Browser Beats App Store

Some great conversations going on at the APPNATION conference today. I just wanted to share one bit in particular. Trip Hawkins had a slide titled Browser Beats App Store that pulled together a number of points I’ve realized from various projects into a great list. If you view the image full size you can make it out. But here’s the list:

  • Convenience
  • Social
  • Already #1 overall (PC)
  • Tablets
  • Mobile, TV next
  • Wifi proliferation
  • FB, Google, Amazon, Netflix, et al.
  • Open, free, democratic
  • Targeted traffic
  • Cross-promotion is easy
  • Direct cloud updates

The app stores have gained us a lot with respect to previous models in mobile. But they’re also a step backwards in many regards related to what we’ve become accustomed to when delivering to a browser.

Lots of people say things like “Why would you want to deliver something like Angry Birds through a browser anyway? That would always be a native app.” But I’m not convinced there. What if they didn’t have to stage updates in big releases and just put out a level at a time? What if you could challenge a friend to get 3 stars in a level, and they could play that level right in the browser without installing an app? Stuff on the web is a lot more malleable. Even if the technology side didn’t make sense, many of the secondary benefits stack up into a pretty strong driver.

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One Response to Browser Beats App Store

  1. tz says:

    Exactly. I’m doing an interface from my motorcycle to a dashboard “app”. Either I can try coding it in objective-c, java/xml, and who knows what else, or I can just use a HTML5 canvas and XMLhttprequest (or websockets if they get them working). My laptop, iPod touch, and Android phone all work.

    Java was supposed to be write once, run anywhere, but it eventually split. HTML5 comes much closer and may be it.

    The only thing which might be lacking is the extra performance boost of a native app over Javascript JIT or network API v.s. the web hacks. But if you aren’t doing high-end graphics, complex comm, or targeting really old hardware, the current increasing speed of mobile hardware should be more than enough.

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