Mendix Native

Are you having trouble publishing your Hybrid Mendix app in the App Store? This is why and how to fix it.

On the 30th of June, Apple’s new guideline on iOS app approval came into effect. The guideline describes that Apple will only accept iOS apps into its App Store which are built with at least the iOS 13 SDK. This might affect you when you are working on a Mendix application built on top of the Mendix Hybrid app technology.

iOS apps rejected when built with Phonegap Build

Hybrid apps with Mendix are bundled on a framework called Phonegap. Phonegap is a project developed by Adobe that included an online build platform called Phonegap Build. This platform enabled Mendix developers to build iOS and Android apps without the need for software like Xcode. This software requires you to have a Mac and Android Studio to create the executables for both iOS and Android. However, earlier this year it became apparent that Adobe would discontinue maintaining the Phonegap Build platform. This will result in iOS apps (and Mendix apps) being rejected from the App Store, if they are built with Phonegap Build

This news is not really that new, as Apple introduced this new guideline back at their Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in 2019. Initially, this guideline would come into effect on the 30th of April, but stumbled upon a lot of criticism from developers since this meant a lot of rework for your existing app. Unfortunately Adobe did not see this as a red alert to upgrade their platform to accommodate this major change.

How to continue building Mendix Hybrid apps for iOS?

Mendix released new documentation on how to continue building Mendix Hybrid apps for iOS by bundling and creating the executables locally on a Mac. This might save your project for now, but will lead to incompatibility issues in the near future and will require your team to work with Mac’s.

Luckily, Mendix got you covered on that as well! With the release of Mendix 8 at Mendix World 2019, a new way of developing apps for mobile devices was introduced: Native Apps, based on the modern React Native platform. These apps will not only perform better, but also give your app the real “native” feeling. The app will always adhere to the UI standards of the iOS or Android platform. Moreover, it gives your application direct access to all hardware features of the device like GPS, Bluetooth, etc. Where Hybrid apps give the impression of a website in an app, Mendix React Native apps translate to real native code, that are indistinguishable from an app developed in Objective-C/Swift or Mobile Java.

How Mendix React Native can help your business even further

Next to being up-to-date with the latest standards in Mobile Software development, a Mendix React Native app means your users no longer need to stay connected to the internet all the time. Mendix React Native implements an Offline First methodology. This means that the application we develop will keep working while there is no internet connection. By implementing smart synchronization patterns, we make sure the application updates your Mendix application at the right time and only when your user is connected to the internet.

Another benefit of making a Mendix React Native application, is performance and security. A Mendix React Native application will translate to native code, instead of a web page rendered in your mobile application. This will keep the size of your application small. Meaning less time to download and no more need for communication between the web part and the native code. This will increase the performance of the application immediately. Using native code instead of a web view also makes the app more secure. There is no need to host the application code that can be intercepted by hackers, because all the code is included with the app directly with the installation.

TimeSeries can help: the Mobile App Factory!

At TimeSeries, we have teams of Mendix React Native experts in four countries. Ready to develop the latest cutting edge mobile apps with the Mendix platform. With years of extensive experience developing React Native apps (with and without Mendix), and already many apps released in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, we have the knowledge to help you migrate your existing Hybrid apps to a Native template. Or kickstart your new project with all the knowledge you need to deliver the best Native experience. 

Our Mobile App Factory is fully up and running, migrating Hybrid apps for multiple clients worldwide. The first step contains analyzing your Hybrid application and provide you with a fit-gap analysis. When we agree on the work that needs to be done, our Mobile App Factory starts working on the migration remotely. During development, we will keep you up-to-date with testable versions. That way, you can easily track progress. Once the migration is complete, we will assist you with publishing your new Native app to all App Stores.

You can contact my colleague Sandra Ramaker at sandra.ramaker@timeseries.com and find out how TimeSeries’ Mobile App Factory can help migrating your existing hybrid apps to a Mendix React Native app!

July 7, 2020
Freek Brinkhuis