The WebDevStudios development team was one of the first agencies to pioneer WordPress-powered apps. They originally launched into the space by privately creating apps for high profile clients like the YMCA and Dallas Museum of Art. Last year these apps were showcased by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, who predicts that WordPress as an application platform will become the dominant development focus during the next few years.
Today AppPresser officially launched the very first mobile app development framework for WordPress. This team, made up of many of the core folks from WebDevStudios, decided to go far beyond their previous work of creating a few apps for private clients. They set out to do something truly disruptive and formed AppPresser with the goal of putting the power of app creation into the hands of your average WordPress user.
Traditionally, app building has been limited to a select few developers who have the skills to program apps for the various mobile platforms. AppPresser turns this upside down by making it easy for anyone to build a native mobile app with WordPress, the publishing platform that is well-known for its user friendliness.
How AppPresser Works
The AppPresser Core Plugin is free and available on WordPress.org. This plugin provides a foundation for creating native iOS and Android apps by integrating the following:
- Integrates Phonegap with WordPress, which exposes the Phonegap API
- Allows you to use other AppPresser plugins and themes to create an app
- Adds a settings page with app-only homepage, menus, and theme settings
However, it’s important to note that the plugin by itself does not build the app for you. From here you will need to add AppPresser themes or extensions to create your app. Then you’d require a build service, offered by AppPresser or Phonegap, before you can distribute your app to the iOS/Android app stores.
Themes and extensions make it possible for you to tap into device hardware, ie. camera, contacts, geolocation, and notifications. AppPresser is launching with an e-commerce bundle that turns a WordPress and WooCommerce-powered store into a native app. Single app licenses start at $249. Another option is the Agency bundle, priced at $499, which includes all AppPresser themes and extensions.
The Future of WordPress-Powered App Creation
The launch of AppPresser further demonstrates that WordPress is moving more towards becoming an application platform. The architecture underneath native app creation with WordPress is only now in its infancy and there are many more uncharted waters for developers to explore. A recent TapTapPress article discusses opportunities for developers to go beyond theme switching, the method employed by AppPresser, and utilize template switching instead. It will be interesting to see how others approach WordPress-powered app creation.
AppPresser is making history by being the first to put native mobile app creation into the hands of your average WordPress user with no coding skills required. It has opened wide a new niche market in the WordPress ecosystem. The future is bright for developers who want to build and sell custom apps and app-creation services that are built around WordPress.