Podcast Episode

Review: The All New Jetpack App

This episode introduces a series of review episodes, aiming to explore various WordPress-related tools, services, and apps throughout the year 2023.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to the review series for 2023
  • Overview of the new Jetpack mobile app
  • Key differences between the WordPress and Jetpack apps
  • Features and functionalities within the Jetpack app
  • Navigating through the app, including the Reader, Notifications, and site management
  • Insights into managing plugins within the app
  • Customizing themes and site settings via the Jetpack mobile app
  • Dustin’s first impressions and use cases for the app

In this episode, we take a detailed look at the Jetpack mobile app and highlight its potential for managing WordPress sites while on the go. He explores the key features, shares insights into the transition from the WordPress app, and demonstrates how users can navigate through the app to handle various tasks related to their websites. Dustin’s review provides valuable insights into the app’s user interface and functionalities, making it easier for WordPress users to decide if the Jetpack app suits their needs.

Links Shared During the Episode:

Full Transcript

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[00:00:00] **Dustin:** On today's episode, we are going to do a review of the Jetpack mobile app right here on your website, engineer podcast, episode number 527.

Hello and welcome to another episode of Your Website Engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzer and I'm excited to be here with you today because today we are going to do a little bit different of an episode. And I realized as I was kind of planning for this year, planning for 2023, how was I was gonna come up with content for each and every week and and things like that.

And some weeks there's slow news and some weeks there's just not any plugins that I can find to share. And so I decided that, and this year I'm gonna throw in some of these episodes kind of like today, that is a review episode, so it's going to be a review of something, whether that be like today, a mobile app or maybe a service that I use within WordPress or any of those types of things.

So anything that's kind of in the, the WordPress related space. We'll do a review on it and just kind of give you an high level overview of what it is and how it works. And things like that. And so today, I'm actually traveling as this podcast is released, I am out of town with a work trip. I am meeting up with some of my colleagues on the Jetpack team.

And so I thought this would be a good opportunity to pre-record and get you some information about the new Jetpack mobile app. And so before we dive in and look a little bit about it, I just wanted to get you some information from a blog post over on wordpress.com and they are highlighting the new Jetpack app, and Jetpack is highlighting the new Jetpack apps.

So I just wanted to kind of briefly talk about it. They're basically the same apps. So yeah, they're actually stripping out some features from the wordpress.com app and putting it in the Jetpack app.

And I am gonna read a couple of these frequently asked questions just to give you an idea of the differences between the two. So the first question is, what is the difference between the WordPress and the Jetpack apps? And it says, your favorite Jetpack powered features from the WordPress app, including stats notification in the Reader, have a new home, the Jetpack app.

These features will soon be removed from the WordPress app so that its focus will be on essential user and publishing tools. Within the Jetpack app, you can expect the same attention to core features like managing and editing content, as well as next level tools to grow your audience on a trusted platform.

And then, want to know about how to migrate data in as long as you have the latest WordPress app when you open up the Jetpack app, it will migrate the latest data. There's no additional cost for this plugin. And then the next question is, why are there two apps in which one should I use? And it says, WordPress comes in more than one flavor, and it serves a diverse range of site administration needs.

After listening to a lot of feedback and around varying expectations, we settled on creating two options for you to WordPress on the go. The WordPress app will focus on WordPress's core functionality. If you're looking for the essential tools that you need to publish on the go with support for offline editing and the ability to upload media straight from your phone's camera roll, then this may be the app for you.

The Jetpack app is a mobile publishing experience for our super connected world. With this, you will get all the essential tools that come with your WordPress app, plus a suite of features for your growing site. You can track the performance of your content within stats, you'll get notified about comments and reactions with notifications.

You'll discover content and joint communities within the reader, whether you are new to publishing on the internet or a seasoned veteran, have a WordPress that already, or wanna start a new one, download the Jetpack app today for a great set of tools to start or grow.

