Google has confirmed that the number of mobile users in almost ten countries now exceeds the total number of desktop users. This has caused significant flutter in the web-based industry and many businesses are now turning towards Mobile Apps along with making their website’s responsive.
Being in the WordPress industry I am wired to think about how can WordPress website owners take the Mobile App route. A simple search leads me to AppPresser and eventually to Scott Bolinger, Co-Founder of AppPresser. What followed was a good mix of information from Scott himself about Mobile Apps and where AppPresser and Reactor stand in the grand scheme of things.
Tell us about yourself and how you got started with WordPress development.
I started out as a graphic designer for a fitness company, then eventually became their web guy. I went freelance after a couple of years, then started my first premium theme company in 2010. In 2014 I launched AppPresser, which allows you to convert your WordPress website into a mobile app.
What is the difference between a mobile App created with AppPresser and a mobile responsive website?
The big difference is that you can use app features such as the camera, contacts, push notifications and more, straight from WordPress. For example, add a shortcode in a page that becomes a native device camera button, and people can take a picture and it shows up in your media gallery. Or send a push notification to your app every time you publish a post. This goes way beyond just responsive design, it actually allows you to turn your website into an app.
What prompted you to build Reactor in spite of having built AppPresser? Will you be phasing out AppPresser?
Reactor is very different from AppPresser from a technical standpoint. It uses the WP-API along with the Ionic Framework, and it is a hosted app builder which allows us to make everything easy to use. We built it to allow for features like offline mode, which is not possible with AppPresser.
We have no plans to phase out AppPresser, we are still actively developing on it and releasing new features.
On what basis should an end-user decide between Reactor and AppPresser?
In reply to this question Scott directed us to a very detailed post on how to choose between Reactor and AppPresser. In this article he’s mentioned that AppPresser should be used by website owners who want a website app and are not very particular if it is native or not. Also, if customization flexibility is of importance to you then AppPresser is the way to go.
If you need to use in-app features like camera and the native app experience is important to you then Reactor would be a better choice.
You can read his post on ‘How Reactor Works, and Why it’s Different‘ to get a detailed view of his thoughts on this
In a post, you’ve mentioned that Ionic is the best hybrid app development framework. What makes you say so?
We’ve used many different frameworks, and Ionic is the best for performance, design, and ease of use. The team behind it is amazing, and it will only continue to get better.
The WP-API is incredible, and it will completely change the future of WordPress as a platform. The best application for it is mobile and web apps, but there are other uses for it as well. Custom admin dashboards is a good example. Traditional theme and plugin development with PHP isn’t going anywhere, that will still be the best way to make a website. However, plugin authors should start building support for the WP-API now, or they will miss out on a great opportunity.
What are your views on the misuse of GPL? And its effect on the industry as a whole?
I support the GPL, I don’t think people who misuse it will create long-lasting businesses. They might make a few bucks, but it’s not the way to go in the long term.
What should we expect from Reactor in the coming future?
We will be releasing a preview app that allows people to see their apps on their phone without dealing with Apple certificates, which is a huge plus. Long-term we want to support other platforms besides just WordPress.
That dear readers was Scott Bolinger – Graphic Designer, Co-Founder of AppPresser and WordCamp Speaker. Thanks a lot Scott for your time and valuable inputs.
Have questions for Scott? Feel free to use the comments sections. You can also connect with him on twitter or his personal website where he blogs regularly!
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