Tumbleroo? We’re Not There Yet iPad Tumblrers
First off, good thing that the Tumblr apps are beginning to roll out. It’s about time. So I was super excited when I saw that this came out but I gotta say I’m really disappointed with it so far. Also, this is a long-ish review, but bear with it if Tumblr is part of your everyday experience.
Until now we’ve been using Tumblr on the iPad through Safari or other browsers and the shortcomings (or the potential of something way better) was very clear. Tumbleroo in my opinion does not enhance that experience at all. Except maybe in making emailing posts and liking them somewhat easier. And liking was already straightforward enough in the browser experience.
So what do I as a Tumblr user want from an iPad app:
1) Fast and smooth browsing (so some preloading of content is necessary)
2) The most flexibility and options you can get in posting your own content and other content from the web (be it content through links, content on your iPad, or reblogs from Tumblr etc,)
3) Straightforward tracking of your posts and your blogs. That includes editing, likes and reblogs, questions, and followers.
4) Not to have anything from the desktop experience to be missing and ideally to use the intuitiveness of the iPad to add to that experience.
In short, I don’t think it should be Tumblr “light”. If there’s any device that seems to be MADE for the fast and simple style of blogging of Tumblr it has to be the iPad, right?
So how about Tumbleroo:
It does a pretty good job of the first point. So browsing on it is actually a nicer and more fluid experience and I like that each post is the center of attention while you’re reading it or looking at it as opposed to being just a short piece of the never-ending Tumblr string which can sometimes be distracting. Image and video browsing here is really really good.
BUT, and unfortunately, it fails in most of the above and here’s why:
1) (and most importantly I think), you can’t post photos or files from the iPad. So you can’t use any photos or drawings in my photo library in posts (what?!!!). You can’t insert photos into your text posts. You can’t insert links into your text posts or photo captions.
2) You don’t see the followed tags in your dashboard which is an essential feature of Tumblr. So if you’re following posts tagged ‘Dogs’ for instance, you’ll have to go to your browser for that.
3) You don’t see notes on any of the posts. So you can’t know how many likes or reblogs or whether there are any notes at all.
4) The previous lack of display of notes applies to your own posts!!! So when you’re viewing your own post there’s nothing to tell you if someone had liked or reblogged you. I find it mind-boggling that I can’t view notes on my own posts!
5) Clicking on any blog to go to it (which is done within the application, and that’s good) sends you to the blog but then it’s not recognizing who you are. So it shows the “follow” and “join Tumblr” buttons in the top corner even if you’re logged in and following the Tumblr you’re viewing. So following someone from here is actually not that easy.
Those are such essential parts of my Tumblr experience both for the consumption and production of content that I’ll just have to set it aside until an update makes it something more than a browse-and-like application. Great job on the layout and good for them for breaking the Tumblr ice. Will be eagerly waiting for a serious upgrade or something better to come along.