I’ve been tinkering with converting my blog to an app on Android. No, I’m not taking up Android programming, you can find a few sites online that will convert and compile it for free, albeit ads included. So far, I’ve created three very basic but different versions. All three are just wrappers. meaning it’s just wrapped in a user interface
The first one is via WP-Appmaker and I like it the least. It renders very well but has no push notifications so you have to manually update it anytime you want new data. IMHO this completely defeats the purpose. The only real option you have is to sort posts by category. Considering it forces ads on you (I understand why) it should include more options.
The second one is with JoeMobi and had the most potential. Creating the app on their site was very buggy and time-consuming. If you forgot to fill out a required field or it didn’t like what you were trying to upload, you’d get an error. You think have to start all over from the very beginning. This one also renders w/ads but it includes push notifications. Push means the app would update itself anytime I post something new. It was also the only one that supported comments directly from the app vs having to link out to the web and then post a comment. Sadly, I couldn’t get the in-app new comment part to work. However, unlike the other two, you could see existing comments. It also works with a Blackberry if you have one of those.
The third one is thru Conduit. It’s not bad. Choosing or creating your own unique colors and layout were much easier to use for a novice. Unlike the others, it does not force ads on the reader. Conduit was the only free one to offer the option to include your twitter feed as a separate tab. This one would be perfect if they ever added comment support.
There were about 6-7 other sites that do the same thing but they were mostly geared toward businesses and charge some pretty hefty fees. I don’t have the money for such things right now. One worth mentioning was Mippin. It was unique in that you could tie in FB fan pages, twitter, Picasa, Flickr, etc. They charge a flat $99 fee for a two-device app. Sadly, it still doesn’t support comments.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about the 3 above as they are free! But, you also get what you pay for. I wouldn’t have minded the in-app ads had they given me the option to make a portion of the revenue after a certain point. Yes, I realize that’s how they make their money but ads for such basic wrappers is kinda overkill IMHO.
I’ve included links to the apk files for all three versions I created. If you’re on an Android device, just select the links below. As mentioned, they are very basic but feel free to play with’em, if ya like. Also keep in mind, you’ll have to click the allow unknown installs on your Android device before it will let you install them. There is NO SUPPORT with the apps. If you don’t like, simply delete’em off your device. They are too basic to cause any problems but I can’t guarantee they’ll work with old versions of Android.
The WP-Appmaker version
The JoeMobi version
The Conduit version
If I ever decide to upgrade them, I’ll post a new update.
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