Tublme’s Icon - but what does it mean?
I’m writing this from Tublme. Its the second time I’ve made a post to Tumblr in my 9 month stint on Tumblr outside of a web browser. For a quick and dirty explanation, Tublme, is Tumblr Client for OS X by newcomer, Raken Studio, giving Tumblr a native OS X experience.
Tumblr’s WYSIWYG editor for in browser is pretty solid, but always keeps me at an arms length, more often than not, I’m hand writing my posts in HTML. Its probably the reason why I don’t update my blog as much as I’d like to think I do. I’ve had some interest for some time now about purchasing a Tumblr client, but none of them moved me, that is until I discovered Tublme.
Browser window is sleek and small
I use Tumblr differently than most people. I rarely browse and I mostly post. When I was considering a blog platform, I wanted the lowest maintenance blog possible with the best interface. I didn’t want to manage/police comments, I didn’t care to track my visitors. Quite frankly, all I wanted to do is write.
That said, as a browser, Tublme as almost as good using native iOS Tumblr App or the website itself. I found myself a little miffed that I couldn’t view separate streams between my two Tumblr user names (Under one account), but instead was presented content in a simultaneous stream. Other than that, browser was fast and quick. New posts are automatically loaded in and even show in Notifications. For the truly Tumblr browsing addicted, Tublme will keep you more connected than ever and you don’t need to keep Tumblr open in a window. It even sports an optional menu bar widget (Thank you devs for making it optional) .
Tublme is exceptionally good for managing multiple seperate tumblr accounts. Users can easily bounce between seperate logins without much thought, through quick keyboard commands at that. The devs get bonus points for including account icons in the account drop downs.
However, notifications don’t have any real options, its either on or off. Those following 100 Tumblr probably will want to turn off the feature after being flooded with new posts constantly. I’d suggest to the developers adding notify only when preferred users post but I understand the hurdles thsi would take.
Also, even when notifications are disabled within the app, I had the problem of receiving blog updates notifications. The faulty notifications on/off bug can easily be solved in OS X’s prefrences. Simply go to Notifications preference pane in the OS X preferences, locate Tublme in the list and turn off notifictions.
My biggest annoyance with Tumblr is the posting process so I pinned my biggest hopes on Tublme. Tumblr is not a bad site, in fact its quite good, although its best suited for quick under-formatted tools. It can be used as a full blogging platform but lacks formatting tools. Instead, I’m constantly bounching into the HTML editor.
Tublme as whole, its quite beautiful and easy to use. During the process I accidentally closed my window. Reopening the post item window brought up my incomplete post, something a browser couldn’t do. Tublme also gets bonus points for including Markdown as an option over HTML.
I found it easier and much improved over using Tumblr but it had a few glaring omissions.
- You cannot add images to text posts
- Previously used tags aren’t recognized
- Despite enabling check spelling, misspelled words are not highlighted
It was disappointing, for an app that shows quite a bit of polish in many areas to lack a few essential features. Posting picture posts was simple and fast, drag and drop. Browsing previous posts a was fast, and worked exceptionally well.
In all regards, I preferred Tublme but was held back by the inability easily spell check and add pictures to a post. To add my screenshots to this post I had to save this post in my queue and add the pictures the post via tumblr.com. It defeats the purpose.
Interestingly, once the images were inserted into the post, I could edit the image proportions in the WYSIWYG editor. Tiublme has image support but doesn’t let you add images.
I also encountered an interesting glitch. After a link is inserted, the highlighted text can be click, which will transport the user to the linked page… within Tublme. Without a back button, its impossible to return the post. Closing the Edit window does not seem to rectify the problem as the window opens back up to the linked page regardless of the post loaded. The only fix is to quit the app and reopen. Fortunately, you are still able to save any unsaved work even if its displaying the inccorect page.
Lastly, uploaded images within text posts are displayed non-retina regardless if the image is scaled or not. This doesn’t affect your tumblr’s content. High resolution images will appear in their full high-rez glory on your Tumblr feed… just not within Tublme. Its purely an aesthetic gripe.
Since Tublme isn’t Tumblr, I’d really have liked to have Headline tags and <small> tags in the formatting bar. Tumblr already has bold, italic, strike, links, ordered and unordered lists, link breaks and quotes.
I still have to bounce into the HTML editor to add headlines (<h1>, <h2> etc) tags and <small> tags for image captions.
Alignment could be appended to my wishlist but anything that writes inline styles from a developer’s perspective is less-than-ideal.
Lastly, from a UX developer’s perspective, I’d suggest the “Edit Text Post” window name be reflected in the Window menu. There’s some dissoance when clicking the window menu reads “new post” and the window you’re looking for is “Edit Text Post”.
Tublme faces an uphill battle, according the developers, the limitations of the Tumblr API make it impossible for the developers to add:
- Messages and questions
- Changing your Tumblr Account Settings
- Answers to posts
- Synchronization of saved searches
None of these are deal breakers for me but are important to consider before you pull the trigger. All of the above features can still be accessed via HTTP in your web browser.
At $9.99, Tublme provides an exceptionally good interface, fitting of an OS X application with some minor hiccups. If they add the ability to add other media types to Text posts and spell checking, I’ll be a total convert. I’d love to see a few more post formatting options as well.
Should you buy it? That depends. If you rely on any of the missing features you might find yourself on miffed.
There are other OS X tumblr blog editors to check out, although Milk appears to be the only full suite application that offers Tublme-like features.
Tublme succeeds far more than it fails and provides a beautiful front-end interface to Tumblr. Quite frankly, it feels like Pixelmator, and that’s a good thing. It still has a bit of bug squashing before I can whole heartedly recommend it.
Raken, if you’re out there listening, keep up the good work. Tublme is almost the killler app for Tumblr.
Tublme: Mac App Store
January 13th, 2015 Update:
Tumble Me Has gone through several minor updates, last update in Nov 6th, 2014 and a price drop from $9.99 to $4.99. A few of my biggest gripes have been fixed, most notably the spell check while typing.
The some of the updates include:
- Fullscreen mode
- Two factor password protection
- Preview of posts
- Auto-complete of tags
- Notifications bug fixes
- Spell check while typing (notably, you will have to enable this under Spelling and grammar)
- Yosemite Support
Tublme is now cheap enough that its in the impulse buy category. Depending on your Tumblr usage, it might be the app you’re looking for. I’ll be giving a second go around.