Improved Offline Publishing

The best technology is invisible and reliable. You almost forget it’s there, because things just work. Bad technology never disappears into the background — it’s always visible, and worse, it gets in your way. We rarely stop to think “My, what good Wifi!” But we sure notice when the Wifi is iffy.

Good technology in an app requires solid offline support. A WordPress app should give you a seamless, reliable posting experience, and you shouldn’t have to worry whether you’re online or offline while using WordPress Mobile. And if we’ve done our jobs right, you won’t have to! 

We all need fewer worries in life, so if you haven’t already head to https://apps.wordpress.com/get/ to download the apps.

Offline Publishing

On the go and without a connection?  No worries! The apps will now remember your choices and once you’re back online,your content will be saved and published as requested.  But if you changed your mind about publishing a post while you’re still offline, you can still safely cancel it.

The new Offline Publishing flow.

This improved publishing flow comes together with a revamped UI for yourf post status.  You’ll be able to clearly see which posts are pending, saving or publishing.

Smoother Messaging

We removed several alerts that were being presented while you were offline.  These blocking alerts required you to take action but often provided no insights on either what the problem was, or how to resolve it.

  They have been replaced with contextual non-blocking messages both within the UI, and in notices appearingright above the toolbar.

As a result, you’ll see less disruptive and uninformative alerts, and more inline and informative messages, such as the one shown above.

Safeguards

We also added some safeguards to ensure there are no surprises!

You can cancel offline publishing.

Modifying posts that are scheduled for publishing will cancel the publishing action. Don’t worry, though – you can always reschedule the post for publishing.

All queued save and publishing operations will be canceled if your device stays offline for more than 48 hours.  We want you to be in complete control of what gets published and when.

Publishing to WordPress from Bear Just Got Better

Sharing is a core part of the iOS experience, and WordPress is committed to helping people share their stories, products, or services freely and widely.  So when the fine folks at Shiny Frog—makers of the excellent writing app Bear—asked for an easier way turn Bear notes into WordPress posts, we enthusiastically said yes. We’ve been working together to create a great publishing experience, and today Bear and WordPress both have app updates that incorporate this latest and greatest integration.

Go ahead, give it a try!

A 10 second screen recording of the process of sharing a note from Bear to WordPress

The Bear and WordPress apps work together seamlessly to turn your note into a fully-formatted blog post.

  • Update your Bear and WordPress apps to make sure you’re using the latest versions.
  • Open Bear, and tap the share icon at the top right of a note.
  • Tap WordPress in the top row of options (learn how to enable app extensions on iOS).
  • The WordPress app will open and prepare a new blog post with the contents of your note, complete with proper formatting of headings, links, formatting, lists, and even photos.

To automatically give your blog post a title, make sure your Bear note begins with an H1. You’re all set—the only thing left to do is publish.

How we did it

If you’re curious about the technical details: our mobile team updated the app to support TextBundle files shared from other apps. On Bear’s end, the app now knows WordPress for iOS supports TextBundle, and automatically shares notes in that format.

TextBundle is made for sharing plain text files that include attachments like photos, and since it’s  built on an open standard, other developers can integrate their apps with it. If you’re an app developer looking to improve your WordPress publishing experience, you can start with Shiny Frog’s open source TextBundle library, the same one that’s used in WordPress for iOS.

Finally, if you try out this new integration, let us know what you think! Download the WordPress mobile app for iOS and Android.

Customize Your WordPress.com Dashboard

We’re happy to announce new improvements to your WordPress.com dashboard for a more accessible and customized experience. From your desktop, you can now customize your dashboard by choosing one of our two new color schemes, Classic Bright for a fresh modern feel and Classic Blue as the standard you’ve known and loved. As part of our commitment to inclusive design, these new colors have been optimized for higher contrast and increased legibility with a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.

Examples of color contrast before and after in color.
Color
Examples of color contrast before and after in grayscale.
Grayscale

We’ll soon be introducing additional color scheme options that will continue our mission of a better more accessible web for everyone.

Here’s how to customize your color scheme:

  1. On your desktop, sign in to your WordPress.com account that you’d like to customize.
  2. Click your account avatar in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Account Settings
  4. Under Dashboard Color Scheme select an option

Have ideas for color schemes you’d like to see? Please comment below.

A New Way to Manage Your Pages on the WordPress Mobile Apps

We’ve made a small change to the WordPress mobile apps to make it easier for you to navigate and edit your pages. In previous versions of WordPress for iOS and Android, your pages were ordered by the date they were created as opposed to what your actual page hierarchy looks like on your website. Users told us they found it difficult to find the page they were looking to edit, so we’ve now updated this section to match the layout of your site.

