FAQ

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Publishing
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General

What is GoNative?

Need to convert a website or web application into a native app? GoNative provides an easy to use online app builder platform used by thousands of companies and web developers to build highly custom native iOS and Android apps powered by web-based content. Get started on your first app at https://gonative.io/new

Want to build an app without needing to learn our platform? We offer a full-service app configuration service. Our team will meet with you to determine your requirements and will configure a ready-to-publish app.

Need help publishing your app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store? We offer an app store publishing service. We will publish your app to both stores, managing the process from end to end.

Need to ensure your apps continue to function through future device and operating system updates? We offer enterprise-grade support and maintenance agreements with SLA terms, effectively becoming your fractional mobile app development team so you can launch and maintain native apps without needing any iOS or Android developers.

What do I need to create my app?

All you need is the URL of your existing website and within minutes the GoNative online app builder will create a native app that displays your web content. GoNative’s app builder is free of charge to test and evaluate. Enter your URL at https://gonative.io/new

How long does it take to create my app?

The GoNative app builder will build your app within minutes. You’ll then be able to preview your app immediately in our browser-based simulators or download to test on a physical device. Once you’ve finished configuring your app you can then publish to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Looking to have our team configure and publish your app? Typically we can have your app configured and published to the app stores within two weeks.

Will this work with my website?

Yes! The GoNative platform works with all website development platforms. Your app will display your website content as it is displayed in a mobile web browser such as Mobile Safari or Mobile Chrome.

We have many customers who develop their web content using Wordpress, Weebly, Wix, Webflow, and more. And customers who build web applications to deploy as web apps using Microsoft .NET and SharePoint, Salesforce Lightning, Bubble.io.

Most websites will display within apps created using GoNative automatically. To build highly immersive native apps as a web developer use the GoNative JavaScript Bridge to add a range of native functionality

  • Change the app status bar color dynamically to match your web content and branding
  • Add native navigation menus such as a native bottom tab bar menu
  • Adjust the device screen brightness when displaying a QR code for other devices to scan
  • Prevent the device screen from timing out and going to sleep when showing long form content for the user to read

What happens if something changes within my website?

All of the changes made to your website will be reflected in your app. Our apps obey the same cache headers that a browser will, which are set by your web server. If you are experiencing trouble seeing your updated website reflected in your app, we list some potential solutions here.

How are app updates handled?

GoNative maintains our common app codebase to ensure compatibility with future iOS and Android updates so you don’t have to worry about maintaining code.

We publish our codebase publicly on GitHub and the source code for your individual app can be downloaded from your app management page at any time. Should you extend the native code of your app yourself you can manually merge our future updates back into your own app.

For premium native plugins an active support and maintenance plan is required to obtain future updates

What's different than a basic webview wrapper app?

Apps built using GoNative are much more than a wrapper app. The GoNative platform allows you to build an app with advanced native functionality and features. You can add native navigation menus, native push notifications (with OneSignal and other push providers), and incorporate our premium native plugins such as Face ID / Touch ID Biometric authentication, Social Login, QR/Barcode scanner, In-App Purchases, and much more.

When building your app you'll also benefit from the GoNative build platform which has been supported and maintained since early 2014. As iOS and Android changes are released you can rebuild your app using the GoNative App Builder to maintain compatibility while avoiding the overhead that comes from maintaining your own code base.

What are the benefits of converting my website into an app rather than building one from scratch?

Using GoNative you can build your own iOS and Android app in minutes, all at a fraction of the cost of hiring a developer to build an app from scratch. By converting your existing website into a native app, you will only need to maintain a single web codebase rather than separate iOS and Android apps.

Need to add advanced native features? We offer a range of Native Plugins that will get the job done or you can engage our team for custom development to add the native functionality you require. You will then only need to build an integration once using the GoNative JavaScript Bridge, a powerful API built into your app that allows your website to communicate with and control your app.

Using GoNative allows you to focus on developing the content and business logic of your app rather than hiring developers to build, update, and configure low-level native code from scratch. We make this process easy so you don’t have to worry about all of the technicalities and can focus on what really matters: creating a high quality experience for your users.

What is a Native Plugin?

