Blogging with iPhone Video Update and Lessons Learned

You may have received updates about my tutorial video on blogging with the iPhone. I recorded several takes last night in my state-of-the-art dining room tabletop studio but could not get the audio to work once I transferred the video to my computer. I’m using a JVC Everio hard drive camera that has caused difficulty for others trying to do the same thing but had to give up after several attempts and a puppy begging for my attention. As soon as I get the audio figured out, you can look forward to this and other video seminars and reviews. Watch out Paramount, here I come.

Interestingly enough, while working through my silent movie demonstrations of remote blogging, I discovered several disadvantages of iPhone blogging:

1. Whether you use the keyboard in landscape mode or portrait orientation, you MUST review your entry for spelling errors. I pride myself on being a fairly critical editor but for all its ease of use and predictive text glory, the iPhone keyboard is not as error-free as the chicklet keyboards found on Treos, Q’s, iPAQ’s, Blackjacks, etc. I would purchase a Bluetooth keyboard for the iPhone without a second thought but so far Apple has not released drivers for this use and probably won’t as they believe the virtual keyboard is sufficient. It’s good, just not great for extended typing if you don’t have extended patience.

2. Lack of copy and paste functionality continues to be a big problem. You can’t drag over text and use a hotkey combination to copy, place your cursor, and then paste. Bloggers need this for easy hyperlinking within their entries. On the iPhone, the only workarounds I’ve figured out are to share a page link by emailing the link to your blog email address and editing the content of the message around the included link or worse, writing the web address out on a piece of paper and retyping it into a blog post. Depending on the number of links you want to include in a message and the length of the addresses, this is only practical for short messages with easily transcribed web addresses.

3. While I’m on the topic of hotkeys, shortcut functions seem to be missing on the iPhone. With Palm devices, you can customize shortcuts to allow you to insert preferred text strings when the shortcut commands are executed. This feature is great for inserting long names or email addresses and any other text you use often. Given the probability that you will make typing mistakes with the iPhone, it would be wonderful to have the ability to create custom shortcuts. Bloggers would use them for writing HTML to avoid the back and forth shifting between letters, numbers, and special symbols on three iPhone keyboards and when logging on to social networks and forums that require your email address as your account name. It’s all about ease of data entry and minimizing mistakes that waste time.

This post is long enough and since I’m using my iPhone, I need to re-read it to check for errors. Scrolling up and down within large text boxes while using the on-screen keyboard would be my fourth issue with using the iPhone for blogging. The screen doesn’t always respond to the fine level of scrolling required to do this quickly and you’ll need to play around a little to get the cursor placed. All in all, it works and hopefully it will get better as the phone software and hardware are enhanced. The video is coming soon and once it’s up, you’ll be among the first to know.

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