Last week, the team behind the Android app for WordPress released version 3.3 of their application. As an Android phone user, I think this is fantastic, and I upgraded immediately.
However, I'm also a Windows user ... and am still waiting for a quality app I can use on Windows to manage my WordPress sites.
Once upon a time, I used Windows Live Writer. It was a great little app that allowed me to easily push content to WordPress and preview things I was working on before I published. What's better, it allowed me to work entirely offline so I didn't need to worry about whether or not I had WiFi before drafting an article.
I usually kept a few local drafts saved to my machine and would polish them over a few weeks before publishing them.[ref]I honestly wish I took more time to polish each of my articles here before publishing. Alas, while I can be disciplined enough to publish regularly, I have yet to establish a consistent editorial calendar.[/ref] Unfortunately for me, Live Writer only maintained its own drafts and refused to pull down existing drafts or publications from a live site.
I could create in Live Writer. Publish from Live Writer. Edit from Live Writer. But if the article originated in WordPress itself, it was invisible to the desktop product.
I love the Android app because it allows me to draft (locally, without WiFi), push drafts to WordPress, pull existing drafts from WordPress, and edit whatever I need to. Unlike Live Writer, it also integrates with comments and, thank goodness, WordPress.com statistics for when I need an ego boost.[ref]Or I just want to see how many people hated an opinion I have enough to re-share my article for community ridicule.[/ref]
Unfortunately (again) the Android app doesn't run on a Windows machine.[ref]Well ... it does. But I had to boot up a bunch of local emulation software to make it work. Not very sustainable, and not very user-friendly.[/ref]
Neither does, obviously, the iOS app. Or the Windows Phone app.
Actually, the Windows Phone app has been deprecated (according to a statement by Matt Mullenweg during his the State of the Word address). I was able to get it to run on my Windows machine (again, thanks to local emulation) but it felt like I still had a way to go to be on-par with the Android app.
In a world where more often we assume users are already connected and online, I have to wonder how permanent the shift away from desktop will become. WordPress itself is fully responsive for a great mobile experience, but the admin interface still relies on heavy server-side code. If you're not online, WordPress (in its current state) is nearly unusable.
The mobile apps are a bit better, allowing local drafts and management. But still, they're mobile apps that run on phones. I use the mobile app for short posts or quick edits to existing media. I have yet to write a piece of content longer than 200 words on my phone. The input aesthetic for mobile sucks.
I'm not making any grandiose predictions about the future here, just making an observation about trends. The trends seem to suggest a growing emphasis on mobile usage and a growing assumption that we're always connected. I'm personally at odds with both - I think mobile and desktop both have their uses, and I frequently seek ways to work while not being connected.
Is there room in the future for both mindsets?