Building on the Open Web for the future... there isn't an App for that.Jan. 21, 2010
There is an interesting article I picked up today in Fast Company that quickly and succinctly cuts to the point of what these critical moves forward on the Web mean for the future. Counter intuitive to the folks very wrapped up in the "There's an App for That" mindset comes this article Killer Apps: Why App Stores Are Not the Business Model for the 21st Century which brings to the forefront the fallacies that every company creating, and more over controlling, an App Store concept for their business will lead to a nirvana of beautiful, useful devices and software for our collective future.
In the age of the Web, developers can get their programs to end users without anyone intervening, so locked-down software sales will always be going against the grain.
...the App Store's true rival isn't a competing app marketplace. Rather, it's the open, developer-friendly Web. When Apple rejected Google Latitude, the search company's nearby-friend-mapping program, developers created a nearly identical version that works perfectly on the iPhone's Web browser. Google looks to be doing something similar with Voice, another app that Apple barred from its store.
Too many times in the Apple App Store's short life has controversy over gatekeeping cropped up, this generally isn't when Johnny Developer wants to deploy his 1,000th copy of a flashlight app to the App Store but when truly disruptive, innovative ideas are hatched, for instance Google Voice, that disintermediate Apple or its carrier partners from something they currently completely control.
Continuing to increase what is possible on the web, like HTML5 and it's related technologies are doing, ensure Apple or any other device or connectivity company will not define how technology effects our lives. Google Voice is a huge boon to how I use my phone and how people contact me from the transcription of messages to the transparent ringing of multiples lines... My Android phone let's me choose this time and sanity saving work flow for myself, Apple says my phone will work the way they want it to and AT&T says the data they choose will flow over their pipes.
Apple's app bonanza won't end anytime soon...
Yes... I'm not crazy, things generally don't just appear, get wildly popular and then disappear completely. The Apple App Store will serve iPhone users as long as the iPhone exists...
...but you'd be a fool to ignore the long-term trend in software -- away from incompatible platforms and restrictive programming regimes, and toward write-once, run-anywhere code that works on a variety of devices, without interference from middlemen. As different kinds of mobile devices hit the market, from phones to tablet PCs to smartpens to e-book readers and beyond, developers will find that trend harder to ignore. They'll need to create programs that can work not just on iPhones but on everything...
Fortunately, there's an app for that: It's called the Web.
Posted from AppliedHTML5