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[BETA] 💻 Convert your Bubble app to a Desktop App for FREE!

Hey Everyone,

Excited to announce we’re launching Deskifier, a service that allows you to convert your Bubble app to a custom Desktop app!

  • It is FREE to convert your app. When you convert your app, you will receive a .zip file with 3 folders, one for each platform. This is intended to be a “development” or “test” version of your desktop app.

  • Later on, we will offer a “production” version of your app, with native one click installers, auto-updating, and more. This is intended to be the version you would redistribute to your end users, since it will be easy to install & maintain, and you won’t need to worry about making sure your users download the latest version. This will also allow access to more features & allow you to publish your app in the Windows/Mac app stores.

How it works -

Note this is not a true conversion, and is similar to how mobile app conversions work, where it’s rather a web wrapper that points at your Bubble page. This means users will always see the latest version of your site.

Under the hood, Deskifier runs on Electron. Electron is based on the chromium engine (same engine behind Google Chrome). Some amazing apps have been built with Electron such as Discord, Postman, Microsoft VScode, Skype and more.

It’s best to think of Electron as a custom web browser. Since this is a custom web browser, your site is able to have full control over things a traditional web browser prevents access to.

  • Complete window control including uncloseable windows (set to only be closed via a Deskifier plugin workflow)

  • Create frameless & transparent windows

  • Create windows that load external websites, and inject your own JS into the external site, that can send messages back to your main app window. (Useful for having a user complete an action in an external app, and tracking their progress using JS event listeners)

  • Kiosk Mode - Setting a window to Kiosk mode will lockdown the computer to only allow your app to be used. (experimental, useful for customer facing applications like a food ordering terminal at a restaurant)

A lot more features are planned. Click here to read more about the features, or try out a demo app.

How to get started -

  1. Visit www.deskifier.com, enter your URL and click convert. Once you have signed up, you will be taken to the “Create App” page.

  2. Here you will specify your app name, icon, and some initial window options. The initial window options allow you to specify things like if the app should start in fullscreen, and the first page the app opens. This can be changed at any time, and these options are loaded every time the app is opened.

  3. After clicking create app, the build will start. This can take a couple of minutes, since we’re building apps for all three platforms on the backend.

  4. Once the conversion is complete, you will see a download button. This will download a .zip file with your app for all 3 platforms. From here, you can navigate into the folders to find the app/exe launchers.

Note, on Mac OS, you must right click on the app and click open since the app is not code-signed, and the developer can’t be verified.

  1. (Optional) Once you have converted your app, you can then start building native desktop features. By installing the Deskifier Link plugin into your Bubble app, this will allow access to things like opening/closing/managing windows.

Since this service is still in beta, expect you might come across bugs/missing features. Please report any bugs/questions/feedback here or PM me.

41 Likes

Great idea, @tim12333! I’ve thought about doing something similar, and I’m particularly interested in accessing the local file system. Looks like basic file system CRUD is on the roadmap, so I might check back.

:+1:

-Steve

2 Likes

Thank you!

Yes that is on the roadmap. It should also be possible to launch other applications/open files.

2 Likes

Hey @tim12333 great idea and good job! A question - do you plan to support Chrome extensions within the builds? If yes can you give an ETA ? Thanks!

2 Likes

Hey Levon,

Thank you! It is possible to load Chrome extensions in the Electron browser. However, I haven’t looked into it much, and didn’t plan on adding it. Do you mind sharing a bit more about your use case for this?

Thanks.

so we are building a crypto dashboard, which interacts with user’s metamask wallet (which is a Chrome Extension and is a de-facto standard for all crypto apps)… Hence we’d need the support of the extension.
Also, I tried generating the build and when I run it I see this error in my Mac, so it basically doesn’t let me launch the app

Gotcha, interesting! I will look into this. Also, on Mac, you must right click on the app and click open.

Since the app is not code signed, Mac makes it a bit difficult to open.

Code signing will be offered with the production version, and end-users won’t get that message.

1 Like

when are you going to launch the production version and how much would that cost?

I don’t have an ETA unfortunately.

I think a lot of it will depend on how much interest this receives early on, and how many new features will be built out before building out the production version.

As far as pricing goes, that is also undecided, and again is dependent upon the above factors. I do know it will be a month-to-month fee instead of the common one-time fees.

Also, I am doing a bit of research on integrating chrome extensions. I may set up a version of your app with that extension loaded. If so, can I send that over to the email you signed up with?

Thanks.

What particular bubble apps do you think would find Deskify useful?

1 Like

I’m not sure we’d be up for a monthly recurring charge, we actually planned to do this ourselves and I thought your solution could save us time but we’d be ready to pay one-time vs monthly otherwise we’d consider building it out ourselves

3 Likes

Same here, but would love a ready made solution. Great work!

1 Like

Good question.

This can kind of go two ways.

For existing Bubble apps -

  • Those that want to provide a completely custom UI, or those that have a need for managing their apps lifecycle like not allowing the user to close the app prematurely, or want to show the app from a hidden state to get the user’s immediate attention.

  • Apps that users visit frequently. In this case, some may find that their users prefer an easy to access desktop app to a website since they are always on the app.

  • Some may find they see more conversions & recurring users when they offer a downloadable & easy to access app.

For new ideas - I hope that this can open the door to building new types of Bubble apps.

  • Kiosk type apps like standardized testing apps for schools that would prevent students from tabbing out and going to lookup answers, or any B2B apps that a business can install onto a computer and would allow customers to use only the app, and not allow them to unfocus the app.

  • Widget type apps, like the Time Buddy demo app - It is a small window that stays above all other windows.

My goal is to gain more insight and feedback as to exactly what kinds of Bubble apps work best as a desktop app.

I will give this some thought, with the production builds we will have recurring costs for maintaining builds & auto-update servers, so want to make sure it is sustainable for us as well.

Also, wanted to lower the barrier of entry for those looking to test an idea without needing to fork out everything up front.

Maybe it will be best to have a one-time payment option or recurring option.

Thank you for the feedback!

1 Like

This is a really cool app @tim12333 !!! I can think of several use cases where this can “next level” some apps! Congrats and I can’t wait to see where you take it!

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FIrst, congratz for this product. Works perfectly.
Second : I agree with @levon about pricing. I would pay a 1 time fee + additional fee “per build” / “per platform”.

Not a subscription based plan for this service.
Just my personal opinion.
Hope you succeed with this project

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Great tool @tim12333 , I look forward to the new updates and the possibility of drag and command to maximize, minimize, close and fullscreen. Otherwise excellent work.

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Thank you!

PM your app name, and I’ll give your app access to the plugin.

1 Like

My app is covapsis

Sent!

1 Like