How Any Tech Novice Can Side-Step Apple And Create A Mobile App

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Unless you’ve coughed up a ton of money for mobile apps, your website probably looks bad on iPads, iPhones and Androids.

Onswipe, a Techstars company that closed $6 million in funding, is an “insanely easy tablet publishing” solution.  In fact, it side-steps Apple and the iTunes store completely.

Founders Jason Baptiste and Andres Barreto created a way for any tech novice to create an app-like experience without a developer. It works across all touchscreen devices too, so a one-time setup will create synchronised Android, iPhone and iPad app-like experiences. 

Onswipe is to web publishers what WordPress is to blogs.  There are multiple layouts and templates to choose from and it only takes a few minutes to set up. Marie Claire and Slate have already set up mobile sites via Onswipe.

Like every cheap solution, Onswipe has limitations. For starters, there is no zoom feature. If a mobile reader wants to enlarge the text, too bad.  There is also no way to copy/paste/highlight text or comment on articles.  There is no search feature either, so unless an article is up front and centre, a reader could have trouble finding it.

Essentially, Onswipe is a cheap app alternative. But if you want something basic and you’re not tech savvy, here’s a pretty decent solution.

First, go to Onswipe and enter your publication's information.

Then select how your website publishes content. Do you use a custom CMS? WordPress? Twitter?

That's it for the sign up process!

Now you can begin customising your mobile site's layout.

There are 33 templates to choose from.

Once you pick a style you'll receive a notification.

There are 6 different article layouts to choose from. The home page can be customised too.

Next, modify colours, logos and fonts.

Now that you're finished customising everything, here's your embed link. Put it on your website and your app-like mobile experience will work.

Voila, here is your site's new improved table of contents on an iPad. Now let's check out some possible article formats...

Here's what a photo-based article using Instagram might look like.

Photos can be expanded to full screen too when a user taps on their touchscreen device.

Here's what a Twitter article looks like

And a video article using YouTube.

If you have a long feature story, it could look like this.

There's also a feature that recommends other related articles. Just tap the rocket ship icon.

Users can share articles on Facebook, Twitter and in emails.

Articles can be saved and read later. Click the heart icon to save it to your MyOnswipe feed.

Here's that same article, stored in your queue.

Onswipe keeps a list of the archived articles.

It also shows you the articles your friends have saved.

If you see a friend's article and want to read it, swipe to save it to your list.

Your can read saved articles even when you're offline.

Publishers can also run ads on the Onswipe app.

Users read articles, ad-free

But a big, beautiful full screen ad can follow between pageviews.

Onswipe ads have magazine print-like creative. They can include geolocation.

Ads can also be shared.

Videos can be integrated into the full screen ads too.

Here's how a finished version could look to a user:

To find out how other cool new technology works, check out:

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