Around the World Travel. Part 17 (Blogging from an iPad)

Blogging from the road is becoming the main stay of the modern traveler. Thus all the necessary forms of electronics are required for such an endeavor. When I thought long and hard about blogging and the gear I would need, I assumed I would bring my 12″ Mac and hit the road…that is, until I discovered the wonderful world of the wowing iPad. It was love at first hold (1.5 pounds). Plus with up to 10 hours of use between charges and ability to store movies and ibooks, it was a no brainer.

After that encounter in the Apple store, I knew I could never travel with my heavy, bulky MAC again. Thus, I prepared my iPad for the rigorous tests it would soon endure. I have been blogging on my iPad since June 9, 2010. Here is how I am doing it.

DSCN0876 225x300 Around the World Travel. Part 17 (Blogging from an iPad)

64 gigs of pure joy!

PHOTOS

Pictures are a natural part of vacations now and here are a couple good apps I am using for editing these memories.

  • Photogene App ($1.99)- lets me crop, adjust sizes, and trick out all my photos
  • Impressions App ($0)- let’s me add a watermark to all my blog photos (yes, there are several WP plugins that do the same but the iPad severely limits what you can do from Safari in terms of editing photos)
  • Please see hardware for uploading photos to iPad

VIDEO

The chink in iPad’s armor. From the road, there is no way to upload Flip video to your iPad. , Only way currently involves a converter on a Mac and the transfer of that video to iPad vis iTunes. I wait patiently for a workaround as my Flip collects dust.

UPDATE: I have since discovered that video taken from my camera uploads beautifully into my iPad through iPhoto. Still no hope for video taken on your Flip,but something is better than nothing.

Tip: Save some space on your iPad by uploading video to an online storage site. I use the Uploadingit.com App- It was free to register and I received 20 gb of space for $0. They are working on the ability to upload photos and video directly from the App instead of the current email option.

HARDWARE

There are several hardware addons in the marketplace for the iPad, the most important for the blogger is the USB/SD card converters. These are the quickest, cleanest way to get your photos on your iPad. Cost is about $30 for the pair (see below).

Note: The USB connector will also upload video from your camera and it appears like a photo in your iphoto with a little play button. One gaping flaw is the inability to create albums in iPhoto from iPad. This must be currently done from iTunes.

 Around the World Travel. Part 17 (Blogging from an iPad)
Wireless keyboard is another overlooked but important device. Originally it was intended to alleviate some of my carpel tunnel issues but have noticed that the arrow keys are vital when using Safari to edit your blog posts. Currently, there are no arrow keys available on the iPad keyboard.

BLOGGING

So, blogging is not super pretty on the iPad. Until someone creates a better system or workaround, you are stuck with a clunky way I describe below. 1st, you need to upload the WordPress App ($0). Not the most robust blogging app but it allows the 1 feature that using Safari won’t, the ability to upload photos. 2nd, bookmark your Safari WordPress account with automatic login (you will be switching back and forth between these 2). The WordPress App severely limits what you can do behind the scenes on the blog so the Safari WordPress account is vital if you want to make tweaks to the post via your plugins. Currently, the browser only allows editor access to posts in html mode and you can not upload photos or videos.

Creating a Post

  1. Login to your Safari WordPress account.
  2. Create a new post, write away, & save.
  3. To add photos, login to WordPress App.
  4. Add your desired amount of photos & save. Note: WordPress App uploads all of your images at the bottom of each post.
  5. Log back into your Safari WordPress account.
  6. Fix any photo placement issues or adjust any personalized settings via your plugins. To date, I haven’t noticed any issues with plugins while using the Safari browser.

Note: The WordPress App will not let you edit photos you upload in any way. You must re-size, add captions, rotate, etc in your photo editing app. There is a nice preview option though and you can check out your handy work.

Warning: Blog posts created in the WordPress App don’t show up in your Safari WordPress account (at least not for me). They probably show up after you publish the post. In draft form, I was never able to locate a post, so I always create a new post in my Safari WordPress account 1st.

Warning 2: The WordPress App crashes sometimes when adding photos. Takes me 2-3 attempts to add a single photo at times.

Warning 3: The WordPress App does have the cut & paste feature but it doesn’t work 100% of the time. So, you will have to straddle between your WordPress App and Safari WordPress account for this functionality.

MONITORING

If you want to check out how your traffic or adsense are doing, there are a couple apps to try. So far, haven’t been able to find a free app that serves these purposes.

  • Analytics HD App ($6.99)- great app with dashboard to monitor all of your site. Browser version is kind of crap. 90% of capability that broswer version has from PC or MAC.
  • Ad Check App ($3.99)- built for iPhone but works on iPad. Let’s you see how your doing $ wise. Adsense.com via Safari does not work. Can’t create new Adsense ads with this app.

I have been blogging on my iPad for a couple weeks now, so if you have discovered some great workarounds or solutions to some of the issues presented here, PLEASE leave a comment!

Update: The WordPress people have been making some sw upgrades to it’s iPad app since I installed mine in May 2010. Although it’s still buggy and crashes all the time, adding photos has become easier.
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5 Responses to “Around the World Travel. Part 17 (Blogging from an iPad)”

  1. megancriley
    July 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    The blogging is def better on the IPAD but still not perfect. They have made lots of updates to wordpress to make it more stable. I suffered through the pain for the ease of toting my ipad around and using it for reading books and downloading country guides and watching movies. You can always use the ipad to upload everything you need and then use a computer at your hostel or internet cafe and tweak your work on wordpress. Just a thought.

  2. July 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I am actually getting ready to embark on a RTW for a year and plan to blog during my travels. I’m just wondering if there have been any improvements to Ipad’s functionality w/ WordPress since this post was made? I was somewhat aware of my need to get a keyboard to go w/ the ipad due to the up/down arrows but I’m just now realizing that photo uploads are a bigger issue than I was aware of. In addition, having only html editing is frustrating.

    Wondering if I should just take back the Ipad and buy a Macbook air w/ the 11” Screen. I love the Ipad, its just so limiting in what I need it to do….

  3. megancriley
    July 31, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Well, when blogging, arrow keys let you naviagate the body of the blog you are writing and word press just wont let me do what I want unless I am on a keyboard (which is blue tooth by the way).

    So far so good, its been almost 2 months of blogging via my ipad and while its not perfect it comes 90% close.

    good luck!

  4. July 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    “… there are no arrow keys available on the iPad keyboard.”

    True, there are no arrows on the iPad but you can put your finger close to where you want to put your cursor, then slowly role your finger left or right and the cursor moves to where you want it to be. I’m always inserting and deleting things that way.

    Thanks for the tip on the camera kit. I just ordered one. I see that you can also plug in other USB peripherals with it, e.g., a USB keyboard.

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