Friday, September 09, 2011

Blogger iOS App: What Took You so Long?

The Blogger UI compared with Google+ and SquareSpace apps. (One thought: orange, seriously?)

I have just downloaded the first official Blogger iOS app from Google this morning. I am posting my initial thoughts and reactions while trying it out.

Firstly, I have to note that it is surprising that it took Google so long to launch this product. They introduced an Android version of the app earlier this year. The iPhone is four years old now and plenty of third-party Blogger client apps have been brought to market in that time, so the demand for this product has been there. Leaving aside the current antipathy between Google and Apple, the iPhone has a substantial user base that has to be well worth serving. Plus, I do not think the shine has gone off mobile blogging yet.

For a long-awaited product this app is very rudimentary. All of Google’s services, including Blogger, have all been getting a badly needed and long overdue update of their UI over the course of this Summer and are now much improved. There is little evidence of that kind of design thinking in the 1.0 release of this app. The recent Google+ app has been criticised in my circles for lacking functionality, features and finish. However, it is a work of art compared to this product.

My only experience to date with a blogging app has been the official SquareSpace client app that I use for our company website. The difference in both appearance and functionality between the two apps is stark. This Blogger 1.0 app is such a bare-bones client in contrast.

Given they have taken so long to provide this minimal app, I wonder how aggressive their update schedule is going to be and how much focus, attention and support Blogger is getting within Google. This product needs a lot of iteration.

Some people are all about their blog analytics and I expect that they will be a strongly requested feature for the next release, but I will be asking for Markdown support in version 1.1. (Pretty please.)