In my opinion, no mobile phone / smartphone will ever be a substitute for a decent desktop, notebook or even netbook PC for the nitty-gritty of blogging, and yet that hasn’t stopped plenty of applications being released for mobile phones designed to allow access to blogging platforms.
The current incarnation of the iPhone makes anything but micro-blogging a fairly painful experience. Even dedicated blogging clients still suffer from basic architecture deficiencies such as the lack of cut and paste and difficulty interfacing between native and third-party applications.
Yet, with yesterday’s announcement of the third version of iPhone software, there may be some hope for doing a bit more blogging on the go using Apple’s revered handset.
When it comes to the creation of content, cut, copy and paste is finally available. Though it’s taken Apple a long time to sort it out, the implementation is pretty slick.
With it, you can copy and paste from any application (including third-party ones) such as the Safari web browser, and then paste into any other. You can also do the same with images, including the ability to copy multiple photos in one go from the built-in Photos application.
This means that bloggers who rely heavily on the quotations of others, to which additional commentary may be added, can now much more easily clip the relevant passages from web pages or RSS feeds and paste into a blogging application. It will still take longer than doing it on a computer with a mouse, keyboard shortcuts and much more screen real estate, but it’s a start.
There’s also auto-fill for Safari, meaning that filling out some form fields will now be done automatically. That’s great if you comment a lot on other blogs.
As for staying in touch with people — also important for many bloggers — there’s the introduction of a native version of Meebo which can manage all your instant messaging clients from one application.
Added to which, Apple has finally sorted out its push notifications system, which means that you can be alerted whenever new messages arrive, without having to keep the application running in the foreground.
Perhaps you’re a blogger who does podcasting or audio interviews? There are some pretty decent third-party applications for audio recording already in the App Store, but Apple will now bundle its own memo recorder, with built in editing and mailing functions.
Notes can be synchronised between the iPhone and a PC or Mac using iTunes. This may not be essential for bloggers but it means that, if you take down notes — ideas for future blog posts, perhaps — you can have access to them on your computer too.
If you use public Wi-Fi networks a lot, Apple has made it easier to sign in and out automatically, too.
Apple has promised greater support for accessories, which means that it may be possible to add an external keyboard either via Bluetooth or the 30-pin connector. We don’t yet know what restrictions Apple will place on developers, but if it’s possible to add extra hardware it could make text entry a lot easier.
Finally, the landscape keyboard should be available in every application, not just a select few, making typing a lot easier than trying to use the portrait version for everything.
The iPhone is unlikely ever to be an ideal workhorse for blogging, but the iPhone 3.0 OS could make it a lot more pleasant to use when you just have to blog something on the go. It’ll be available to download from the summer.
What do you think?