Tumblr 3.0 Brings Microblogging to Your iPhone

There’s no doubt that you’ve used Tumblr at some point in your life, whether it was to follow a famous person, blog about drama or just to look up some funny GIFs. Throughout the years, there have been many ways to access the microblogging service on your iPhone, the most popular being the official app, formerly Tumblerette.

On June 21st, the folks at Tumblr decided that it was time to get their app a complete rebuild with a plethora of new features and a beautiful redesign. In Tumblr version 3.0, they introduced many highly-requested features such as high-resolution images, tag search, offline support, Spotify support and many more improvements and new features. Let’s take a look at some of the new features in Tumblr 3.0 after the break.

Getting Started

The first thing you see when opening Tumblr.

The first thing you see when opening Tumblr.

If you’ve never used the Tumblr app before, then the first thing you need to do after installing it is sign in to your account. If you don’t have one, just tap “Sign up for Tumblr” in the bottom left corner and fill out the three fields to create a microblog. Once that’s all done, the home screen of Tumblr will open and you can begin looking around.

Browsing

In the home screen, you can browse your feed that’s comprised of the blogs you follow. You’ll be able to see any post content, from pictures and videos to links ad blog posts. If you see something that’s worth reblogging, then just tap the reblog symbol – it looks like the retweet button on Twitter – to get started. A text box will appear, giving you the option to say something about what you’re reblogging. You don’t have to caption it if you don’t want to, however.

Tumblr's little refresh animation.

Tumblr's little refresh animation.

After that, you can go ahead and add some tags to the reblog post and then either choose which site you want to post it on and whether to publish it now, add it to the queue or save as a draft. There’s also an option to customize the URL of the post.

Sadly, when posting any sort of content or reblogging something, there’s no way to schedule it to be published later, which is a feature available on the website. I’ve used this functionality in the past for some articles that needed to be spaced apart a bit and it’s a nice thing to have if you want to post something when you’re not online. Hopefully Tumblr will add support for this sometime in the future.

To refresh your Tumblr feed, just pull down like you would in Twitter or Tweetbot.

You can favorite posts and save images.

You can favorite posts and save images.

Other actions you can perform in the home screen of Tumblr include favoriting a post, browsing the notes on a post, playing embedded videos hosted on YouTube, listening to music that was uploaded to Tumblr and opening an image in fullscreen. One really nice thing is that all images are now high-resolution, meaning that they’ll look a lot better on your iPhone’s Retina display and might even be higher quality than that.

You can even save images by opening one, tapping the share button and then tapping Save. Other options include emailing it and copying it to your clipboard. It’d be really nice if they added an option to share posts, images and other content on Twitter since iOS has integration for it, but I’m not sure if that’ll happen anytime soon.

A beautiful way to browse tags on Tumblr.

A beautiful way to browse tags on Tumblr.

If you’re into exploring, then consider going to the tags tab to see what’s trending on Tumblr. You can search for something that interests you or just browse around a bit. As always, just pull to refresh!

Tap any tag (#topic) in Tumblr to view posts that include it.

Composing

To write a new post, tap the compose button in the bottom right corner of Tumblr and then select the post type you’d like to use; you can write some text, upload a photo or video and share a link, quote, or chat. Once you’ve selected one, things are pretty much the same in every post type. There’ll always be a title and description, but the title is always optional. If you’re writing a text post, the “description” is actually the body of the article.

Swipe the three little dots beside the compose button up to take a picture and swipe it left to compose a text post.

The redesigned compose screen in Tumblr 3.0.

The redesigned compose screen in Tumblr 3.0.

As with reblogging, you can tap the Options button when composing to save it as a draft or add it to the queue. You can also add a custom URL if you wish. Tags are always optional, but they help to keep things organized since Tumblr doesn’t have a categorization system.

Once you’ve finished writing your Tumblr post, just click Publish and it should be posted within a few seconds. If you made a mistake, just go find your post and tap the compose button next to it to edit it. Strangely, it opens in HTML and has no support for rich text, which can be rather annoying to some. If code is an annoyance to you, then I suggest grabbing something like Byword, which will let you write in Markdown/rich text and then copy the HTML code to your clipboard.

User Interface

Tumblr 3.0 is very well designed with smooth transitions throughout. Whether you tap the compose button to start a new blog post or are just looking around, things are very polished. The app now has more of a modern feel to it with a nice dark color scheme and some light contrast. The good old Tumblr blue is still there on every screen, but the compose button’s shade of blue really doesn’t seem to mix well and looks a bit obscure. I suppose the designers thought that it could be better that way since people will see it easier, which makes sense.

It's just beautiful.

It's just beautiful.

Other than that little conflicting element, I don’t really have any complains about the new user interface and honestly love it. They’ve done a great job of making sure that you have a nice, minimal experience with the app.

A Few Issues

Tumblr for iPhone has been improved significantly in version 3.0, but there are still a few little issues here and there. Here’s a short list of issues that I’ve managed to find.

  • It’s a bit sluggish when browsing.
  • Tapping doesn’t always work and sometimes you need to tap a good five times for it to respond.
  • You can’t move the image around when you’ve zoomed in on it.

It’s Free, So Get It!

If you have a Tumblr and iPhone, check this app out.

If you have a Tumblr and iPhone, check this app out.

Even with the issues that I mentioned, Tumblr 3.0 is still the best way to post to your microblog using your Apple smartphone, not to mention it’s a free app. I’m sure the developers will get the little bugs here and there fixed up soon, so go have some fun with this beautiful new app today!


Summary

Follow your favorite bloggers and jot down your thoughts onto your own mini-blog with your iPhone.

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