Blogsy ascends iPad blogging summit

Update 04/28: After several emails, Blogsy’s developers believe the line breaks are somehow removed by the inclusion of horizontal rule tags (

). No doubt they will discover problems with CSS as well, but they are already working on bug fixes for the next release. I do think this app will become a best buy if their fixes show the same thought as the initial release. And now for one of those pesky rules….

Spoiler alert! In spite of its totally stupid name, Blogsy is the app to turn to if you want to run multiple blogs from your iPad. I’m not sure I can spoil things more than that. If it wasn’t for one serious bug, thus would be a blogger’s best buy.

During its first year Apple’s iPad had adequate blogging software, but that’s about it. WordPress did a good job on the text end of WordPress blogging, but it’s graphics handling was annoying and it only worked with WordPress blogs. Blogpress was much better, and the tool I used, but managing multiple blogs was a pain and the upgraded version actually didn’t manage graphics as well as earlier ones.

The recent release of Blogsy totally rewrote blog management from the iPad. The name, quite frankly, is idiotic and the icon, a typewriter, seems strangely retro (not to mention the fact that a half dozen other apps also use typewriters for their icon). So clearly developer Fomola needs work in their corporate branding department. Beyond that, the app works like a dream.

Once you figure out how to work it.

Documentation is woefully slim. They do a wonderful job of explaining how to write blogs, but say almost nothing about posting and updating, or even finding drafts stored on your iPads or online. This seems odd to me because it’s pretty easy to figure out how to work the text editor, but it took me a while to stumble onto the document management features.

Sooner or later you will find the documentation (I showed it to you here). Unfortunately, it only covers text composing and editing. For instructions about document and blog management you actually need to read this post (unless you find them hidden somewhere else that I didn’t think to look).

Word processing style editing

Blogsy’s interface consists of a word processing window with an expanding tool bar to the side. You don’t need to know any HTML; you can click on the type menu to insert the formatting codes. The editor has two views which you can switch between with a swipe: text entering, which shows the HTML code, and preview, which shows what the post will look like on the browser.

You can’t type text in the preview window, but you can select it and apply new formatting. You can also drag images into place and add links with the links dialogue. The preview window gives you a pretty good idea of how your post will flow. It isn’t true WYSIWYG because it can’t incorporate the CSS from any theme templates your host may allow you to use. But it’s much closer than what has been available before.

The editing and preview windows allow you to compose your blog and see pretty much what it will look like before you post, including graphic positioning.

You can also schedule your post in the editing window. For anyone who has tried to manage scheduling with WordPress using Blogpress or the WordPress app (or even trying to schedule online with WordPress’ dashboard, this will be a welcome relief. So far the posts I have scheduled with Blogsy have appeared on time without a hitch.

Graphics editing could become simple with time, but it has a few hitches now. Unlike other editors, you can drag and drop images from your online account and resize them fairly easily. Unfortunately, the drag and drop is clumsy, especially with tables and custom DHTML. I had to go back into the editing window and copy and paste the links into their proper place. Still, it’s nice to have direct access to online images and YouTube videos.

Graphics editing is as simple as drag and drop. Too much dragging and dropping, however, could cause you to lose your paragraphs.

Blog management

Blogsy makes blog management a snap, although currently it only works with WordPress and Blogger (Blogpress, by contrast works with more than a dozen blogging sites, including MSN, Joomla and Moveable Type). You can set up multiple accounts (even multiple WordPress accounts) and even move a draft between them.

You can manage all of your blogs from the same window, and switch between blogs with a couple of clicks. Blogpress, by contrast, requires you to make sure you have the correct blog selected in three different locations in the app, and reapply parameters each time you switch blogs. If you accidentally create a post in the wrong blog, you have to jump through hoops to move it.

You won’t find this in the documentation, but the gear and pencil icon in the text editor opens the management window. If you click the local button, you’ll see a list of documents you saved off line while you work on them. If you click the “Published” button you will see all of your blogs. If you need to move the current document to a new blog, you can open the document, scroll to the bottom of the “current” window in the management editor, and choose a new blog.

You can manage all of your blogs and track entries in a single window. You can even create new post categories within the app.

You can also create new categories, something you couldn’t do in Blogpress. You can’t do everything, you will still need to work with your service online to manage comments and pages, but this is a major step in the right direction.

A few suggestions

Blogsy still needs work even beyond the glitches with graphic placement. The most glaring omission is an undo feature. If you’re working with an external keyboard this isn’t a problem because Command+Z never fails. But with the virtual keyboard you will have to undo your mistakes stroke for ill-considered stroke.

Blogsy would also benefit from the ability to work with TextExpander (a concern I have already shared with the developers). I use a lot of custom CSS and DHTML clips when I compose the blog and it would be nice to have access to them in Blogsy. It isn’t that difficult to accommodate, a number of developers with fewer apparent skills than those at Formola have been able to do so.

I also noticed that occasionally Blogsy had problems with line breaks, dropping them completely when you switch to the preview window to add images. I even tried adding HTML paragraph tags only to have the app drop them when I switched between views. This alone knocks Blogsy out of overall best buy running and down a star. It would also be nice if we could post images from the blog site media libraries as well as Flickr and Google.

Notice than in spite of my quibbles, I still rate Blogsy a best buy. I do so with the full confidence that Formola will show the same care in maintaing and upgrading that they did with the initial release. Blogsy does so many things, and does them well, that it’s dancing in the end zone while the other teams are still looking for the ball.

Jenny Manytoes rates Blogsy

Jenny Manytoes would purr next to Blogsy. It would be perfect if it could remember paragraphs and line breaks.

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 4 Stars - Purr, Bloggjng and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Blogsy ascends iPad blogging summit

  1. Pingback: Dr. Filomena » Blogsy (blogging Yellowstone pics on iPad)

  2. face says:

    Very good application, the function is very strong, Google can search to more application is very nice…0.0.ttzLXy-O5xg&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=988dd613ec0cbdbe

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