So…building native apps for iOS and Android has always been beyond my capability. Therefore, I’ve been somewhat stuck with the thought of creating a mass market product. My work around has been to create simple web pages that interact with Particle and/or the cloud service (Grovestreams) I’ve been using or use an app such as NetIO for interaction.
However, I recently came across bubble.is and have been amazed at how easily and well I’ve been able to create web apps that run on any browser and can interact directly with Particle devices via the bubble API Connector (both Particle.variable() and Particle.function()).
There’s a bit of a learning curve (or I’m just thick-skulled), but there are several tutorials both on the site and a couple of udemy.com that bring the platform within reach of the masses. I believe they indicate that generating native apps is on their roadmap and this will make the offering even more appealing. I’m not affiliated with them in any fashion other than a newbie user who’s pretty pleased with what I’ve been able to accomplish. This tool, together with the Particle SoftAP code open all kinds of possibilities.
FWIW, I think it’s worth a looksie if you need to develop an interface for your Particle device(s).
I feel the same about the Mobile iOS and Android development. Even if you did build an app you have to keep it updated and it would probably still have issues with certain devices.
I found using a Wordpress Website with one of their nice templates and then adding a Client Portal by using the https://wp-client.com/ plug easily allows you to create a custom private login area for each customer where they can view a dashboard to display data coming from the Particle Devices they own.
This also allows you to charge clients on a monthly basis for this service if you wanted to since that feature is built into the wp-client software also.
Then this website can be viewed on a laptop or cellular device via the web browser, no mobile app needed. You can get most mobile browsers to show the non-mobile version of the website by changing a setting so you can get the same view on the phone as you see on the desktop.
I’m not defending bubble, but they do have plugins that offer the ability to handle charge cards and billing. Customer accounts are a fundamental part of bubble. Again, just an FWIW.
I’ve been using Joomla! to provide easy customer access to custom Grovestreams dashboards. However, there are many times I want to give users access to live data on the Particle device. What I like about bubble is the ability to design a web app that looks and acts very much like a native app regardless of the underlying platform.
It’s been a pretty big month of epiphanies for me learning how to shoehorn the SoftAP code into my apps and learning about bubble. I’m now looking at opportunities in a completely different light. I’ve always been a big Particle fan, but these two enabling technologies are real enablers for someone with my skillset.