Developers: Use open source Enyo for web-based previews of your apps | webOS Nation

Developers: Use open source Enyo for web-based previews of your apps 11

by Derek Kessler Mon, 06 Feb 2012 8:26 pm EST

Hey there webOS developer, have we got a suggestion for you. Frustrated by the lack of a trial option or refunds for your webOS customers? Wish you had a way to offer a free trial that was easy to find? Have we got the answer for you - use Enyo and the web.

Thanks to the nature of webOS and Enyo, developers are proving how easy it in fact is to take an app, even a relatively complex one like Flashcards, and port it to the web browser. Practically any Enyo developer could leverage this flexibility of Enyo to offer their app to anybody with a web browser (especially once Enyo 2.0 comes around). Throw in a cookie to limit usage to a few hours or days or whatever you want and then redirect users to the App Catalog to purchase.

Putting an Enyo app online, even in time-limited fashion, offers something that Apple, Google, BlackBerry, and Microsoft haven’t been able to conjure: more than just an online description and some screenshots, it's the actual app, easily available for anybody to use. And if you're the type of Enyo developer who's porting your app to other platforms (if you aren't, you're silly), you can use the same website to provide a preview of your app for all platforms. Sure, it'll cost a bit up front to set up a website and pay for hosting charges, but you've got to spend money to make money. We can't think of many better ways to spend that money than to actually make it possible for any potential customer to try your app out on any platform.


This is awesome ... we should advertise this in all the "other" development communities and by this infiltrate them ... :)

That's not a bad idea. What's up with posts on the sister sites; iMore, Android Central, Crackberry, etc.

In theory this is a great idea, however one could simply download the entire source code, remove the trial checker (and limit) code, and package it as a webOS app.

That's not to say I won't use it for my apps, I will. I'll just end up removing chunks of code to limit certain features and do some of the code processing online.

This is what I was thinking. Plus there will be many device-dependent features that would require stubbing (and I'm not sold on HP's method of stubbing service calls)

Sure, it's a great idea, very natural and almost exclusive for webOS.

But leaves your intellectual property completely exposed (not that webOS hides it much). Also, it's yet more additional work, and frankly, screenshots, videos, and buyer's comments, are enough to decide a purchase.

...almost exclusive for webOS

No it is not. Despite Derek's "...something that Apple, Google, BlackBerry, and Microsoft haven’t been able to conjure", this ability has existed cross platform for a very long time for non-native apps.

We've built a very large number of Phonegap+Sencha Touch apps for various clients and we run them in a web browser during prototyping, development and early demos. We even go as far as resizing the browser to match the intended device's screen dimensions (when running from a desktop). Naturally, the only portions of the apps that don't work via the web are the portions that rely on platform-specific plugins (capturing a photo or video for example).

We don't leave the "web previews" available indefinitely because of the issues already pointed out by some of the other posts here and our clients happen to not want them (opting for demo videos instead).

It's a cool idea that simply requires a link off of your support URL (usually provided in the various stores), but it is neither new nor exclusive to webOS.

This IS a great option, but like others said, security would be an issue. I regularly clear my cookies so that would "renew" the trial, right?

Also, this isn't a first. Amazon has live previews of many apps in their Android Appstore.

Really? I've never seen anything like this in the Amazon Android app store. I've only seen videos and images.

Can you post a link to an app that has a live preview/demo so I can check it out?

Make your app demo in Flash so its secure :)

Why are we complaining about extra capabilities? Use it or don't. Having cross platform options is a good thing, phones, web browser ... TV? I don't think Objective C is the answer and java is losing steam while scripting languages are growing. Enyo Anywhere, gives it a better chance to survive or to grow even.

Nice and informative article thanks for sharing this one.