Using WordPress via iPhone

I wanted to install the WordPress iPhone application, however since I couldn’t get my Apple iTunes Store Account to verify and work correctly – I’ve resorted to using WordPress via Safari.

While I have viewed plenty of blogs using a mobile device and was surprised how functional they were, I’d never attempted to use the WordPress administration area.¬†When visiting the WordPress admin with an iPhone or another internet enabled mobile device, you are served the exact same version of the administration interface that you’d receive if you viewed it using a desktop computer. That might surprise a lot of people, however WordPress isn’t mobile device ready by default – you require a plugin such as WordPress Mobile Edition by Alex King. Even with that plugin enabled, it generates a mobile friendly reader experience and doesn’t provide a mobile friendly¬†administration¬†interface.

To my surprise however, it was quite a simple task to navigation around the WordPress administration area using Safari on the iPhone. Thanks to the convenient zooming functionality that the iPhone provides, it makes working with busier sections of the interface straight forward. While functional, it certainly isn’t the kind of user experience that you’d want to use daily – as a good amount of screen real estate is wasted and when you’re using a small screen device – every pixel counts.

As I tested out different sections of the interface, about the only thing that I noticed didn’t work ‘as expected’ was the text area used to write a blog post. By default, I enable the visual or rich editor in WordPress. Normally when you give focus to any form element that you can type into, the iPhone automatically pops up the keyboard. However, because the visual editor is a JavaScript implementation – nothing triggers the keyboard to show up. Of course, selecting the ‘HTML’ tab on the blog posting page fixes that immediately.

All and all, very impressed with how the iPhone handles complex interfaces – it certainly gives me a lot of confidence that there’d be a limited number of sites that I’d have problems with using Safari on the iPhone.