How to Convert a Vue App to a Mobile App

Vue (Vue.js) is a great programming framework for build single-page applications and front end web app interfaces. On its own, however, it’s not a framework for building native mobile apps.

There are some workarounds that let you use Vue for Android and iOS apps. But these are tricky and require a lot of tinkering. It’s particularly difficult if you’ve already built a web interface in Vue, and want to convert that to native mobile apps.

The best solution, assuming you’ve already built a functioning web app, is to use MobiLoud Canvas. This is a solution for converting web apps to native mobile apps, retaining 100% of your existing app’s functionality while providing an optimal UX for Android and iOS users.

This allows to to utilize Vue components for your user interface, use the framework you’re comfortable with, and not have to get familiar with new libraries and frameworks and spend significant time rebuilding your app. Read on to learn more.

Benefits of Having a Mobile App

Mobile optimization is par for the course today. Nearly 60% of web traffic today comes on mobile. So if you’re building for the web, you need to consider mobile (some would even argue you should build mobile-first, then optimize for desktop users).

But mobile-optimized web applications still might not cut it. If you want to really go mobile-first, and capture this growing cohort of users, you want native mobile apps.

90% of the time people spend online on their mobile devices is spent in apps, not mobile browsers. There’s a reason for this. Apps are simply more powerful and easier to use.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefit of building native mobile apps, over relying on a browser-based app.

Better mobile UX

While mobile websites have come a long way, it’s still clear when you’re browsing a site on your phone that it’s meant to be viewed on desktop.

The browser tabs get in the way. Sites are often slow to load, and navigating the site is not always the easiest.

You’ve also got to type the URL of the site in the address bar to bring it up every time.

Mobile apps are just more intuitive and easier to use. They’re designed specifically for mobile, without any of the irritating features of mobile browsers. They’re faster, and they allow users to jump straight into the app.

Increased engagement

Why does better UX for mobile visitors matter?

It’s going to lead to higher engagement, which is the goal for any web app or website. People have a better time when they’re in your app. They’re going to spend longer there, take more of the actions you want them to take, and come back more often.

No matter your business model, this is a win for you.

Push notifications

Mobile apps also allow you to use push notifications to get in touch with your audience.

Push notifications are a powerful way to get people into your app, and to occupy a place in your user’s mind.

There’s a limited amount you can do with push notifications when your app is browser-based. But to get the full power, on all devices, with full freedom of customization, you need your own mobile app.

App store presence

Finally, mobile apps allow you to get into the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

These can be great user acquisition channels. Any new way you can add for people to find your app and become a user is a plus, not to mention ones with as much traffic as these.

You’ll put your app in front of millions of iOS and Android users to discover.

Better yet, when someone downloads your app from the app store, they’re taking a big step in terms of loyalty. It’s not the same as someone randomly coming across you in a Google search, or via a link on social media. Your app’s now on their home screen, and these users are instantly much more qualified than a large percentage of your web app users.

Can You Build Mobile Apps with Vue?

It’s not the simplest thing in the world, but you can build mobile apps using Vue.

You’ll need to tinker with additional frameworks or libraries to make it work.

A few years ago, Vue Native was launched as a framework to allow developers to build cross-platform native apps.

Similar to React Native, this would enable mobile app development in Vue, letting you build custom mobile apps that would work on multiple devices and operating systems, using only one codebase. (Read more about building native apps with React here)

Vue Native has since been deprecated, and is no longer being maintained. That means there’s no reliable framework to do the same thing that React Native does.

You’ve got a few other tools out there that help bridge the gap between Vue.js and building mobile apps. These tools, such as Ionic Vue and Quasar, allow you to build a mobile-optimized frontend for your app, using what may already be familiar to you from Vue.js.

You still need to think about the backend of your app, of course. But these Vue mobile frameworks can handle the UI for you.

So you can create native mobile apps with Vue. However, even if you’re happy to learn and use tools like Ionic Vue, it’s going to involve a lot of extra work, both to build and maintain. It’s not as simple as basically clicking a button and converting your Vue app to mobile apps.

Converting Your Vue Web App to Mobile Apps

Now let’s say you’ve already got a web app built with Vue, and want to convert it to a mobile app. Should you use a framework like Ionic Vue to do it?

