I’d like to see more application themes like AgentPress. This company (https://www.appthemes.com) makes a few, though the ones I own don’t work as advertised. It would be nice to have more options based on the Genesis framework and have the quality of StudioPress.
Since I am not from StudioPress staff and therefore I cannot (and will not) speak for themselves!
However, based on my experience and what StudioPress said here and there I suspect that something from the things you suggested will happen. StudioPress might even more simplify things on the base foundation and release any enhanced functionality as plugins. Personally, I really really like that way, as it is also the WordPress way of doing things: layout & design & styling belongs into the theme (most of) and most functionality should go in plugins, as functionality should work with any theme (mostly…).
StudioPress went that path already with AgentPress 2.0+ as the Listings functionality is in a plugin now, also their Sliders are now plugins — the mentioned plugins saw many more updates then the child themes usually get.
The “App Themes” company does awesome things, in my opinion, but having all their stuff within a theme, really locks them and you as a user in! And that’s my problem with them. If they would do their great products as high quality plugins I would expect them to have even more succes…?!
I would suggest to re-think your projects: take a high quality product from StudioPress – but not overbloated! – and then adjust your project with the right selection of high quality plugins to your needs. Do customizations with a functionality plugin at best and I believe you will have only a few issues if you ever want to switch (child) themes at any time, if you will have issues at all with that approach.
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