Have you looked at the WordPress app yet? You don’t need to be a WordPress blogger to find it useful. The Reader component is delightful. It’s designed for WordPress blogs but it can also follow other blog platforms. Here’s a quick tour of the reader basics. A later post will look at adding and organizing feeds.
Here you see the latest news items in my reader. The orange button tells me there is another new post waiting for me to read. Just above that, the bell icon will light up when I have any kind of notification. The circle to the left of it is my gravatar and clicking it will take me to my profile page. Clicking the pencil icon will take me to the WordPress editor.
Click on a post title to display the entire article. The sidebar disappears to make reading easier. At the top of the screen is a return arrow which will take you back to your feed. The icons on the right allow you to share, comment, like and manage this article. Note that if the originating blog has turned off any of these features, the icons will not appear.
You can click on the site name (above the title) to view the originating site. When a site uses tags to organize content, you can click on the tag(s) found under the title to view other posts on that site tagged with the same keywords.
The Share feature works much like sharing on Facebook. It presents you with a list of your WordPress sites. Choose the one you want to share to and it will then display your post editor screen (from the editing part of the WordPress app) with an excerpt from the originating post and a link to it. You can edit it further before publishing it on your blog.
When you “like” a post, two things happen. The post’s author will be notified that you liked it and the article will be saved to the My Likes section found in the Reader’s sidebar.
The commenting system is also similar to Facebook. In this example, someone has already commented on this post so I have several options. If I click in the comment box and start typing, my comment will be about the post. I can also respond to another commenter by clicking the Reply icon immediately under his comment. That comment will appear indented under his comment. Here I just clicked the Like icon to show I liked what he said. There is also an @username function similar to Twitter’s. You can include an @username reference within the text of a comment and that user will be notified. I like that!
The WordPress apps are free and available for both desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux) and mobile (iOS and Android) devices. You will need a free WordPress.com account to use it. Note that self-hosted WordPress users need the Jetpack plugin installed to connect their sites. During the Jetpack set up process, you create a WordPress account which is then used to connect your site in the app.