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How can I deploy my WordPress site as a mobile app?

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What are the "tried and true" platform services available to convert and publish my WordPress site as a mobile app for mobile app stores (iTunes/Android Marketplace/Chrome)? My ultimate goal is to have my site be a friendly on/off-line experience for consumption on SmartPhones and Tablets, especially the iPhone and iPad.

Answers (5)

2011-02-15

Sarbartha Das answers:

✿ "WPtouch" A plugin which formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.


Bruce Scheer comments:

Thanks for the quick response Sarbatha. I was looking more for a true-app experience versus a WP site converted for an optimized mobile browser experience.


Sarbartha Das comments:

Whatever Jarret Minkler says: is true. WPTouch is *THE* only route.

2011-02-15

Jarret Minkler answers:

Good luck finding one, the WPTouch is *THE* only route. To get an "app", fire up your favorite (err the only) iOS development SDK and have at it. The use something like Phonegap to compile it for other phones.

If it were "easy" to do everyone would be doing it.

2011-02-15

Denzel Chia answers:

Hi,

I don't think you know much about programming.

<blockquote>
Thanks for the quick response Sarbatha. I was looking more for a true-app experience versus a WP site converted for an optimized mobile browser experience.
</blockquote>

WordPress is built on PHP.
An iPhone "true app" is built on Coca Touch.
An Android app is built on J2EE.

For example, the famous "Mashable app" on iPhone is built on Coca Touch.
It is built to interact with Mashable Web Site, if I am not wrong, through XML-RPC.

There is no conversion app that can convert your WordPress Site to a iPhone or Android App.

Another example is the WordPress iPhone App and Android App. Both are programmed and maintained by another group of programmer, different from WordPress Core.

What you need is to employ a Mac App programmer to built you a iPhone app to interact with your WordPress Website.

Lastly, please award the price money amount answerers. And please don't ask for a refund.
We want to help, but what you want cannot be done.
WordPress can only be an web app and not a true native iPhone app or Android app.

Thanks.


Bruce Scheer comments:

Hey Denzel...I whole-heartedly agree with you that I don't know much about programming..hence why I'm seeking a short-cut. I discovered this service after seeing Chris Brogan's blog and iPhone app: MotherApp: http://www.motherapp.com/index.php

I offered my email to them, but haven't heard back. Wondering if this is a pipedream or reality. Was hoping there might be other platform services out there for doing this conversion.


Bruce Scheer comments:

I'll definitely not ask for a refund and award the prize money. Thanks for your concern and response!


Denzel Chia comments:

Hi,

Went to take a look at MotherApp.

This is what they claim to do;

<blockquote>You need to program your site using Mother Apps own HTML Language.
Submit a copy of your Mother App HTML site to them and they will use their "secret compiler" to compile your Mother App HTML site into a native iPhone app, which you can submit to Apple Store.</blockquote>

This is what I am in doubt of;

1) WordPress is dynamic and not static, so can this Mother App HTML language complied program work with a dynamic site? Mother App HTML language is a scaled down form of HTML, strictly speaking, more like an XML language.

2) Do you need to submit Mother App HTML for conversion, whenever you post a blog entry?

I think Mother App is more for a catalog than a dynamic site such as WordPress Blog.
It is more of like a HTML programmed Fashion Catalog complied into an iPhone app,
whereby all the information is within the app or stored in iPhone database and not in Web Server.

My analysis may be wrong, but for now I think it is still not a very versatile service.
A look at their forum, and you can find a lot of user demand feature are unsupported.
Some threads are not even answered.

For now it seems more like a dream than reality, and they sure need a lot of additional features.

Thanks.

2011-02-15

Vidyut Kale answers:

For the offline bit, you'll have to have an application cache. The online services will not be able to do that on their own.

A very basic cache would be:
<?php
header('Content-type: text/cache-manifest');
header("Cache-Control: Access");
?>
CACHE MANIFEST
# Version 0.2
style.css

in a file called cache_manifest.php (for example). Add any image files, javascript, css, etc here. Don't add too many images, because they will get downloaded and cached, and if the total cache size exceeds the allocated level (around 5MB), then the whole application cache will get invalidated.

Then you will have to add the reference to the html tag in your header like so:
<html manifest="<?php echo get_template_directory_uri(); ?>/cache_manifest.php">

This is also useful in general to speed up the site.

Of course, this is the tip of the iceberg. You will have to add all the non html files to the cache manifest. The html files that reference the manifest in the header will get cached automatically. The main thing is, you'll have to test, test, test, because if you goof up, the application cache is going to remember mistakes for a long time. Can be fixed, but easier to do it right.

====================
Well, its not going to be a "true app" in any case, but with a suitable theme, and good planning, it can take care of anything not phone specific.

2011-02-15

Lew Ayotte answers:

Check out [[LINK href="http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/mobify/"]]Mobify[[/LINK]], it's like WPTouch, but I've seen it work better in some cases.