A web app is a great way for a user to have the tools they use the most right at their fingertips, but with nearly every tool on the computer being run through the browser these days, it’s easy for a user to lose what they’re working on in a sea of windows and open tabs while they’re at their desk.
Knowing this, our team tasked themselves to find a way to rise above the clutter and help our users stay connected to their brand’s social media planning, even when they are busy with other other projects. We decided the best way to do that, would be to go native… well sort of… and build a desktop client. By building our desktop client as a “hybrid-app”, KAWO has been able to combine some of the best features of both a web and native desktop based apps.
So what is a hybrid-app exactly? A hybrid-app consists of two main elements: a shell and a webview. The shell is essentially the housing for a true desktop app that allows access to system features, such as notifications, sounds, and desktop menus. The webview can be described more or less as a simple browser window without all of the extra toolbars that communicates directly with and is viewed on top of the shell.
By having this hybrid-app, the user is able to run the our web app easily in a window the same way they would through the browser, only with some added advantages of a desktop client, mainly, ease of access. While using KAWO, a user can quickly tuck the app away by closing the window, but unlike a browser, it will continue running the background allowing them to switch back by simply clicking the KAWO icon in the dock, or command+tab cycle through the open applications.
In addition to the easily manageable interface, the user will also be able to receive system notifications whenever there is action on their account. For instance a “success!” pop-up to let them know a post has been successfully published, or a “Failed” notice, to alert them that a planned post failed to publish. These additions will keep the user connected to their management system at all times and informed about the status of their work.
Finally, the biggest advantage of the new KAWO desktop app, will be it’s scalability. By having the web version of KAWO run through the desktop app, it allows our team to release new features and fixes directly to app, without requiring the user to download an update every time something new is available. This makes the user experience on a day to day basis more seamless even as the product grows and improves.
For the initial build and launch, the KAWO desktop client will only be compatible for Mac OS X, however a Windows version will be soon to follow. We promise!