Introducing the Shopify POS App SDK

Introducing the Shopify POS App SDK

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Last year, we introduced the Embedded App SDK (EASDK); a toolkit that allows developers of third-party apps to embed new features in the Shopify admin. The community’s response to EASDK has been phenomenal. Hundreds of third-party apps like Bouncer, Bespoke Shipping and Better Recommendations have used the EASDK to create in-admin experiences that delight merchants and their customers.

We knew that we wanted Shopify POS to have the same extensibility as the Shopify admin — so today, we are excited to announce the Shopify POS App SDK.

Using the POS App SDK, developers can build interactive apps that show up inside Shopify’s Point of Sale for the iPad. These apps can modify the contents of a cart, add and remove discounts, create line item properties, and read the current user of the POS — along with all other functions of the Shopify API.

POS apps can also trigger native iOS alerts and dialogs, along with flash messages similar to those in the Embedded App SDK. POS apps can even access AirPrint, device motion, and orientation data using HTML5. Building an app for POS is very similar to embedding apps into the Shopify admin, with only a few lines of JavaScript.

“When we first learned about apps for Shopify POS, we actually started working almost immediately with a customer that had some special requirements for a brewery membership,” said Marius Andreiana, founder of Supple Apps. “They were so happy about being able to run their club just as they wanted, without compromises. That's how I see apps for Shopify POS: enabling merchants to run their businesses just as they dreamed.”

POS apps can be accessed in three different ways: through the new “Apps” tab of Shopify POS, through the Shopify web admin, and through three optional in-app actions within POS.

Add to Cart action

Using the Add to Cart action, apps can add a link to the bottom-left corner of the Shopify POS Products screen. An app could use this action to open a modal to add product customization notes, product modifiers or bundle multiple products together with a discount.

Edit Cart action

Using the SDK, apps can also add an action to the Edit Cart menu seen from clicking on the ··· button. This is ideal for discounting apps, apps that change or modify the customer information, apps for adding commission data and other pre-checkout functionality.

Completed Order action

The completed order action appears in two locations within Shopify POS — the “Apps” button on the order paid screen, the tray icon on the order paid screen and the tray icon seen when browsing old completed orders. This action is perfect for customized fulfillment services, advanced receipt functionality, referral marketing programs or surveys.

Have you developed an app using the Shopify POS SDK? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Josh Brown is a developer advocate at Shopify.

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