Mobile app for WooCommerce based eStore

Hey everyone,

I'm currently working on a eStore based on WordPress and WooCommerce. Once the store is done, I'll need to create a mobile application for it.

I need some guidance on how I should go about building the mobile application.

Please note that a responsive web design is not going to solve my problem.

I need to create installable apps. I'll probably use PhoneGap, and build the app using HTML5 and JS. What I need to know is how to connect it to the store.

Looking forward to your responses.

Thanks!
~ Shishir Srivastava
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shishir_sriAsked:
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
What I need to know is how to connect it to the store.

It's all entries in a database.  The app will make the same calls to the MySQL tables that are currently handled by PHP functions and output the data as you need it.

Please note that a responsive web design is not going to solve my problem.

Out of curiosity, why?
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shishir_sriAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your response.


It's all entries in a database.  The app will make the same calls to the MySQL tables that are currently handled by PHP functions and output the data as you need it.

Of course. The thing is that I don't wish to spend a lot of time writing my own web services to get the data. Is there any plugin or something that I can use to ease up the process?

Out of curiosity, why?

Because that way its still a website which needs to be accessed through a browser. The website that I'm working on IS responsive for visitors who choose to access the store through the mobile browsers, however, my objective (and the purpose behind the question) is to create an app which will be hosted on the marketplace, and can be installed by the customers.
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Of course. The thing is that I don't wish to spend a lot of time writing my own web services to get the data. Is there any plugin or something that I can use to ease up the process?

Not really, or rather I should say "nothing great."  You can try:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/mopublication/

or

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wiziapp-create-your-own-native-iphone-app/

Both of those claim to "make it easy to make an app" from your WordPress site.  In reality, all they do is wrap page calls into an app framework for a fair amount of money and submit the result to Apple.  Because the app is basically a mobile web site, Apple is more likely than not to reject it as "not sufficiently different from the web site"

You're better off going about it the hard way and making something that looks and operates differently from the web site to get through review.

create an app which will be hosted on the marketplace, and can be installed by the customers.

But the app requires the same connectivity as the web site, right?  In other words, you gain nothing by having the app available unless you think/know your customers are searching for the brand on the app stores.  Given the time and expense involved to simply mimic the functionality in the app world it just doesn't seem worth it.

You are also aware that Apple won't let you host the web store in the app...you will have to link out to sell stuff?  The only purchasing they allow is in-app purchases of which they take a pretty significant cut.  Android's rules are a little looser, so if you don't care about not being in the Apple market, that's okay.
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shishir_sriAuthor Commented:
Hey jason1178,

Thanks for your response, and advice on the mobile app. Unfortunately, my client is set on having an app despite my disapproval.

I guess I'll have to get started with the web services.

Thanks again.

~ Shishir
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Make sure you communicate Apple App Store policies to the client now.  That way, if they insist you go forward and Apple rejects the app, your posterior has shelter.  

Otherwise, you could be open to the possibility of a lawsuit.
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shishir_sriAuthor Commented:
That's good advice. Thanks!
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