This is not actually the most effective way to go about it. You’re going to have to rebuild your frontend with the new framework – which will be a lot of work. You’re not actually converting your existing app, instead you’re recreating it.

It also leaves you with two separate apps – the web app you built initially, and the new mobile interface. If you add features, to your app, you need to add them twice (once for web and once for mobile). You’re going to be scrambling to keep up.

Why You Should Use MobiLoud Canvas Instead

There’s a better way to convert what you already have into mobile apps – MobiLoud Canvas. This is especially true if you want to maintain both web and mobile platforms simultaneously.

MobiLoud Canvas simply converts your existing web app into mobile apps for iOS and Android. The content and functionality remains the same, and the code base is the same. Yet users can download your mobile apps from the app stores, and you can layer mobile app elements (such as menu, navigation and push notifications) on top of your existing interface.

Here’s a quick brief on the benefits of doing it this way, rather than rebuilding your app for mobile.

You don’t need to write additional code

If you or your developer coded your existing app, you’ll probably have the ability to figure out the frameworks necessary to tweak your Vue app into mobile apps.

But while you can, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. You’ll still need to rebuild most of your app for mobile, which will take up a ton of your (or your developer’s) time.

This time can be better spent somewhere else, by simply converting what you already have into a mobile app, with Canvas.

Canvas is completely hands-off. You just configure a few things, and our team handles the rest.

One code base for mobile & desktop

Maintaining mobile apps and a web app simultaneously is tricky. It can be a juggling act. You might need to choose one platform to dedicate your energy to.

With Canvas, however, everything is completely in sync. Your mobile apps and web app use the same code base. When you make changes or add features, they’ll be reflected across both platforms at the same time.

This is much easier for you to manage, contrasted with rebuilding your app and managing two interfaces, constantly playing catch-up to keep them in sync.

It’s reliable

The solutions and frameworks for building mobile apps with Vue are still somewhat new. While you may be able to make them work, it’s not exactly the kind of architecture that’s been tried and tested by all the biggest hitters.

So if you choose one of these frameworks, there’s always going to be a sliver of risk, of you running into issues, or perhaps even the framework being deprecated in the future (as Vue Native was).

The simple nature of Canvas means you don’t have to worry about any of this. The only architecture you need to rely on is that which your web app already utilizes. 

MobiLoud handles mobile updates and app maintenance

MobiLoud Canvas is not just a tool, it’s a service. We stick around to manage updates, maintenance, and any other changes you need to make to your mobile apps after launch.

This is another big time saver for you and/or your staff, allowing you to remain lean and direct your resources to other projects.

How to Convert Your Vue App to Mobile Apps with MobiLoud Canvas

The beauty of Canvas is its simplicity. Anyone can launch their own mobile apps with Canvas, no matter what frameworks or platforms their app or website is built on, with a minimum of effort, time and resources invested.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Schedule a personalized demo with our team to discuss your project, and how Canvas fits for your specific use case.
  2. Sign up for Canvas. Plans are affordable, compared to the cost of a developer, and don’t require any long-term contracts.
  3. Log in and configure how you want your mobile apps to look – elements such as navigation, menus, branding and notifications.
  4. Wait, while our team builds your apps (this generally takes less than 2 weeks).
  5. When the initial build is ready, test your apps on your own devices and send us any final change requests.
  6. We’ll put together the final build, and submit your apps to the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Our team remains there for you, for any additional changes you need to make, updates, bugfixes and more.

Even if you could build out a Vue mobile app yourself, you’ll find the simplicity of Canvas – both in terms of building your mobile apps and maintaining them down the line – too good to pass up.

Wrapping Up

Vue.js may be a decent option today for building front end interfaces for mobile apps. But if you’ve already built a web app, and want to convert this to a mobile app for your mobile-first users, Canvas is a better choice.

It’s significantly quicker, easier and cheaper to launch, and makes it easier to maintain multiple platforms long-term.

That means you can offer the best experience to all your users, no matter what device they happen to use.

Get in touch with us now to learn more about how you can benefit from using Canvas to convert your Vue web app to mobile apps.