BuddyPress should work on most mobile smartphone browsers in the same manner it works on desktop browsers. However, you can optimize the mobile experience in a few different ways.
Responsive web design or responsive themes are themes that shift its layout depending on the available screen size of the device someone has used to access a site. This makes the viewing experience greatly improved with minimal panning, zooming and scrolling.
BuddyPress works on most themes out of the box even with responsive themes. That being said, the template files for BuddyPress are not 100% responsive. Since every theme has it’s own varying CSS there would be no way to force a set responsiveness to the BuddyPress template files for every available theme. You can always add your own template files and CSS to BuddyPress to enhance the responsiveness.
There are many free and paid responsive WordPress themes available to install.
Web apps are applications that use a web browser as the client and are not installed locally. This has the advantage of supporting more devices especially when most smartphone mobile browsers support current advancements in web technology.
There are a handful of WordPress plugins to switch out your theme to a fully responsive/web app type theme. These can be the best and easiest solution to format your site on the myriad of available devices. BuddyPress currently has no official mobile theme plugins.
- WPTouch: 3rd Party Developer http://wordpress.org/plugins/wptouch
- BuddyMobile: 3rd Party Developer http://wordpress.org/plugins/buddymobile
- Jetpack Mobile Theme: Automattic http://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack
- AppPresser: 3rd Party Developer http://wordpress.org/plugins/apppresser
Native apps are installed locally per device. Normally you would visit an App Store from one of the mobile OS venders to install apps. If you were to create a mobile app you would need to create a different native app for each smartphone vendor just like the mobile apps for WordPress. This can be seen as disadvantages for developers. BuddyPress currently has no official native apps.
Native Mobile Apps:
- BuddyDroid: 3rd Party Developer https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.yuttadhammo.buddydroid
BuddyPress currently has no official API for external communication. There are a few 3rd Party API plugins. These may not be up to date or working. Use at your own discretion.
- JSON API for BuddyPress: 3rd Party Developer http://wordpress.org/plugins/json-api-for-buddypress
- BuddyData: 3rd Party Developer https://github.com/modemlooper/BuddyData
- BuddyPress API: 3rd Party Developer https://github.com/boonebgorges/buddypress-api