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New WooCommerce iOS App launched

Some exciting news for WooCommerce users popped up in our news feeds yesterday evening. WooThemes just announced the release of a brand spanking new iOS app for WooCommerce.

iOS optimized Dashboard
iOS optimized Dashboard

The new iOS app is an interesting development for WooCommerce users as it means you should now be able to manage your shop on the go via your smartphone via a mobile optimized user experience.

Developed in partnership with the WooCommerce tech wizards over at SkyVerge, it’s clear that a serious number of man hours went into the creation of the initial release of the app. The SkyVerge crew have taken full advantage of the relatively new WooCommerce REST API to power the iOS app. Without the REST API I imagine the development time for this app would have been a much more time consuming task. SkyVerge continue to work with WooCommerce to extend the Product side of the REST API which will no doubt allow the iOS app to be quickly extended in future releases. The onboarding/setup process for the app is similar in many ways to the main WordPress iOS App and means it should be pretty straightforward to non technical WooCommerce users to get setup with the new app quite quickly.

Feature summary

  • Simple setup process powered by the WooCommerce REST API.
  • Concise mobile optimized Dashboard.
  • Full access to WooCommerce product catalog and product details.
  • Full access to all WooCommerce order summaries and order details.
  • Support for up to 4 stores at present. (The team have confirmed this will be expanded in the near future as the REST API expands.
  • Available for $4.99 from the iTunes app store now.

WooCommerce for iOS – Initial impressions

I’ve not had a lot of time to use the app in detail yet but initial impressions are very good. The user interface has been carefully crafted by James Koster and plays to the strengths of iOS interface guidelines best practices.

Order details screen
Order details screen

I can see this being a really useful app for shop owners who are constantly on the move. Like all good smartphone apps it’s important to identify how use cases translate to a smartphone device from the desktop. I think SkyVerge and WooThemes have done a great job at considering this for their initial app release. I suspect as a store owner that I would benefit most from the ability to manage and process orders on the go. That is a clear cut winning use case for a WooCommerce iOS app. I’m not certain that a smartphone device is the best place to manage a product catalog but again it would be useful for quickly monitoring and managing stock levels on key items.

Currently the app is iOS only. I think this is a smart strategy as time will tell if there is demand for an Android version. Some people have also balked at the fact that the app costs $4.99. In my opinion that’s simply nonsense. It’s a drop in the ocean compared to the value the app is delivering and represents a very fair price for what could become a critical aspect of a WooCommerce store owners daily workflow.

I’d love to know more about the design and development process that WooThemes and SkyVerge undertook to create the app, the challenges they faced during the process and what the future holds for the app. With services like AppPresser becoming more mature I think it’s only a matter of time before we see more and more interesting smartphone applications appearing for WordPress plugins like WooCommerce. In fact AppPresser has already got an eCommerce bundle which allows you to create pretty cool iOS apps for WooCommerce on the frontend. WooThemes also featured an AppPresser case study back in April.

Congrats to WooThemes and SkyVerge on the launch of WooCommerce for iOS!

 

About Colm: He has been building web stuff since the web was a wee lad. Colm built his first blog with WordPress around 2007 and has been hooked ever since. When not knee deep in hooks and filters you'll probably find him running around a mountain or making pizza.

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2 Comments

  1. Hey guys, thanks so much for the very fair review of our app, we really appreciate it!

    You’re entirely correct about the amount of time that went into both the app and the API being pretty substantial. After spending over a year in the planning/development phase we made the decision to get the app at least launched with read-only functionality, with plans to followup with update capabilities soon after launch, with a prioritization of features based on feedback we receive, and what the current version of the API supports. We have this next version in the works even now, which allow merchants to update order status 🙂

    We do have a couple of blog posts planned, to talk about some of our experiences and what we learned in launching this, our first app. An article on the future roadmap for the app is also an excellent idea. Thanks again!

    1. Hey Justin,

      Delighted to hear you’re already working on the next version and that it will have order status management 🙂

      I look forward to the blog posts – shout if you ever need a beta tester on the next version of the app!

      Colm

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