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Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Web is the App...

One thing I have been noticing lately as I work on developing web apps is the ease of use when utilizing the most open of platforms - the web. By bypassing an app store, I can have users directly interface with my apps using virtually any device or OS. It is indeed a thing of beauty. Once the app has been installed on  on an account, it is instantly accessible by that account no matter the device. Not only that, in order to update the app, all I have to do is make changes to the script on my end and upload them to the server. the user does not even have to download a single file...amazing.

Now, I am not predicting the death of apps and app stores, but rather a slow decline and shift in the delivery paradigm. A new way of thinking should evolve on the net over the upcoming years. The shift to an open platform via the flexibility afforded by the Internet should be on the near horizon. Using tools such as HTML 5 and other online platforms like Google Apps Script, Javascript, jQuery and others, the web has suddenly become an incredible place to develop your applications.

The arrival of Chrome OS is somewhat of a game-changer in my opinion. The idea that all applications can be run from the web allows for a lightweight, flexible and nimble set of apps that can be utilized without having to be installed. Additionally, updates can be rolled out at any time without worrying that the developer or the user will break the program with an incompatible or outdated OS.

While the current set of apps that can be run in a web browser are not nearly as feature rich as their desktop counterparts, that gap is narrowing very quickly. In fact, as alluded to earlier, there are some excellent features and benefits that web based apps can provide that are difficult for desktop only based systems. The great news is, as long as you can run a modern browser on your system, you will be able to partake in the new web based app revolution.  You no longer need a powerhouse computer that is chained to your desk. Take your pick, tablet, smartphone, desktop, wearable, even the Rasberry pi will have unfettered access to the new breed of web based apps. A new world of choice without the absolute need for the locked in ecosystems of the monolithic corporate oligarchy would be a cool thing indeed.