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While the native versus mobile web apps debate continues to rage, one thing is for sure: mobile browsers are going to get a lot more capable, and that means there will be more development of mobile web apps.
Developers of mobile web apps will face numerous challenges, from performance to monetization. But one challenge stands out perhaps more than the rest: building an app that functions and looks good across multiple devices.
In a world where technology changes rapidly and businesses that don't keep up often perish, it's no surprise that many companies keep one eye on the present and one eye on the future as they develop their strategies.
On the surface, it seems sensible. After all, not paying attention to the future seems like a dangerous if not potentially fatal mistake.
But is this really the case? Or can focusing too much attention to the future be equally dangerous?
Native mobile apps may still be the best way to deliver mobile applications that provide rich, enjoyable experiences, but there is a place for the mobile web, and in many cases, it is increasingly promising.
Technically, however, many challenges remain. The number of mobile devices and platforms grows by the day, and capabilities often differ significantly.
When it comes to tablets, traditional publishers have a dilemma: the numbers make it clear that the money is currently in native apps, but for publishers struggling to survive, giving up 30% of revenue to Apple, along with valuable subscriber data, is a tough pill to swallow.
So many publishers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. How? By building web apps that look and feel like native apps.
For the last few years we have seen an explosion in consumer web apps. We have seen LinkedIn valued at more than $4bn following its IPO and others like Groupon looking to follow suit.
Without a doubt web apps that target the public are all the rage, but they are not the end of the story. There is also hidden potential in business to business web apps.
Mobile is here to stay, and publishers are eager to embrace it, even if figuring out how to is not an easy task.
Thus far, publishers have focused much of their effort on building native mobile apps, and it's no surprise why: mobile apps are being downloading at a frantic pace.
According to a recent report by IHS Screen Digest, the top four mobile app stores may generate close to $4bn in revenue this year, and ABI Research has forecast that by 2016, consumers will download 44bn mobile apps.
There comes a point in every businesses' life when those reams of hand written notes, whiteboards and password locked laptops won't cut it anymore and you find yourself needing to automate, share and communicate more quickly and easily.
Enterprise level collaborative and automation software costs can cost thousands, but if you're a smaller company or freelancer then there's still a huge array of free and low-cost online alternatives.
Let's take a quick look at ten useful web apps to get you started:
Yesterday, as an experiment in team-building, design agency We Are VI designed and built a web app in the space of 12 hours.
Apple is the new Microsoft. Evil. At least when it comes to iPhone apps and the App Store. From delays to questionable rejections, there are plenty of reasons some developers get mad if you mutter the words 'App Store'.
So it's not surprising that some are suggesting we're starting to see (or will be seeing) a 'trend' of developers who are moving away from native apps that are distributed through the App Store and are instead building web applications that can be accessed freely through the iPhone's web browser.
Yesterday, Google held a press conference at its Mountain View headquarters to provide the world with an update on its new operating system, Chrome OS.
A lot of new details were forthcoming, which have have been well-covered by others. The questions on everyone's mind: is Chrome OS the real deal? Where does it fit in? How will it impact the OS market. My answers: it isn't, nowhere, it won't. Here are 12 reasons why Chrome OS is going to fail.