.

You cannot preview an entry.

You cannot schedule a publication time for an entry.

You can include a picture from the Camera Roll (or even take a picture live to include, although I don't expect to have need for such). Current reviews in the Apple App Store suggest that images can only be positioned after all text, and that if you put in more than image, their final order is not guaranteed.

You can style your entries with raw HTML, although the spacing between lines of the final product is a little odd (e.g., when using unordered lists).

I had already edited this already-published entry in the Blogger app several times when it had text only. I then tried to add an image (the above image), and all my existing text was wiped out. I mistakenly thought Blogger had gotten confused and was trying to create a totally new entry, so I chose Save, which wiped out my existing text. Had I chosen Discard, it's possible that my existing text would have been preserved. Like another person who reviewed this app in the Apple App Store, I usually write my entries in another app (Notespark) before accessing Blogger, at which point I do final editing, so at least I still had some of my original observations from which to work. The Blogger app also crashed on me a couple of other times through 11/18/12, but I only lost data once (the incident just described).

On the iPad interface (new with this version), in addition to a Publish button, there is a Save button. If you are editing a previously published entry, using Save will actually take that entry out of circulation (remove it from being seen on your blog) and place it in Draft status. The entry still retains its timestamp, so when you re-publish it, it will fall into its previous place among other entries. Having learned of this Save button behavior, I will probably forgo its use. I'm not sure if I will ever want to, only temporarily, remove an existing entry from circulation.

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