So it says either one is available, you kind of have to make your mind up. And I think it's a little bit on the fuzzy side to why do I need one versus the other. But the, the big thing is you have to delete the app that you're not gonna use because they say right now managing sites across both apps is currently unsupported and may lead to issues like data conflicts.

So that is a little bit of a background, a a about this and about this new Jetpack app. I have downloaded it and I I'm gonna walk through the process of setting it up. In configuring it says, Welcome to Jetpack. It looks like you're switching from the WordPress app. We found your sites continue to transfer all your data and sign into Jetpack.

So there is a whole bunch of sites that I am connected to. These are some work sites, these are personal sites. And so I'm gonna click the green continue button, and then it says, allow notifications to keep you up to date with your site. I will say yes. I will take notifications from WordPress. And then it says, thanks for switching to Jetpack.

We've transferred all your data in your settings. Everything is right where you left it. And then it says, please delete the WordPress app to avoid data conflicts.

So I will go ahead and delete the WordPress app

because that is what it's telling me to.

All right, now that I've got through all of the welcome screens and I am all connected, and I, it pulls in and it looks just like the WordPress app, , honestly, other than the branding is green instead of blue like WordPress, it basically looks the same.

Am I I am gonna start looking through it and seeing if I can see differences between the, the wordpress.com hosted sites or a self-hosted site with Jetpack. I'm gonna see if I can see any differences and just kind of go through and see what the app is all about. Looking at the app I see across the bottom it says my sites, it says Reader and it has notifications.

So if I go to Reader, I can see all of them. WordPress sites that I'm following. I can discover sites, I can see my curated list of Automattic P2s that I can read in here. And I also have the ability to see notifications, and so I can see all of the wordpress.com notifications that are happening.

The ones that happened, you know, in reverse chronological order, so I can see the ones today, then I can see yesterday's and yada, yada, yada. I can see all of that. I can tap on a comment and it opens up the post and I can see the post. I can like it and I can return the comment right from there.

It's all like the wordpress.com app was. Again that was the Reader, that's the notifications and then going back to my site there is I'm looking at Dustin.blog and that's, I think somehow that's deemed my default website, even though I hardly post there.

But I see across the top it says dustin.blog and then there's a dropdown arrow beside it. And when I click on that, it shows me all of my sites. There's a ton of sites that are there and there's a search bar so I can search for them. And there's also an Edit button where I can edit, so I can turn them on and off which sites I want to see in this dropdown list.

So that is handy that if there's a handful of sites that you don't wanna see or don't wanna manage from the Jetpack app, you can just get rid of those and hide them from your view. Then right underneath that there's two horizontal menus. One says home and one says menu, and when you're on the home, it's got stats and posts, pages, media, so you can quickly get to that information of your website.

And then it's got a section that's prompts, and these prompts are from, it looks like it's coming from Day One, and it says, what do you enjoy doing most in your leisure time? And this is from Day One, it says, and so you can answer that prop by prompt by just clicking on it.

And you can, it'll automatically start a new post and you can write it and you can fill in that information. It shows your today's stats. And then it says all of the draft posts. So it says work on a draft post. And it has a couple of the draft posts that I have started, but I haven't finished. And so that's what's on the, this main kind of homepage.

And I can, I can imagine this being a page that changes frequently just based on the features that are requested. And then there's a menu section, which basically has a bunch of the activity from Jetpack. So you can see the stats, the activity logs, so like what people have logged in or what plugins have updated and stuff like that.

And then you can see post, pages, media, comments. You can publish all of this information, so kind of core WordPress stuff. I could create a new post right from here or a page. And then I can personalize themes. I can actually go in and I can customize. It looks like I can pick a different theme if I wanted to, and I can change up the menus.

I can customize the way the menus work, which is, which is handy to have. And then there's configuration options where I can set up the sharing options. I can say what people, so that's kind of like the users area. I can look at plugins. And plugins on this site. I guess this doesn't, site doesn't have any plugins, but I could install plugins.

