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Set Up Your Native Mobile App

Last Updated: last month

With our native mobile app solution, we are able to package your online store into your own custom branded mobile application. This application is compatible with Android and iOS platforms.

Limitations & Specifics

All our custom apps are simply a web browser with the website pre-set as your online store. This means your users will receive the same experience as they would by just visiting the website. It’s important to state that most companies offering custom apps are actually doing this.

There is a very important reason for doing this. If we were to offer a fully native mobile application that is not just a website, whenever we release an update to our platform, we would need to re-compile every custom application and everyone would have to re-publish their apps.

Given how rapidly we are adding new updates, this would very quickly become impractical. As such we are limited to doing it this way. One of the downsides that come with this approach is that there is no offline access. Users must have an internet connection for your app to work.

NOTE: Apple does not explicitly disallow apps that are simply websites. They do however discourage it and have rejected certain apps that were a just packaged website. They do also accept many of these apps. In this case, because your online store looks extremely similar to an app on mobile phones, there is generally no issues. However, we will not be responsible if Apple rejects your application from the app store. We will do our best within reason to help you get it approved if this does occur.
Apps May Not Be Right Everyone

While an app can be tremendously useful, consider that it takes a considerable effort to set up and promote. It’s only something that should be used if you are confident that you will actually promote it and put it to use.

Overview of The Process

  1. Contact us making sure to submit a copy of all the requirements we need (found below)
  2. We generate your app files using all your information
  3. You publish them to the app stores under your own account

What You Need

Google Play Console Publisher Account

You can register for an account by visiting https://play.google.com/apps/publish/. At the time of writing this, there is a once off flat fee of $25 USD when registering.

Apple Developer Account

You will need a developer account that is enrolled in the “Apple Developer Program” in order to publish apps. Create an account at https://developer.apple.com/programs/. At the time of writing this, Apple charges $100 USD per year for enrollment in their developer program.

Our Requirements

Android - APK Signing Certificate

When we generate your app files, we will need to “sign” it digitally with what’s called a signing certificate (a digital file). This certificate represents the identity of a particular organization. When an app is signed using a certificate, it is to prove that the person who published it is who they say they are. This is something you can provide or we can generate on your behalf.

More importantly, whenever an update has to be made or a new version of the app will be uploaded, it too must be signed by the EXACT SAME certificate as before. Otherwise, you will need to republish your app under a different listing, losing all your client installations, ratings and more.

Given what the signing certificate is used for, it’s extremely important that you store this very securely. We will not be responsible for the storage and handling of this certificate. We will use it once in the app generation process and then delete it. We will request it from you personally if needed in the future. So please take every effort to store this in a safe and secure place.

Apple – Developer Team Access

Apple also uses signing certificates but the process of managing them in a bit different. When you have an Apple account enrolled in the developer program, you will have access to the “Member Center” and “iTunes Connect”. You can generate your certificates online and publish your apps through these platforms. In order for us to generate the app and certificates under your organization, we will need developer team access. To do this you will need to assign us to certain roles for both the member center and iTunes connect. For both these platforms, you will need to invite the following e-mail, admin@cloudwaitress.com to your team. This is our Apple developer ID.

You will need to provide us with “Team Admin Role” for the “Member Center”. You can see how to do this at https://goo.gl/SXujFU

For “iTunes connect”, you will need to provide us with a “Developer” role. Learn how to do this at https://goo.gl/8ahkBw

Launch Screen & Icons

You will need to submit to us the following images

  1. 1024 x 1024 px – app icon
  2. 2048 x 2048 px – splash screen image

Please ensure all your main artwork is located at the very center of the image as it will be cropped and resized multiple times. You are also welcome to just send us your high-resolution logo and we can create the artwork for you.

Android Publishing Process

  1. Provide us with signing certificate or we will generate one for you
  2. Provide us with app icon and splash screen
  3. We will generate your application file
  4. We will send the application file and the signing certificate if we generated it
  5. Create a new app under your Google Play Console account
  6. Upload your application file and signing key
  7. Fill out any other information needed to publish your app (the interface will let you know what’s needed)
  8. Publish your app

iOS Publishing Process

  1. Provide us with app icon and splash screen
  2. Invite admin@cloudwaitress.com to your developer team for both the member center and iTunes connect. This is all part of your Apple Developer Program and can be found under your account dashboard.
  3. We will generate your application files and upload it directly to iTunes connect
  4. Fill out all the information Apple requires
  5. publish your app