The Fallacy of Mobile App Versus Web

I go away for a week of vacation and come back to a new fight in the mobile space. This one isn’t Apple v. Google. This one is App v. Web. A number of people have chimed in after Flurry released their findings that app usage passed web usage for the first time (link).

The problem I have is that the entire argument is stupid. Most of the apps I use on a regular basis are just front-faces for the web anyway. Use Facebook app, a Twitter client, maps or weather? They are all just front ends to web apps. Even email clients are just a front face on data and information from the web. So where do you draw the line?

(A hint: there isn’t one. This is just another fabricated argument to give us tech nerds something to argue about.)

6 thoughts on “The Fallacy of Mobile App Versus Web

  1. Elia,

    This argument is getting very old. As you’ve pointed out a lot of native applications are backed by web services. I still believe the best UX is given by the native applications.

    At least that’s what I’m betting on.

    • I agree and why I think it is fallacious. I just don’t see how you separate the two. Even powerOne accessed the web to download add-on templates. We are finding that the combination approach — where the UI native so it is very responsive and much of the content on the web so it can be updated and changed and improved easily — makes perfect sense. I would love a world where we could write once and run everywhere but this has been a holy grail for 30 years of computing history now.


  2. There are plenty of advantages of native UIs. I think the most important one is offline mode: a native client can easily save a tweet / message / document / … while you’re working on, and publish it when you want to – data won’t be lost even if the network is unreachable, or the service temporarily unaccessable.

  3. Pingback: The Fallacy of Mobile App vs Web. | K. T. Bradford

  4. Yeah, just to point out, there are a lot of people out in the world who actually aren’t connected at super-speed 24/7. In those instances, apps that at least have a useful data snapshot and can still function in some way off the local device and not the web are of considerable use.

    • I don’t disagree with how the customer will use it — with or without an Internet connection. I can write an offline app as native or in HTML5, though, so again, a moot issue. Either way, it is still a snapshot of data that had to be downloaded from the web one way or the other.


Comments are closed.