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How To Turn A Mobile Site Into An Iphone App

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

We have a special mobile version of our site that we would like to promote in the iphone app store.  The "app" would effectively be a shortcut to the website, but you would be able to download it and have an icon for it, just like any other app.

Is this possible?  If so, can you link me to instructions?  I was not able to find any info searching google.

Thanks,
Jonah
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Question by:Jonah11
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by:GallionsHA
ID: 35036202
Hi,

You can create an icon on a home screen which is actually a link to a webpage.  This can be done by going to the page you want to add to the home screen.  Tap the icon to create a bookmark and choose "Add to Home Screen".  This will ask for an icon name and after entering the details, it will place an icon on the home screen.

The other alternative would be to write an iphone application with a browser view and relavant controls and configure the app to go straight to the website when it is opened.

I hope this helps.
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by:Jonah11
ID: 35038529
I want to go the 2nd route, where it would be a proper iphone application that we could put into the apple store.  

Will I need to hire a developer to write this, even though all it would be doing is linking to our website?

Thanks,
Jonah
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GallionsHA earned 2000 total points
ID: 35054772
Hi Jonah,

As you want to go for a full application, then yes you would need to hire a developer.  If you wanted to research this further, the part of the interface that displays web pages is called UIWebView.  The link to the documentation on Apple's website is:
http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#documentation/UIKit/Reference/UIWebView_Class/Reference/Reference.html

I hope this helps.
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by:Jonah11
ID: 35059338
Gallions,

One developer I am talking to claims that apple will not approve an app the simply opens our website in a browser.  Is this true?
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Expert Comment

by:GallionsHA
ID: 35068458
Hi Jonah,

Apple can be a bit tempermental when it comes to authorising apps.  

What you could do to try to get around it, is to have the first page load which has a little bit of information regarding the mobile site, then have an option to "View" within the app.  When the user taps the button, it can load another view, and display the web page with the controls.

There are applications on the store that have a web browser page within them, but I am not 100% sure of Apple's restrictions regarding simply loading a web page, but you could try my recommendation above to get around it.

If you have any more questions, please let me know.
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