Creating a mobile application

Choosing a template

The apps you can create with Siberian CMS are more marketing/communication apps than “Angry birds” like apps. Typically, even if you can make a bunch of customizations, you’ll always get an app with:

  • A homepage background image, or a homepage feature
  • A layout, which is the way the access to the features of your app is displayed
  • A set of colors
  • Your features’ content
  • Some startup images (the images which are displayed at the opening of your app when it is loading)
  • An app icon

A template, also called a theme, is a mix of all of this: homepage background images, a type of layout, set of colors, some features with a demo content, startup images, an app icon.

By default, Siberian is delivered with 3 templates, but you’ll find dozens of free templates on their marketplace which you can install easily from your backoffice.

A sight on the template selection window of Siberian CMS:

template-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

Going over each template will show you the main color set for the theme:

color-template-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

You can customize each template your own way by changing all the items that constitute the template.

Homepage images:

Go down on the page, in the “CHOOSE YOUR HOMEPAGE IMAGE” section and change your background images. Why are there several sizes? In order to display the most accurate size for a device screen size.

There are also some options:

  • “Use background into all of your application’s pages”: to display the image you’ve set for your homepage background as a background image for all of your app’s pages (note that you can also set a specific image for each of your app’s pages but we’ll see this aspect later)
  • 2 options that are not so much related to the homepage image, maybe a little bit though, as it can hide your image: hiding or not the device status bar. The status bar is the bar with information like your battery life, your Wifi status, etc you can see at the top of your device. You may want to hide this bar when the users browse your mobile application.

Note that you can change the template of your application whenever you want, BUT changing a template will overwrite the existing images and the layout you are currently using in your app. So be careful if you have already spent time to upload your own homepage and background images, app icon and startup images as all these images will be removed and replaced by the ones of the new template you will choose. In case you don’t want these images to be removed there is no reason to change your template, you better just change the other items of the template which you have already associated to your mobile app.

In order to change the other items, just read the next sections of this article!

Choosing a layout

A layout is a way to display the tab bar with icons and page names, that is used to navigate to the different pages of your app. The most known layout is surely this one:

layout-siberian-cms-mobile-application

Siberian offers a large list of layouts that can really enhance the look of your app:

layouts-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

The Layouts have some options to customize its design. Here is an example with the “Popup menu” layout:

layout-options-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

  • Position menu: you can choose the position of your menu from top to bottom. This will display the menu of your application at the top, the middle or the bottom of your application.
  • Title case: choose how to display the name of your pages in the menu, lowercase or uppercase
  • Display titles: choose if you want to display the name of your app’s pages or the icons only

Here is an example with this layout and the options “Top” for “position menu” and “Hidden” for “display titles”:

exemple-layout-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

Note that other developers are providing free or paid layouts on the Siberian marketplace.

Choosing your colors

You can choose the colors used in your application from the “Colors” menu of Siberian:

colors-OFkDFLsVzI-siberian-cms-mobile-application

There are two ways for setting up the colors of your application. At the right of the page you may see these items:

app-list-siberian-cms-mobile-application

  • “App” will allow you to navigate inside your app to check how the colors you have chosen are applied. Choosing this option is better if you want to have a complete control on the colors of your application.
  • “List” will show you a list of blocks for which you can choose the colors. A block is a type of content used by Siberian on different type of pages. For example the block “Button” will allow you to set up the colors for the buttons used in your app.
    In the preview, on the right of the page, you will not be able to navigate because it won’t show your application but just the block for which you are currently editing the colors. If you know how these blocks are used by Siberian you can use this “List” because it will speed up the process of choosing your colors, but if you are new with Siberian, the “App” option is a suitable one.

Choosing your features and add/manage your content

You have to go to the “Features” menu and then choose the features you want to add from the “Add pages” section.

Siberian is providing a video about adding your content to a feature:

Note that some features can be added only once, like Commerce, and some others can be added several times. This is because some features cannot work if they are added several times. For example, if you want to send some push notifications to your users, you just need the feature “push notification”, you don’t need 5 pages of this kind. You add it once and then you use it to send your notifications.

So don’t be disturbed if you cannot find a feature in the “Add pages” section, it may have already been added to the list of your app’s pages and cannot be added twice.

To add your content, in most of the cases, you may have to click on the “+” on the right of the “ADD” section:

Add-content-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

If you want to manage an existing content, you can do that from the “MANAGE” section of the feature you want to edit:

Manage-content-siberian-cms-mobile-application

 

Most of the times, the content is managed thanks to the “ADD” and “MANAGE” sections. Some simpler pages may not display these sections but a form or fields in which you can add your content directly.

Finalizing your app

A mobile application is also characterized by startup images and an app icon.

A startup image is an image that will be displayed when the user opens the app during the loading time.

The app icon is the icon which is displayed on the device homescreen once the app is installed.

You can add these two items in the “Application” menu.

Publishing your app

Depending on whether or not you are using the free or paid versions you will have access to different tools for publishing your app.

First of all let’s have a quick look at this last menu “Publication”. There are 3 blocks (it might change if you are using the Siberian paid versions and your settings).

General information

Let’s see the fields “bundle ID” and “Package name”. These two fields have the same functions but are named differently depending on if it’s for iOS or for Android. In all cases it is the unique identifier for your application. Indeed your application cannot be identified by its name, as there are most likely other apps in the world which have the same name, and it could be a problem if your users have two different applications with the same identifiers on their device. For example, if you send a push notification to your users, the one who has two applications with the same ID on his device may receive your notification on the other application! It’s just like you are two different persons with the exact same name at the same address, it can be complicated to get your mails and parcels delivered to the right one. That’s why you must create a bundle ID (used for iOS) and a package name (used for Android). Actually you can use the same identifier for your app for iOS and for Android, so you can have the same entry for the “bundle ID” and the “package name”. Just choose one that is quite unique, like your domain name written reversely and a number at the end: com.mydomain.apps.1.

Privacy policy URL: when publishing your application on the stores, this URL can be requested so that the user can read it before downloading your application.

Monetize your app

You can use this feature to add your Admob information and display ads in your application.

Mobile Source Codes

From these links you can download the source code of your application and then you will have to compile this code manually to publish it on the stores. On the paid versions these actions can be automated.