From Progressive Web App to Play Store: A look into the tech powering the Dether Wallet Android App

Why and how we used Cordova to transform the Dether PWA in our first native app version.

From PWA to native app

Because Dether was first released as a progressive web app (or PWA), and then as a desktop web app, it was a natural next step to also make a native version of the app available for download.

The benefits of Cordova are that it doesn’t require implementing a brand new coding language. The Cordova CLI (command line interface) is available as a Node.js package, which can then be installed globally, and accessed anywhere in your computer directories.

Once the project is added to the Android Studio IDE, it’s just a few tweaks before the native app is created and usable. In our case, we modified the build that was generated by React.

Testing on Android

Once we were finally able to test the app on an Android device, we were able to detect two bugs: wallet encryption and the QR code feature.

While the wallet encryption took only seconds on iOS, it was taking hours in the Android version, and the QR scan didn’t work at all. Luckily, we were able to remedy this and a few graphic anomalies, and we’re happy to report that it’s running smoothly!

Benefits of a native app

While offering Dether as a progressive web app has many benefits in terms of ease of design and accessibility, there’s a lot to be said for being available in an app store. Firstly, it helps users find us more easily. As pointed out in this article, we’re conditioned to look for mobile apps on an app store, so it’s important to go where the users are. This also helps us to reevaluate and better adapt our UX. Plus, because we are able to still use JavaScript, the Dether Wallet app can be better and more easily maintained.

→ Ready to download the Android version of the Dether Wallet app for yourself? Download it here!