I'll look at a site that's got plugins and see what that looks like in a second, and then design or site settings, that is pretty handy that has the ability to change the title or the tagline. A lot of the settings that you find in the general settings of WordPress, you can customize those right here.

And then there's external, so I can view the site and I can view the dashboard. And so if I click on View Dashboard, it'll open up the wordpress.com dashboard and then it will prompt me to sign in so I can sign in right from there. So that is what a simple site on wordpress.com looks like.

If I go into one of the other sites that I have here, maybe yourwebsiteengineer.com, I can look in this menu section and I see like all the stats information. So if I click on stats, I can see like what the stats look like and what the average views are for the month. And I can see that right now in January, 2023, the views are down mainly because this month isn't over.

So that is a shorter month than some of the others. I can look at Years. it tabulates it in years and it looks like what year was this? 2014 was my most popular year. It looks like right before then there wasn't stats being generated on the page, so I can see stats, information. Let me look at the plugin section, see what that looks like.

If I go to plugins, it has installed, featured, popular, new. . And so I can see all of those. So if I go into the installs area, so there is, they're kind of like horizontal. They're basically a list horizontally of all my plugins, but I can click on the manage tab and it'll list them all. And it has the little Gravatar for each plugin, and then it says what it is, who the author is, and whether it's active or inactive, or if it needs updated or whatnot.

And so I can go in and I could go, like the Broken Link Checker says it needs updated. So if I tap on that, then I have the ability to update that plugin. I can actually also toggle it to be auto updated so it will automatically stay updated. So that's pretty handy. And then I'm on a page that shows me all the information about the Broken Link Checker.

So I can go straight to the wordpress.org plugin page. I could go to the plugin homepage. So wherever the developer has linked the that plugin too, I can see them. And then it also has the full description. I don't know if this is necessary, if I'm in the app, like, and the plugin's already installed, like I don't know if I need this description of what the plugin does.

You know, I kind of know it does, cuz it's on my site, but I guess it's handy to have right there in the list. If I go into the featured area, if I wanted to go like say Contact Form 7, I can click on that and I can install that. I know that we talked a few weeks ago about that, getting some new fresh updates and so I could install that and then configure it right from this Jetpack plugin.

So that's pretty handy. There's new plugin, so there's conditional logic, there's a plugin, and this is a curated list that will be different for everyone and it will repopulate as new plugins come out. So overall, it looks like it is a very good plugin to do the basic things that you need with a WordPress site.

I do have the ability to publish a post or a page, but there's no way to create a new podcast post because that is in a custom post type and it doesn't pull in any custom post type things. And so I wouldn't be able to do that. I'm guessing that all of the extra meta fields and stuff I.

Really couldn't see inside the app either. So it would be kind of a disjointed experience of trying to publish something quickly and then have to go back to the computer to finish. I think if I did the WP admin, if I clicked on that external link and it took me and logged me into yourwebsiteengineer.com, in the mobile version, I could get access to everything that I need.

But then again, like I do everything on the computer and so this isn't gonna be the, the best for me in, in a sense of like, it's not going to be where I'm gonna be publishing content. Maybe for dustin.blog, if I see a picture or something and I wanna do a quick story about it or a quick, something like this would be a good thing for me.

I honestly can't see a difference between the WordPress app that was on my phone 10 minutes ago versus the Jetpack app. Other than the, the branding is a little different. It looks very, very similar and it has a lot of the features that I would need when managing WordPress sites.

I like looking at notifications every once in a while and I like using the reader to, to read and catch up on things. And so I am gonna keep this one.

Like I said, I already deleted the WordPress app, so now I'm gonna use the Jetpack one. And so I'm gonna go ahead and keep this as my default way to read things on my phone and I'll continue to keep an eye on it over the next couple weeks and see what things come of it.

And if there's more information that I can share about the differences between the two, I will definitely bring that up in upcoming shows.

And that's now an app that will live on my home screen and replaces the old WordPress logo. So that is what I wanna share with you today. Take care, and we'll talk again soon. Bye-bye. For more great WordPress information, head on over to your website engineer.com.