Here’s how to try it out

First, make sure you’ve updated your WordPress app to the last version. Open the app, go to the My Site section, select a site and then select Site Pages.

If a page has one or more child pages, the new layout represents the hierarchical view using an indentation on the left. If a page is a top level page, it won’t be indented.

Set a parent page

To set a parent page or a top level page, click on the [3 dots menu] on the right of the page you want to edit, then select Set Parent. The app will show you the list of the available pages and the Top level option. You can use the search bar at the top to easily find the page you are looking for. Select the option you require and tap the Done button.

Send feedback

The WordPress mobile apps are free and available on both Android and iOS. If you have any questions or feedback, reach out to our in-app support team by tapping Me → Help & Support → Contact Us. If you’re a developer and would like to contribute to the project, learn how you can get involved. Enjoy!

Upload Once, Blog Anywhere: Photos from Google

Google Photos is one of the most popular ways of storing and sharing photos online. WordPress.com is one of the most popular ways to blog. Wouldn’t it be great if they played well together — if you could use photos you’ve uploaded to Google on your site?

We thought so, too: starting today, you can browse, search, and copy photos from your Google account right from your blog posts and pages. Introducing: photos from Google!

To get started, open up your Media Library on WordPress.com and select the media source dropdown. Then choose the Photos from Your Google library option:

The first time you do this you’ll need to connect to your Google account by pressing the connect button.

Once you’re connected your WordPress.com Media Library will display your recent Google photos. Select the image you want to use, click the Insert button, and poof! The image will be copied to your Media Library and inserted into your post.

It doesn’t end there: since Google analyzes and automatically categorizes your photos, you can use their sorting to browse and search your photos whether or not you’ve added any tags or descriptions. (Thanks, Google!)

Have photos of cats you want to post? Search for “cats,” and Google picks out your cat photos. Want to create a gallery with photos of your trip to Japan? Search for “Kyoto” and you’re all set.

If you have a WordPress.com plan that offers video support, you can display videos from your Google account, too. And fear not, self-hosted WordPress users: you also can use this feature through the Jetpack plugin.

We’re working on integrating this deeper into your WordPress.com experience, and we hope to integrate more services with WordPress.com in the future. You can find more help at our Photos from Google support page, or by contacting us.

Join Us in the Fight for Net Neutrality

Automattic strongly believes in a free and open Internet and it’s hard to imagine a truly open Internet without Net Neutrality.

What Is Net Neutrality?

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but very powerful principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. Whether you’re reading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming Game of Thrones on HBO GO, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your Internet service provider delivers the Internet to you at the same speed, without blocking, throttling, or charging extra tolls based on the content you’re viewing. You can learn more about Net Neutrality and why it’s important by visiting battleforthenet.com.

Net Neutrality gives all online businesses, large and small, a chance to reach customers and succeed. It also protects important free speech rights online by prohibiting Internet providers from slowing or blocking sites or messages they don’t agree with.

Net Neutrality means an Internet where businesses, products, and ideas thrive or fail based on their own merit — not on whether they have a preferred deal in place with a broadband service provider.

We think this is the way the Internet should work, and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreed when they adopted their landmark Open Internet Order in 2015, enshrining Net Neutrality into law.

The debate leading up to the Order’s adoption saw scores of Internet companies (like Automattic) and millions of Internet users – including the President of the United States – stand up against powerful cable monopolies, and in support of strong Net Neutrality protections. Our voices won an important victory for the open Internet.

But…

Net Neutrality is Under Attack, Again

In May 2017, under the very misleading moniker: “Restoring Internet Freedom,” the FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, proposed to repeal the popular Net Neutrality rules. Though millions of Internet users support the rules, powerful cable and Internet providers would like nothing more than to repeal them, so that they can act as paid gatekeepers of what we see online. Indeed, without Net Neutrality, the Internet would look a lot more like cable TV, where the content you see is what your cable provider is paid to put in front of you.

We have to stop that from happening.

Take Action to Protect Net Neutrality

July 12 is an Internet-wide day of action in support of Net Neutrality. If you share our love of the free and open Internet and want to join the fight to preserve it, please join in!

Please take a moment today to help by:

(1) sending a message of support to the FCC, which you can do by visiting battleforthenet.com and

(2) enabling the Fight for Net Neutrality Plugin on your WordPress site, to show your support and encourage others to take action, too. Instructions for installing the plugin on your site are below.

Fight for Net Neutrality on Your WordPress Site

For this day of action, we’ve built a “Fight for Net Neutrality” plugin that you can enable now on your WordPress site to show support for this important cause.

