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  #1  
Old 21-02-2010, 01:43 PM
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Ewan Ewan is offline
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If it’s good enough for the desktop, is it good enough for mobile…

Mark Suster makes a good argument that they way forward for the majority mobile apps is not on-device applications, but in the cloud and accessed through widgets and browsers. Going down the App for everything “It is a step backward for our industry. “It is a waste for most brands. It is a channel disguised in business clothing”.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 21-02-2010, 07:15 PM
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Bullsh*t. Cloud computing is NOT replacement of native applications. Seems author can't see anything else own business. Just a few samples:
1. Personal management data (including passwords) should not be to be located in internet, it's better to be "device-locked", yes!
2. Can you imagine how great to listen music and watch films using web-browser? :-D
3. It is really cool to be connection-depended! Roaming or carrier loss will effectively harm your life (remember lack of offline Google Maps functionality?)
Enough.. Most of you can bring more examples, I sure.

  #3  
Old 21-02-2010, 07:24 PM
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Isn't this how Apple wanted to do the iPhone in 2007? The SDK wasn't available and 3rd party development was cloud and web apps. They soon had to back down and all the better apps are native cocoa ones with the SDK.

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Old 21-02-2010, 07:39 PM
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Zero bars at home? It's a mobile device, when you are at home connect to the WiFi and use the landline.

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Old 21-02-2010, 11:22 PM
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I'd get more info reading about paint drying. The entire article was crap but hey they guy is a genius so it must be true.

  #6  
Old 22-02-2010, 10:24 AM
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missed the point

It seems like you other commenters here have missed the point of this article.

The advice here seems eminently sensible, especially since it's coming from a VC perspective and these guys don't piss about trying to scrape together enough money for rent and food. His point is that building apps is not a sound foundation to build a large business with - not that individuals can't make a living, just that there isn't enough there long term for a VC to back people for that proposition. You either have a quick out readily available or you need something else as well. Native apps are a very valid route to customers for the next few years but it's not going to be sustainable for long after that.

The current situation is indeed a gold rush, which had happened many times over the years in mobile. He doesn't even say you should ignore the current apps fad - he says that if you want to have an app built for your brand, make sure it's useful and relevant (i.e. evaluate it like you would any other brand marketing activity) or it's just money down the drain. The inherent 'coolness' of an app right now gives a bit of additional kudos to a brand which has one, but this will wear off as everyone has them.

In fact, this tendency of brands to piss money away on trendy things is really really really good for app developers - if you can get a contract to write an app for hire and the money is good, take their hands off but at the same time realise that you can't make a large sustainable business out of it. One man bands or small development teams can get good money for a few years, working for hire. You can build experience and reputation over this time and probably end up with a fun and profitable career if you're any good. If you want to make a mint, start a contract management company linking (good) developers with budget holders - that's where the money is. You might need some kind of reputation to get in the door, but there's so much hype right now that maybe you can still make a reputation if you get a few star developers on the team.

It's completely obvious from a technical point of view that most of the apps you see could easily be done using HTML5, and in the near future HTML5 features will work well enough across the whole spectrum of smart devices. Is it more sensible to hit 15% of consumers or 80% with the same effort? Google's recent mothballing of gears shows that they are also thinking this is the way forward. Gaming and graphics intensive apps are likely to remain native for much longer, but eventually even that can be done well enough in a browser.

Microsoft were right to be worried about the OS losing relevancy but they didn't manage to stop it happening - they merely delayed it.

Anyway, long comment. Short version is that I agree with him.

  #7  
Old 22-02-2010, 11:15 AM
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I don't agree. I think at some point in the future cell connectivity will be good enough to do most things but there's a long way to go to cover the planet. Of course Google think it's the way to go, they are a cloud company, it suits them.

However, take iPhone apps. They are not all for the connected iPhone, a massive amount of their revenue comes from the downloads to WiFi only iPod Touch. Are Apple going to do 3G iPod touches without voice (like a little iPad)? There are even versions of iPad without cell connection.

The author may be right only when all the native apps shipped on a phone meet all the needs of all the users. The browser as it is now can't do that. If the browser could do that then the browser is the computer, it's a virtual machine that you can write code for once and run it on any platform.

Hey! I just invented Java! It's going to rule the world!

The guy mentioned his "WAP is CRAP" statement and how in a year he was right.

Steve Jobs said something about only web Apps on the iPhone, when the original 2007 one appeared. A year later Apple had released an SDK and the App store went crazy.

  #8  
Old 22-02-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post

The author may be right only when all the native apps shipped on a phone meet all the needs of all the users. The browser as it is now can't do that. If the browser could do that then the browser is the computer, it's a virtual machine that you can write code for once and run it on any platform.
.
If we get to this situation then nothing much has changed, except another layer of abstraction between the app and the processor has been inserted.

By this I mean that to run an app as a web based app you effectively download it everytime you want to use it (inefficient) unless you cache it locally (and then you just have a downloaded app again).

You might say that you have only had to write one app for all platforms so there is an benefit there. I don't think so. Unless all phone vendors supply identical hardware.

You can deal with different screen resolutions, you could probably handle a system of abstracted common interface to hardware device drivers for the phone features - all in an ideal world.

But there will always be an vendor trying to come up with that lock-in advantage. Great for basic stuff like Google Docs, but Google Maps? Even over LTE future networks, people will still moan about having to pull the same data down again every time they nav over a particular map tile.

Why download the same stuff again and again?

  #9  
Old 22-02-2010, 04:32 PM
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Its not good enough for the desktop..

Does "Cloud" count as the last years most irritating marketing crap? Why on earth would I want any of my devices totally dependent on a network connection? Simply another step in removing power from individuals and handing it back to network providers. Fail.
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  #10  
Old 22-02-2010, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Degriz View Post
Does "Cloud" count as the last years most irritating marketing crap? Why on earth would I want any of my devices totally dependent on a network connection? Simply another step in removing power from individuals and handing it back to network providers. Fail.
Thank you, I was looking for a way to express exactly the same thing.

Google need resisting.

  #11  
Old 26-02-2010, 02:45 AM
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hi

how is it now?
that would effect on the process

















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