Correction: mobile apps aren’t crap.

About a year ago I more or less reblogged a post by Venture Capitalist Mark Shuster, wherein he makes the case that most mobile (iPhone) apps are overkill, and efforts to produce these apps would be better directed towards mobile-optimized sites.

Well, today I’m here to call bullshit. On myself.

Now that I’m using Android as my primary handheld OS I can see that there are better ways to deliver the web to a small screen, ways that go above and beyond a mere mobile version of a site.

Here are some of my favourites:

Exhibit A: Reddit Pics

You could load the appropriate page into a tab-enabled browser like Dolphin Mini, or you could load up the entire subreddit as a photo gallery and effortlessly tap through the lot with this handy app.

It works great on my Nexus One‘s 480×800-pixel screen, but is not available for my MotoSpice — I guess it requires Android 2.2 and up…?

Exhibit B: HowardForums

Now the official HowardForums app for Android has tabs, but in my estimation it’s an even more elegant way to peruse the world-famous made-in-Canada mobile forums than with a desktop browser.

Exhibit C: Facebook for Android


Even Facebook provides an arguable better experience on Android (BlackBerry update coming soon) then on the web proper. When there are notifications an alert appears on that bottom bar, which slides up to reveal them. Very slick.

Too bad Facebook sucks.

So there you have it, mobile apps aren’t crap — far from it, actually: Forrester research claims that revenue for such things will reach $38 billion by 2015.

I suppose I must grudgingly tip my hat to Apple for kick-starting web app development back in 2007. Thankfully Android users can reap all the benefits of the fart app gold rush without any of the nasty freedom-hating side effects. 😎

One comment:

  1. AC:
    I’ve had a similar experience–mobile apps are getting better, to the point that I’m more likely to grab my crippled-internet jebusphone instead of the computer to look up stuff. The interfaces cut out the bullshit, and you can get things done.
    I rarely fire up the browser in my phone–I do my banking, social networking, and even some surfing (IMDB, Wikipedia apps). And the best part? they’ve been free to download, albeit through Apple’s store, but I’ll take that over having to flip to landscape, zoom in on what I need to see, scrolling around a big webpage trying to find what I’m looking for, and trying to highlight a field to enter text, any day.

    Ed

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