When people ask this question, it’s usually because of one of two reasons.
Sometimes it’s kind of a knee-jerk reaction because it just seems like a typical component of online presence. The way this is traditionally done with native apps is by creating and maintaining three separate codebases for web, Apple and Android platforms, all using three different languages. This is very expensive. We are not against expenses; however, at this time we believe there are better investments to be made into MorphMarket than creating apps “just because”. This year some of those other investments included building the ratings system and creating this community site.
Other times, this question is asked because there is some kind of missing feature or usability issue. This feedback is a much more useful because it gets to the heart of a specific problem that needs to be fixed or improved rather than prescribing an assumed solution. There is more than one way to address these type of problems.
MorphMarket is a Responsive Web App, which means it’s designed to be great on mobile, tablet and desktop. This allows us to maintain a single codebase to support all platforms. This in turn means more new features and quicker bug fixes. Where there are specific usability pain points on our site, we want to improve them. However, it’s still missing some native-app type features.
Enter the Progressive Web App (PWA). This is a next generation technology that combines the benefits of Native App and Responsive Web Apps. It allows for app-like features like home screen install, notifications, and an immersive full-screen experience without even having to install an app.
This community site which uses the discourse.org platform is a good example of a PWA. You’ll note it’s very mobile friendly, provides the immersive full-screen experience, and after a few visits will prompts you to be added to the home screen. But it never required you installing anything.
If you’re interested, here’s more reading on PWA’s:
Our vision at MorphMarket is to continue to evolve the market site to be more mobile friendly and support more app-like features using PWA technology. Please let us know which specific areas of the site feel difficult to use on your device or what specific features you are wanting so we can improve it.