An addition to the mobile discussion in this post and other posts etc.. I am currently reading up on progressive web apps (PWA) and getting more and more impressed with what a PWA can do and doing PWA in Aware is maybe another (better?) way to go. I am currently testing an advanced PWA on my Android phone that has the following stuff:
- "Install app" prompt/functionality. This means the user is prompted when accessing the webapp if they want to install it as an app on their phone (i.e they don´t have to go into options and add to home screen or any of that). They get a professional (customisable) popup with a prompt where they can say yes to installing it and they press yes and the smartphone automatically install it, adds it to their homescreen etc. etc.. When it is installed that´s it, they then have the app as any other app on the phone with an icon, name, splashscreen, full screen view and uninstall options.
- In some way (don´t know enough about this to know how it works) the PWA has access to native features so all these things works: GPS i.e get coordinates, camera and file upload, push notifications, online/offline detection and warnings, offline/cache (can be as simple as an "Offline" page and/but more advanced offline options/caching is apparently possible)
- Runs smooth as hell i.e I can´t tell it´s a webapp compared to native. The app content is fully customisable and anything is possible i.e all Aware stuff should work as is.
- An added option is, the PWA can be installed on desktops and on a desktop is runs just as well and runs in it´s own window (i.e doesn´t look like a browser. If runs and feels like a locally installed desktop application which is a big plus). I also THINK it even supports things like push notifications etc. which would be awesome to have on desktop directly from Aware. The desktop install functionality could be very nice to have, maybe not to just install the mobile app on a desktop but to install the normal/desktop webapp to the desktop which would be possible if the PWA functionality was already built into Aware.
- I don´t know how it works with credentials and security etc. but read somewhere you can do OAUTH integration from a PWA i.e that could be used to connect to Aware in some way I am sure. Initially just having the login screen and if the credentials can be saved on that screen (which I THINK it can as the PWA is a "version" of a browser which has that option) for easy login, that would be enough.
Here is an example app and the same one I am testing. Open up this page and scan the barcode to open it up on your smartphone: https://preview.enableds.com/?theme=azures&round
(or open up this URL on your smartphone directly: https://www.enableds.com/products/azures/index.html
From there, see if you get the install prompt (not sure if it´s configured to automatically prompt you when you open it up or if you have to go to the "Add to home" menu option under features in the app where you can manually get the prompt). Test the app, app features etc. (NB: The avatar is the/another menu in addition to the button menu at the bottom, threw me at the start haha) and see what you think, I am very impressed. The install prompt and install functionality doesn´t work on all older smartphone browser I read somewhere, not sure which ones and on which OS´s but from what I´ve read, all latest and biggest browsers today on an updated OS supports this and more and more are getting support for it.
PS: Also test the desktop install features. Open up the following page in a browser like Chrome and see the little icon to the right in the adress bar (+ icon next to the bookmark star icon). Install it on your desktop and test that as well:https://www.enableds.com/products/azures/index.html
Getting Aware fully PWA compatible and building in a PWA generator type functionality where we in the config tool could configure it GUI, add icons, splashscreen, native feature integration, push, offline (even just an offline page would work initially I think), credential integration etc. etc. if possible would be really interesting I think and to be honest, something I would prefer actually compared to native but that is me. If you have read my other posts, this SEEMS to be exactly what I personally want and I don´t care that much about offline access and the native features a PWA has are enough for most of my scenarios.
The one thing that I am a bit concerned about (one of the reasons I wanted native) and the same thing Rod points out is the ability to have a native app as part of a product/system/commercial solution as it just makes the offering seem more serious, is expected etc. etc. and/but I am thinking now that I/we could always "sell" the customer on this (PWA) being the latest of the latest and the future (which I honestly believe it will be. I think native will go away if PWA can do all of this now, just imagine in a year or two and it seems the large players i.e Google and Apple is going that way. Maybe not scrapping native completely but at least opening up more and more support for PWA, PWA-native feature integration etc.).
For those of you interested in reading an introduction to PWA, these articles gives you a good overview (the first article is written in 2016 so a lot has improved since then but still gives you a good overview of whats possible):https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/0 ... -web-apps/https://medium.com/@amberleyjohanna/ser ... 130600a093https://medium.com/@firt/progressive-we ... 5018c9931c
Henrik (V8 Developer Ed. - Windows)