Native Plugins are code modules that can be added to your iOS and Android app that provide access to native device hardware, functionality, and third-party services. Native Plugins are easily accessed through the GoNative JavaScript Bridge, a powerful API built into your app that allows your website to communicate with and control your app.

Some of our featured plug-ins include OneSignal Push Notifications, Touch ID/Face ID Biometric Authentication, Social Login with native Google Sign In, Facebook Login, and Sign-in with Apple, QR/Barcode Scanner, In-App Purchases. Check out our full Native Plugin library here.

Licensing and Purchases

How much does GoNative cost?

There is no cost to build an app using GoNative for evaluation and testing purposes. You can test your app on our simulator devices in your browser and on physical iOS and Android devices.

A valid license is required to publish your app to the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or for any other commercial purpose. You can purchase a Single Application License for $790 USD which may be purchased directly on our website at https://gonative.io/pricing.

In addition to the app license, we offer a variety of optional add-ons and services. These include:

  • Push Notifications using our integration with OneSignal or through other push notification providers.
  • Native Plugins that provide access to a range of device functionality and third-party services.
  • A Full-Service App Configuration service, where our team handles completes detailed configuration to produce a publish-ready app using the GoNative platform.
  • An App Store Publishing service, where our team completes all steps that are required to publish your app to the app stores and guarantees successful approval
  • Custom development to extend the GoNative platform to integrate third-party SDKs and add advanced functionality for your specific use case
    Full pricing details are available here

How many apps can be published with each license?

You can build an unlimited number of apps for free with our online app builder. However, you can only publish one app per license, which includes versions for both iOS and Android devices. You may modify and rebuild your app as many times as you wish and all future updates to the core GoNative iOS and Android source code as published on GitHub are included without additional fees.

For our partner development agencies who are building many apps, we offer volume-based pricing.

How do I apply my license to my app?

After the purchase of your license, you will receive an email including a copy of your executed license agreement and a link to your license management page.

To apply your license, you will be asked for the iOS Bundle Id and Android Package Name you will use for your app store submissions. Generally, these identifiers are in reverse domain notation and look similar to com.example.app.

If you've built your app through our online build platform, you will also be asked for the Private Management URL for the app you will be publishing. This is the link that was emailed to you after building through our website.

After applying your license, you do not need to rebuild or re-download your app.

I receive an error saying my app is not licensed?

It’s important that the iOS Bundle Id and Android Package Name on your license match the identifiers you are using to publish your app. Contact GoNative Support if you need to update these values on your license. If you worked with a third-party developer to build your app make sure they are an approved partner and/or you have received a valid GoNative license.

Can I add Native Plugins to my app in the future?

Yes! Native Plugins can be purchased either initially with your app license via a Custom Package or added to your license in the future via your License Management page. You can also add our Full-Service App Configuration service or App Store Publishing Service in the future.

What kinds of support does GoNative provide?

We receive a high volume of emails and our dedicated team aims to respond to all email inquiries as soon as possible. However, we prioritize customers who have an active support plan and meet the SLA terms set out in such plans.

Contact us for more information on our support and maintenance plans. For eligible clients we offer phone-based technical support.

Is there a discount for an Android-only or iOS-only license?

Unfortunately we do not discount our license for use on a single platform. Our platform is designed to create one full-featured app with iOS and Android versions and we are not able to license an app for a single platform or for a subset of features.

What is GoNative's refund policy?

GoNative offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee subject to the following:

  • Refund applies to software license portion of the purchase only and does not apply to any services provided by GoNative (refunds are available up until the the GoNative has commenced delivering the service)
  • Refund does not apply to purchases of native plugin software if the source code has been provided. * Contact GoNative to obtain a binary evaluation app if testing is required in advance of purchase.
  • Refund requests must be made within 90 days of purchase.

Publishing

Will I be able to publish my app to the Apple App Store and Google Play?

Yes! You can either publish your app yourself or you can use our experienced team to handle the publishing end-to-end and make the process as seamless as possible.

Both app stores require specific criteria for apps submitted. Our Publishing Guide contains all of the information you will need to self-publish your app.

Whether you choose to self-publish or have our team publish on your behalf you will need an Apple Developer Account and a Google Play Developer Account. You can apply for both accounts using the links below.

