Native Mobile App from PWA

In addition to a responsive desktop/mobile site and PWA, does anyone else want/need a native mobile app (publishable to the iOS and Android app stores)?
If so, have you re-built your site in another platform? Or used existing tools like retool or capacitor? It looks like you’d need to import the PWA code into a framework like React Native, Ionic, or Flutter.
I think Softr providing the ability to cross-publish desktop, mobile, PWA, and native mobile apps would be a game changer.

This is a great question. I’m using Softr as a MVP and if my app gets traction, I’ll want to have native mobile app. Hopefully this capability from Softr coincides with the offering of alternative data sources. Airtable will max out for me fairly quickly if this app takes off.

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I’m assuming that what you are asking for would be an html/js/css PWA wrapped by a native app — not a magical conversion of the PWA into all native code.

Given that assumption, what are the big wins? Do you want to be able to support in-app purchases? Use native apis for geolocation, Bluetooth, etc? Is it more about a marketing checkbox? Or something else entirely?

Put another way, what’s the most important thing you can’t do right now?

“All of the above” is a valid answer but more helpful would be a prioritized list.

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Good questions and thanks for asking. Starting from first principals, it’s about reaching people where they spend the most time. People spend 90% of their mobile time using apps vs. mobile websites.

At the moment, the PWA meets the functional needs of the marketplace I’m building. Adding a native app would help improve:

-Distribution & discoverability (via organic/growth hacking and paid marketing)
-Market validation

Once scaled it would help improve:
-Increased functionality

How would the PWA wrapped by a native app work?

To answer the how question: If you already have a web app up and running, the easiest way to turn it into a mobile app is to wrap it in a mobile app service. There are a lot of choices out there and I haven’t actually used any so I can’t recommend one. It’s not cheap, but if you’re not tooled up to build your own Android and iOS apps, then it’s still cheaper than starting from scratch.

It has the advantage that you won’t have to maintain multiple codebases, but the disadvantage that the app won’t feel native. That might not be important for the goals you have mentioned.

Plus, if you have already invested in building the app in Softr, it’s going to be much faster.

Finally, you can quickly validate your hypotheses about how a native mobile app will help you, and then if it seems like further investment is warranted, you can take the next step and build something more truly native.

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I’ll consider this App from PWA
So thank you for sharing

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