The Best of the Internets

Slashdot Asks: Is the App Boom Over?

Riffing on a post in ReCode and research done by Quartz, Slashdot asked its readership if apps are done. The comments are especially telling. My personal favorite is this gem:

Everything has an “app” … that is a sad rehash of their website. I don’t need access to a diluted version of your content SO BAD that I’m going to store an icon for it on my phone. Maybe if people started releasing apps that were AT LEAST as fully functional as their webpages (hopefully more) people would actually download them.

Long live the Web!

Idea of the Week — Jeremy Keith

Reading Jeremy’s history with the Web, I noticed a lot of parallels with mine. I think a lot of us old timers made our way to the Web in a very similar fashion and it’s surprising how many of us made our way here through music.

Why Britain Banned Mobile Apps

This! An excellent interview with Ben Terrett:

Apps are “very expensive to produce, and they’re very very expensive to maintain because you have to keep updating them when there are software changes”


Sites can adapt to any screen size, work on all devices, and are open to everyone to use regardless of their device. “If you believe in the open internet that will always win,” he says. And they’re much cheaper to maintain, he adds, because when an upgrade is required, only one platform needs recoding.

Share this with your boss and your boss’ boss.v

Avoid Overstyling Base Styles

Excellent advice (as usual) from Jonathan Snook. Although, based on the project—such as a limited-scope site with a tight size limit—you may want to define almost everything as base styles. As with everything on the Web, it depends.

Yet Another Blog About the State and Future of Progressive Web App

An excellent post from Ada Rose Edwards on Progressive Web Apps. She’s brings up some very real concerns, many of which I share:

  • The basis for what Chrome defines as a Web App is based upon a set of technology rather than a set of features.
  • We need to consider carefully before we throw away URLs or the entire browser chrome in an effort to look like and behave like the cool kids of native.
  • The install banner is the browser manufacturers’ choice; it’s not a spec.

Sorry, It’s Time to Start Counting Gigabytes at Home, Too

Moving in this direction poses a lot of problems for terrestrial data. It could also increase the digital divide.

Ratcheting prices up further will only increase the digital divide, but the difference won’t just be between those who have Internet access and those who don’t. The cost of data limits could also divide the population between those who can take full advantage of high-bandwidth applications like streaming and video conferencing, and those who have to curb their usage for fear of incurring overage charges.

A Single Platform

Another brilliant CommitStrip. My transcription follows.

A developer and his project lead are sitting next to one another.

  1. Programmer

    It sucks Uncharted 4 is only available on PS4

    …releasing AAAs on just one platform is unfair

  2. Project Lead (excitedly)

    Yeah I guess, but it must be awesome for Naughty Dog

  3. Project Lead (smugly)

    They only have to develop, test and maintain their software on one single platform

  4. Programmer (looking confused)

    I guess…

  5. Project Lead (emphatically)

    Everyone has the same processor, the same amount of memory, the same resolution…

    Just think about it…

  6. Programmer (shrinking)

    …I don’t want to think about it

Pan out to reveal the large table they are sitting at. It is littered with mobile devices.

  1. Programmer (getting up and turning to leave the room)

    Does anyone have a phone with Android 4.0.4?

  2. Project Lead (muttering to himself)


The benefits of single platform development are easily reaped by developers, but they come at a cost to the consumer who doesn’t have the right device or specs and (moreover) it limits a project’s potential reach.