SquareSpace have announced a complete iOS app overhaul. Blog and Metrics are new apps, Portfolio and Notes are updated for iOS. I’m more interested in the updated apps.
The buggy SquareSpace manager appears to have dissapeared form the App Store, too often I was confronted with a message along the lines of ‘this post was created by layout engine and is too complex to edit’. This was usually just a few images and some markdown text, hardly complex.
It’s not often an app changes my behaviour but this one has. I’ve started putting my drafts in the app and writing more. As soon I opened the app my brain started drafting posts because it hits 90% of what I need to do on a regular basis.
I’ve focussed on what I can do with the app rather than the limitations, which I’ll get to. Coming from using Editorial it’s a very clean interface on my iPad which means its a great place for distraction free writing.
So what does this app do that has changed the way I think? Just a few quick things:
- I can managed my drafts from within the App, previously I was doing my writing in Editorial and converting the markdown to html, then pasting it into the app, which usually crashed. Then I had to do most of the fixing in the web app, which is also buggy and has some inexplicably frustrating behaviour.
- I can easily app images within the post.
- I can add tags, categories, change the post status, enable comments as well as add the source url for reference style posts.
- As it’s univeral app I use it on the iPhone too, which is great for quick changes or additions.
Sadly I’ve found metrics a little buggy, so far I’ve had to reinstall the app a few times as it failed to pull back data. So far it seems to be working and if it continues then great. It has the key numbers big and bold and it’s easy to get into the detail if you want. It’s very easy to customise and if you manage multiple SquareSpace sites then I can see this being an essential app to install.
Ok so they haven’t got everything right in Blog:
- Sometimes it renders the markdown and sometimes it previews the html, it’s not very how to control this.
- It only edit/add to the blog, I can’t edit other pages from the app.
- I can’t add a blog excerpt.
- I can’t do some of the more advanced layout engine things, like embedding video.
- There are no markdown buttons to speed up entry, also it still doesn’t support things like footnotes but that’s MultiMarkdown so I suppose that’s acceptable.
- No autoshare to social networks, this isn’t a biggie as I have buffer to do that, but it’s another step.
All in all some great new apps which are moving SquareSpace toward mobile a lot more and as I have less and less access to my Mac that’s where I’m heading too.