macworld prediction: iweb in the cloud

 

Apple iWeb

I have a love-hate relationship with iWeb. On the one hand, it’s a killer desktop app. Okay, IMHO, it’s the best desktop blogging app. On the other hand, it’s a terribly inefficient desktop app (seizing 50% of my Mac’s CPU simply upon opening) that outputs, according to my developer colleagues, crap code.

iWeb is a hub that makes publishing all sorts of media, from personal photos to Google Maps, a snap. However, the target environment can only be published to from a Mac; even iPhone users are blocked from posting to iWeb blogs. Heck, published iWeb sites even look like crap on the iPhone. 

Considering that iWeb publishes to an environment called MobileMe, this seems something of an oversight. Apple’s obvious focus on the cloud exacerbates this shortcoming in their product line.

Rumours are circulating that at tomorrow’s MacWorld, Apple will announce a new suite of office tools for the web, akin to Google Docs. While I’m obviously in no position to verify this information, I’d posit that a mobile-friendly version of iWeb is also set for release.

The new version of iWeb would have three components: a desktop application, an iPhone application, and a web-based application embedded into the MobileMe environment. The desktop app would provide users with the full suite of tools for affecting every aspect of a blog from its design to visitor permissions; the iPhone app would enable users to post to an iWeb blog on the fly in a relatively simple fashion while also enabling the user to subscribe and review other iWeb blogs; the MobileMe app would provide users with a select set of capabilities present in the desktop app, including common tasks such as comment moderation and post editing.

With a plethora of blogging tools flooding the iPhone App Store (WordPress, Typepad, BlogWriter, and ShoZu, to name a few), Apple’s got to realize there’s a demand for moblogging that the current incarnation of iWeb just ain’t satisfying. And with the iPhone poised as the device that finally breaks the cloud barrier, a new moblogging tool would certainly provide fuel to drive Apple into that space.