How long will it take to publish my app?

Apple's review and approval process is typically completed within 3-5 days while the Google Play Store approval process is usually complete within a day.

However, it is important to be very attentive to detail when self-publishing as both App Stores have specific criteria for approval. Check out our Publishing Guide for complete details.

GoNative’s also offers an App Store Publishing Service that can publish your app to both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Find out more information App Store Publishing Service.

How do I publish an internal employee-only app?

The Apple App Store and Google Play Store are intended for public apps that can be downloaded and used by anyone. Apps that provide public content and also include a logged-in area for employees are typically acceptable. As are apps that are intended to be used by a wide variety of external partners and contractors. However, strictly internal corporate apps such as scheduling, timesheet, employee portal/intranet type apps may need to be published to a private app store or distributed via an MDM solution. Contact our support team for guidance based on your specific requirements.

Technical

How do I add an App Icon?

You can upload a new icon in your App Configuration page. You'll find it as the first item under "General Styling". Check out our documentation page App Icon regarding the specific dimensions of your app icon here, and our Blog article on designing a mobile app icon.

Can I modify the source code for my app?

Yes! Full source code for iOS and Android is available for download and further customization in Xcode and Android Studio.

After you've made changes you can keep your modified source code current with the latest GoNative updates Merge latest GoNative Updates.

How do I integrate my app with a third-party SDK?

Integration with SDKs from third-party vendors is a differentiating reason to build an app with GoNative. Our engineering team will integrate the required SDK within our build platform for iOS and/or Android so that the SDK is incorporated automatically during each build of your app.
We will work with you to define specifications for accessing the functionality offered by the SDK through the GoNative JavaScript Bridge. We have extensive experience integrating push notification providers, analytics tools, video and media providers, and more. Contact us for details.

What are the privacy and security implications of using GoNative?

By design all data and network traffic from your app goes directly to your web server, exactly as it would if the user browsed your website via Mobile Safari or Mobile Chrome. No website data whatsoever passes through any GoNative servers, and your app does not depend on GoNative's servers or uptime to function. Therefore, your app relies on the same security, encryption, and access that exists on your website.

At times clients will require an independent security audit of their app for compliance purposes. GoNative’s engineering team is available to support these reviews for a nominal fee.

GoNative’s website and SSL certificates are validated as a secure for sending and receiving sensitive data by DigiCert. This ensures security of your purchase and payment.

Which versions of Android and iOS will my app support?

The core GoNative app supports iOS 12.5+ and Android 5.0+ including both phones and tablets. Support for Push Notification providers and Native Plugins vary by the SDKs and device functionality required. We continually release updates to support the latest operating system updates and new devices.

How can I accept payments within my app?

Any payments or checkout functionality that you build into your website will continue to work within your GoNative apps. 

For Android apps, you may continue to use your web-based payments flow in your apps without any issues. You may optionally add our In-App Purchases Native Plugin to streamline the payment process and provide support for premium features and subscriptions.

Apple, however, makes a distinction between "physical" and "digital" goods sold within your app, and requires use of their in-app purchase ("IAP") APIs for selling "digital" goods. The advantage of using Apple IAP is ease of use for end users who can purchase via their Apple iTunes account with a quick tap. However, Apple will charge a processing fee, typically 15% for the first $1 million in revenue and 30% thereafter (consult with Apple for the current fees in your region). 

A "physical" good is something delivered or consumed outside of your app. For example, the Amazon.com app sells physical goods and thus does not need to use Apple's in-app purchase APIs. These purchases can go through standard web checkout flow like Stripe, PayPal, etc. 

A "digital" good is something like a new weapon in a game, or a workout video delivered as part of a premium membership in your app. Digital goods are delivered or consumed within your app, and payments are required to go through Apple's in-app purchase APIs. 

There are two main strategies to manage this requirement: 

  1. Remove the ability for people to make digital purchases within your app. Users can use your app in the same way as your website but simply cannot make digital purchases within it. Many widely-used apps such as Audible employ this approach.

To configure your website to remove these payment links please see our guide at Detecting App Usage.

  1. Purchase our Apple IAP native plugin and integrate within your website following our documentation Apple In-App Purchases.