The App-ocalypse and Great Migration Back to Web Apps
Web Apps are poised to grab significant market share from Android and iOS apps in 2016.
Arstechnica has an article that speaks to the finer points of the native/web app discussion. I highly suggest the article because it paints an old idea/new approach concept to web apps and how they are positioned to pick up steam and eventually snuff out native iOS and Android apps.
Apple invented the app and has enjoyed many bountiful years as king of the app. It was a brilliant idea to create highly customizable, yet controlled, software programs on a mobile device. Then Android opened the system and delivered on its march toward individualism – and of course carrying the torch of the Backstreet Boys along the way.
Apps seemed to take commanding market share almost overnight, but there was, and still is, an undercurrent of desire to move away from native Apps. They require a developer to create apps on multiple platforms – iOS, Android, Windows Phone. The publisher can’t control when updates are made and security updates can be a nightmare. There has never been a clear winner in the mobile platform, so many companies are forced to be EVERYWHERE. But that’s changing.
The limitations of web browsers have been slowly evaporating as bandwidth expansion and mobile networks have developed. Consequently, App developers are transitioning back to the web. Some reasons for that:
- Single platform programming
- Security control – SSL requirements from Google
- Real-time updates
- Cross-device integration
- API build-out
All of these add up to a win for online apps accessed through browsers. From shopping to banking to research to content creation, the web is expanding its capabilities. Device memory continues to be a premium for users and opening up local memory to make room for the onslaught of video is a must for many users.
Apple is not dying. Google is not abandoning Android. However, they will need to adapt to avoid the collapse from the looming App-ocalypse. We just don’t know how relevant they’ll be moving forward. Oh, gotta go, I just saw that my lives refreshed in Candy Crush.