Web Apps vs Phone Resident (Java) Apps

There still seem to be quite a few companies an dindividuals pushing the idea of mobile resident java based shops, portals, magazines, vending machines etc.

I’m really surprised that people see them as having any future, especially now that browsing speeds and flexibility are improving on mobiles.

Web 2.0 is all about building things on the server and enabling them to be used by all on teh device.  Its avbout incremental development an dno need to update the client.

A browser approach eliminates the user install cycle – each day the service can be improved without me having to upgrade any software. The functionality of the archetypal PC app was fixed 5 years ago by whatever was implemented by Microsoft or whoever, and issues with installed base, file compatibility, simultaneous migration of multiple clients etc mean that the core functionality can only now evolve very slowly, if at all.

Of course there are also all of the counter-arguments in favour of resident apps. By my main point here is that these benefits are incidental.  A great mobile service benefits from mobility AND the network.

The “long tail” application world (on mobile at least) is made possible on the mobile web by virtue of the small incremental cost of development and teh power of teh browser model.

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