WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms on the web. Until recently, the only option on Symbian had been the official client. Now though, thanks to the freedom of open source software, Abhishek Kumar has created CutePress. This new WordPress app takes the code of the official client, revises the feature set, and wraps it up in a QML user interface. Has he improved on the original? Read on to find out.
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Given that CutePress is based on the official WordPress client, this review will describe and compare both. When discussing features that apply to both clients we’ll refer to them as “the mobile client”. We reviewed WordPress for Nokia in 2010 – consider this an update.
Loading screen and signing in.
The official WordPress client for Nokia has been around for a couple of years, and in that time received regular updates from a community of open source developers. It is a reliable option for blogging on the move, while hiding much of the complexity that managing a blog involves with a clean user interface.
The mobile client allows you to work on multiple blogs – it doesn’t matter whether they are hosted on your server or WordPress.com. Once logged on, you are able to view posts, pages, and comments. Pages and posts can be created, edited and deleted. You can view posts as they will look on your blog, and add comments. However, it is not possible to view a static page on the mobile client, which is a rather strange omission.
Viewing your content.
While editing posts or pages you are able to set the title, tags and categories. Tags are freeform text entry fields, but categories are selected from a list (to which you can add new categories). You can also add a password, and set the publication time and date – useful for delaying a post until most of your readers will be online, or to coincide with events. Posts can also be saved as public, private or drafts.
The editor used for posts and pages is a plain text input field with toolbar buttons for adding simple formatting: bold, italic, blockquote, code and hyperlink. Each button inserts a corresponding HTML tag, and tapping a second time will insert the closing tag. The buttons save some time, but there’s nothing to stop you writing your own HTML code.
There are also buttons for inserting images and videos. It’s possible to select content that’s either stored on your WordPress.com account or stored on your phone. However, the mobile client isn’t able to access content stored on a self-hosted blog. Once an image has been uploaded, the confirmation page gives you the option of inserting the necessary embedding HTML into your post. However, the preset WordPress image sizes (small, medium, and large) are not offered as options, so you will have to tweak the HTML to adjust the image size manually.
In my testing of the mobile client, video uploading to a self-hosted blog failed. The phone froze for an extended period, on investigation I found that no file had been uploaded to my server.
Dealing with comments.
The Comments section of the mobile client lists excerpts, but each can be expanded to show the full text by simply tapping. Long pressing on a comment brings up a context menu allowing you to approve/unapprove, reply, delete, or mark as spam. I like how this is done, but it does require the user to presume that further options are available via a long press.
Differences between CutePress and WordPress
While we’ve covered a lot of common ground between CutePress and WordPress, there has been a significant amount of work done on differentiating the two – in both functions and design.
The most obvious change is the dark colour scheme, which is much friendlier to AMOLED screens. The whole user interface has been recast in line with the Nokia Belle style guide. While WordPress has a clean appearance, CutePress looks tidier and more attractive.
Split-screen keyboard in CutePress.
A functional aspect of WordPress that really spoils the user experience is that the editor launches a fullscreen keyboard, which makes handling large blocks of text impractical. CutePress improves on this by making use of Symbian Anna’s split-screen keyboard facility. Scrolling through text shown in the editor box is easy, and tapping anywhere launches the standard keyboard on the lower half of the screen.
WordPress includes a statistics page that lets you see how popular your blog has been. However, this is only supported with WordPress.com blogs. Unfortunately, this has been removed from CutePress.
Both WordPress and CutePress are available for free. Abhishek Kumar should be commended for taking the source code of the Nokia WordPress client and creating a much easier to use interface. Having used both, the only reason I can see for choosing WordPress is if you absolutely have to have analytics about your blog. Otherwise, CutePress will make your mobile blogging life much easier. Since they’re free – why not install both?!
David Gilson, 19th January 2012
Reviewed by David Gilson at