Looking to build a native mobile version of a WordPress blog or site this year? We all know that there is nothing stopping the growth of mobile and it’s something that every site owner has to consider constantly as they seek to provide the best experience for their users as well as engage potential customers.
But building a native mobile application isn’t necessarily easy nor can it be entirely cheap – not as cheap, say, as downloading and installing WordPress onto your own server cheap!
That’s why it’s great when we come upon open source frameworks built for mobile application development. One such example is helios.
Helios is an open-source framework that provides essential backend services for iOS apps, from data synchronization and user accounts to push notifications, in-app purchases, and passbook integration.
Essentially, it allows you, as the developer (or your developer) to get a client-server app running and functional in a few minutes. From there you can add on the necessary functionality that you might need as you see fit. As they describe it:
Helios is designed for “mobile first” development. Build out great features on the device, and implement the server-side components as necessary. Pour all of your energy into crafting a great user experience, rather than getting mired down with the backend.
One great example of this philosophy in Helios is Core Data Synchronization. This allows you to use your existing Core Data model definition to automatically generate a REST webservice, which can be used to shuttle data between the server and client. No iCloud, no problem.
Built with Heroku in mind you can get started easily in just a few steps:
- Install the Heroku Toolbelt
- Create the app via the Helios app directly: Do
$ heroku create app-name
- And finally, do
$ git push heroku master
That’s about it. Like all things there are a few requirements:
- Ruby 1.9
- PostgreSQL 9.1 (Postgres.app is the easiest way to get a Postgres server running on your Mac)
And then away you go!
Is this something that you (and your team) will check out this year? Are you guys building a native mobile app to accompany your main site?