For WordPress.com sites:

Turn the plugin on by going to your Settings tab on your dashboard. At the top of the Settings menu, you will see a toggle switch – flip it to on (blue) to enable the Net Neutrality plugin:

Screen Shot

For WordPress sites (not hosted on WordPress.com):

First, visit the WordPress.org plugin directory to download and install the Net Neutrality Plugin – here.

Then, once installed on your site, go to your wp-admin, Settings > Fight for Net Neutrality, and enable the plugin, like so:

Regardless of where you host your WordPress – enabling the plugin will replace a few of the posts on your site with a “Still Loading” spinner…to show what life will be like on an Internet without Net Neutrality, that features dreaded slow lanes.

The plugin will also display a banner that shows your support for Net Neutrality, and links to battleforthenet.com, where visitors to your site can send a letter to the FCC about this important issue.

After the day of action, the plugin will automatically disable, and your site will return to normal.

Together we can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us in this important battle for the open Internet!

Launching: All New Media Picker for Android

imageThere’s this… thing… in the Android WordPress app that we refer to as the “seven-item menu.” It would show up when trying to add a photo to confront you with a list of choices and we confess, we couldn’t always remember what option we wanted, either.

As of the 7.3 release, the seven-item menu is gone! We’ve replaced it with an all-new — and much more streamlined — media picker. See your recent photos below your post, multi-select using long-touch, browse your site’s media library, take a picture — all without leaving the app.

We know that for many of you, your smartphone is your camera. We’re working to make the best place to manage your WordPress media the place where you keep it — your phone. This is just the beginning of the improvements you can expect to see. If you haven’t already, download WordPress for Android on Google Play, give it a try, and let us know what you think!

A New WordPress App Update, Designed for the iPad

Over the past few months we’ve been working to dramatically improve users’ experience on iPad — and we’re proud to share those with you now, in our WordPress app for iOS, available in the iTunes Store.

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The apps were originally designed with only iPhones in mind, so we wanted to make better use of the space available on the iPad and especially iPad Pro, to maximize your productivity in the app. These changes shipped incrementally, with the very final ones being included in the 7.1 release that went out last week.

We’ve improved the My Sites management to make it easier to handle multiple sites on iPad. Now you can see the posts from that blog alongside the list of blogs, and site management is now all on one screen – no more back and forth!

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Managing profiles follows the same pattern.

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Notifications has been overhauled, too.

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We’re really excited about these improvements and hope iPad users of WordPress will be, too! We look forward to continuing to improve your WordPress experience, no matter what device you use.

Get the app on iTunes.

Save Your Favorite Images and Media on WordPress.com, Anytime

We’ve added a new media section to your WordPress.com dashboard, allowing you to bulk upload, edit, and tweak your media files. Let’s look at the changes:

Upload Media in Bulk

Add new items in bulk by going to MediaAdd New to activate the file picker. You can also drag and drop items right onto the page.

Edit Media

Now you can edit media files as you add them to your post or directly from the media section. To modify media information like the title or caption, select the items you would like to edit, then click Edit.

In the details view, you can update the title, caption, and description. Any changes made in these fields will be saved automatically for you.

Edit Photos

If you have a photo that needs to be cropped or rotated you can now update this here, too! From the media detail view select Edit Image.

In the Image Editor (see this guide for full instructions), you can crop, rotate, and flip images directly on WordPress.com.

If you’re happy with the changes you’ve made, select Done.

Search

Finding a previously uploaded media item is easier, too. Go to the filter tabs to sort media by file type, or select the magnifying glass to open the search field and search for images by title. In the details view, you can copy the URL link for use in a new post or page.

We hope you enjoy these updates to your Media Library!

Introducing WordPress.com for Google Docs: A New Way Forward for Collaborative Editing

We are happy to announce WordPress.com for Google Docs, a new add-on that lets you write, edit, and collaborate in Google Docs, then save it as a blog post on any WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected WordPress site. Your images and most formatting will carry over too. No more copy-and-paste headaches!

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To get started, just go to the Google Web Store page and click to install it.

You will be prompted to give our plugin access to post on your behalf, and then you are ready to write.

When you’re ready to save a Google Docs draft as a blog post, go to the Add-ons menu and open WordPress.com for Google Docs. A sidebar will appear where you can add WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected sites.

Click the Save Draft button — when it’s saved, a preview link will appear so you can see how it looks on your site. Edit the post in WordPress.com to make any small tweaks, then hit publish when you’re ready to go live!

You can find the source code on GitHub if you want to take a closer look at how things work. And, of course, this post was composed in Google Docs and posted with the WordPress.com Add-on for Google Docs.