• http://ioninteractive.com Justin Talerico

    Bryson, I absolutely agree with your reasoning that web apps provide a far greater opportunity for marketers than native apps do. Content marketers in particular, have huge, untapped potential to wrap their content in more engaging and actionable interactive experiences — that ‘just work’ everywhere. App-like web experiences are useful by nature and bringing that utility mindset into marketing as a core value takes a brand from an also-ran provider of self-gratifying content to one that people want to engage with, and learn from. And, we all know that we remember experiences far better than words on a page. Cheers!

  • Josefreak Salem

    I’ve been hearing this argument since 2008 and native apps still dominate even when articles like this have been speculating a drastic change year after year. These predictions continue to be wrong, so how much longer will bloggers spout this nonsense? People have to constantly explain why native apps remain a favorite:

    1. People generally like to use one app to do one task well, and they don’t want to search for an online version of it and navigate to it using their browser every time they want to access it. The preferred method (that hasn’t changed in 6 years) is to go to the application library, download the app that does the job well, and be done with it. Now you can leave it running on your phone/tablet for easy access.

    2. Web is great for pull, not so great for push. I’m sure there’s no argument here. We’ve all tried to push data using a browser and how many times have you lost all your work because you mistakenly hit the back button or closed the browser and the cache did not work? I’m sure you’ve done and it pissed you off.

    3. Some of the best apps take advantage of the device’s hardware. Guess what? Not all apps are for reading stories about Tom Cruise.

    4. Given point 1. above, most people want the same looking UI that was made for their device. Sure, I know some Javascript frameworks have come close, but they’re still way too clunky. Just let me use my phone’s interface, because the way you’re designing it looks and works like crap.

    5. Website UI design is not standard, device UI is. We’ve all grown to accept that every webpage is going to have its own UI design whether it be the menu on the top with text, or the menu is on the side and is icon driven. Everyone’s website is different and you have to fish around to figure out how to navigate it. We accept that on the browser, we don’t accept that on our phone/tablet. We want consistent behavior (see point 4).

    6. Speed. Depending on the resource demand of your app, using a mobile browser and javascript might not be good enough and will make your app feel slow and clunky which will make the user think your company sucks at software design.

    7. Competition. My native app works better than your online app. Sorry. Also, my native app works better than his native app. Just look at the ratings! :)

    8. “Write once, run everywhere” has proven to be more of a pita than anything time and time again. Sounds great in theory, but generally takes a lot longer to get to market and maintain over time than if you just wrote a few native apps. If you have good, experience developers, porting to multi-platforms isn’t as evil as people make it sound. In fact, it just makes your company look better in the end, and not “lazy”.

    9. Native code is cleaner and consistent, and the vendors provide you the tools to get the job done faster. Web design and development is cumbersome because you need to know each and every inconsistency in every browser, and you generally need to find people that know 5+ technologies just to build an app. And the worst part? CSS.

    10. A lone developer can make a killing by creating a simple app the does the job well and selling it on an app store. ’nuff said.