Mobile Apps vs the Mobile Web

By | February 24, 2011

Understanding the Basics

Software is good fun, but it is never fun when you see ideas play out and think – “Hey, I could have thought of that!” It’s like seeing the “Pet Rock” phenomena all over again.  Maybe I’m dating myself, but back in 1975 (I was just born ;), a guy made plain old grey rocks in a clever box into a million dollar business.  It was certainly an unbelievable, viral experience.  When Apps for Smartphone’s came out , I flashed back to the Pet Rock.  Apps are an amazing business opportunity, but is it already too late to get in the game?   I mean, is there really still space for more apps?   You bet there is, but the early pioneers that created applications like Dropbox, Evernote, Documents to go, and many many others really cleaned upon the new business opportunity that was there.  It’s great to see the mobile smart phone explosion of apps,  and their usefulness for productivity in the workplace and just making everyday life easier.  Everything from checking sports scores on Sportstap to using my iPad pen and the app penticular (need the right name here) (Sp). Apps can now do everything from car diagnostics to monitoring your servers in the cloud.  It’s fabulous!  With prices ranging from free to .99 cents, to 24.99 for something like Slingbox, Apps are an amazing business opportunity.

Now what about the Mobile web?  The mobile web is web interfaces and applications that run on the internet, versus being an application that you download, and that is built for the device you hold (iPhone, Droid or other Smartphone).  All of these Smartphone devices use different Operating Systems.  With that all applications need to be designed for each phone.  The Smartphone is a game changer and I have been saying it myself since I got my first iPhone.  I believe if you’re going to apply technology to your line of business (mine is Marketing Software solutions),  you need to dabble or play with the new tech.   And I don’t fall for “Well it costs too much”.  I believe it can cost you too much if you don’t dabble.  $400 now or no new business later?  You make that call.

Okay back to the mobile web.  Another game changer is the speed of wireless creeping faster and faster. Is that an oxymoron or what?  But it’s true.  First it was 1G back in the 1980s,  then it was 3G, now 4G, and 5G will be in a couple of years?  The reason this is so important for the mobile web is you can build applications for mobile web browsers which will only need to built once and they will be able to run on your phone without requiring an app download.  This would not be possible if the wireless transmissions speeds were not increasing.  My take is there is plenty of room for both and both will continue to be delivered.

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