The iPad might finally be an honest-to-goodness blogging tool, thanks to Blogsy. Earlier this summer, I wrote about using BlogPress and WordPress on the iPad and found both apps to be limited. Blogsy, on the other hand, is fully featured yet easy to use--and well worth its $4.99 price. Allow me to walk you through using the app in this brief tutorial.
When you launch the app, you'll see a large work area with a formatting menu along the top and a column of icons to the right. Swipe sideways on the work area and you'll switch between a rich text editor (Rich Side) and an HTML editor (Write Side). The Write Side has a dark gray background and is what you use to enter text, edit HTML, and paste embed codes. The Rich Side has a white background and is used to drag and drop images, videos, and links; format text; and tweak images and videos.
To get started, tap the gear-and-pencil icon in the upper left corner. It calls up a menu where you can give the post a title, save a draft, choose a publish date, and add labels (aka tags). From this menu, you can also open saved drafts by tapping the Local button along the top and edit published posts by tapping the Online button.
The icons running down the right side are used to link to your Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube accounts. There is also an icon for Google Image Search, which you can use to grab images for your posts, and another for browsing your iPad's photo gallery. If you select a photo from your iPad, you can choose to upload it to Flickr, Picasa, or your WordPress Media Library. To upload a photo, simply tap on it from the preview column, drag it to the envelope of your choosing, and hit the "Tap to upload" link. You'll then be able to drag uploaded images to your post in Blogsy.
You can also drag images directly from a Web site. Tap the compass icon in the right-hand column and a small window slides out. Enter a URL at the top, tap on an image from whichever site you are viewing, and drag it over to the Blogsy work area. It makes it almost too easy to violate copyright laws.
Below the icons along the right side is a gear icon in the corner. Tap on it to call up the settings menu. From here, tap the Service Settings button and you can choose your blog platform: WordPress, Blogger, or Posterous.
What makes Blogsy superior to BlogPress and WordPress is the ease with which you can add and manipulate photos and videos. Tap on the Flickr or Picasa icon and a narrow column appears just to the left where you can browse your account. Thumbnails appear in another narrow column to the left, and you can then drag them into your post. Just by dragging the photo, you can select to align it with the left, right, or center of your post. And once you drop it in the post, you can tap on the photo to edit various image settings. Most helpful of all is a slider that lets you adjust the size of the image. Videos work the same way, but instead of a slider to adjust the size, you are given four sizes from which to choose. The preview that Blogsy provides in the Rich Side view is very accurate as to what your live post will look like.
To publish, you can tap the gear-pencil icon and hit the Publish button or just swipe up with three fingers to access a publish menu. The only fault I have found so far with Blogsy is that it frequently crashes when I try to add labels to a post. If you keep tagging to a minimum, iPad bloggers should find lot to like about Blogsy.
Do you have a favorite blogging app for the iPad? If so, hit the comments below.