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Robert Dębowski
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Webapps won in the '00 because one didn't have to install anything. JavaScript capable web browser was all you needed. Compare this to native applications, where you had to go to the store, buy a CD, than install it and last but not least take care of your data and updates. But now you have 3 major and 2 minor browsers. And mobile browsers. You have to support different versions of those. So you choose jQuery or some other library to keep things somehow universal, but it's another layer you have to worry about. And if you are writing software for corporations, someday they will say "Browser X is our weapon of choice. Don't spend extra dollars to support some hippie browser, we pay, and we demand your stuff to work with MSIE 8. And don't even start with chromes' continuous delivery. It's forbidden. Forbidden." And let's face it, hypertext wasn't really meant for applications. The whole industry of webapps was based on some clever hacks and universal web browser. One browser to rule them all so to say. Ask your UX developer, it's no longer the case. TechCrunch wrote 4 days ago about Facebook struggling with Apple and Google about future of html5 mobile web browser. Quotation: "Apple and Google have a vested interest in seeing HTML5 lag behind native apps. " (but read the whole thing). So you won't have a web application that "fells" almost like native one anytime soon. A web application that "fells" almost like native one. So, why the hell stay with the "almost like" and accept the imitation, where you can have the real thing? Current native apps will see your camera, gps, gyroscope, and what have you. Your UX people will be happy doing less hacks and more real work. Your IT department will alone decide when they will publish a new version. They don't have to catch with the development of Chrome or Firefox. Webapps will prevail thou. As simple version of much cleaner, better experience App can give. When you'll start a new relationship with some service, you'll probably will start with a browser. That's the first and second date. And if you are happy with it, and maybe want to move on to the next base (pardon me), you'll install the app. That's the sign of confidence you put in it. On the other side, full blown webapps with anything and kitchen sink will be like "we are good friends and that's why we live 30 years together, but we don't trust each other so much to have one fridge.". What does it mean for the developers? APIs. With a good api you can power a web application with all its quirks, or you can build a set of applications for many different devices. Like netflix. Or dropbox. Webapps (user experience) aren't sexy anymore. I see more and more developers going full time to the server stuff (scalability, clouds, apis), or programming lots of lots cheap native apps. With a little luck they can create a photo app and sell it for 1 gigadollar to Marc Z ;-) . This leaves the web front ends for someone else to do. This gap can't be easy filled. And one personal observation at the end: with native apps i fell much less procrastinating than with the browser. Browser is one million pages waiting to be opened. Native app is one task to be done.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2012 on Will Apps Kill Websites? at Coding Horror
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Apr 23, 2012