WordPress for iOS 3.9 has been released and it includes some major changes. The first thing you’ll notice is that the sidebar navigation has been removed. In its place is a tab bar-based layout. This has enabled many other visual changes throughout the app. Reader, comments, and notifications have been revamped. My favorite feature in this update is seamless inline commenting. This addition makes replying to comments feel like text messaging. Keep in mind that from version 3.9 onwards will require iOS7.
My Thoughts On 3.9
I’ve upgraded the app on my iPhone 5 and without the sidebar navigation, I feel lost. The first screen that loads is Reader. From here, I have no idea what to do or where to go to access my connected sites. This is a drastic interface change that should have had a tour attached to it. I’d like to see a welcome screen or helpers added to WordPress for iOS so the feeling people get when they upgrade is not confusion or frustration. After a few minutes of using the new interface, I was able to locate my connected sites. To find your connected sites select the Me button on the bottom of the app.
Once I was comfortable navigating, I was able to appreciate the speed and responsiveness of the app. Some of this is due to the hardware within the iPhone 5. Regardless, the app is fast! I appreciate how big the Gravatars are on the comments and notifications pages. Thanks to the extra height on the iPhone 5, writing a post is easier than it was on my iPhone 4. The post editor is amazingly simple. Post title at the top, content underneath with the keyboard at the bottom. This layout works great. I like how the meta data entries are on a separate screen which enables the post editor to remain simple.
Overall this is a solid update. Congrats to the team and thanks to all of the contributors that helped make WordPress for iOS 3.9 a reality. If you would like to get involved with WordPress for iOS development, drop them a line at make.wordpress.org/mobile and grab a copy of the code at github.com/wordpress-mobile/WordPress-iOS. You can also provide feedback and follow progress via their Twitter account @WordPressiOS.
I just recently started using an iOS device, so I can’t really compare 3.9 to previous versions. However, I like it so far and the new layout seems promising.
Just as a heads up, the Android app also received an update (#). I might be a little biased, but I really dig the new Reader.