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Web Apps vs. Native Apps

Lukas Mathis has a great post on the web app versus native app debate (that is, amazingly, still going on in 2014):

There are plenty of companies advertising «native apps» that are really nothing else than branded browsers that run a web app. Put a web app inside a native wrapper, and voilà: you have a native app. This works, because web apps have become good enough that most people don’t have to care about the difference anymore. To them, the difference between a native app and a web page comes down to things like an icon on the home screen, the fact that it appears in the task switcher, and the fact that it can receive notifications. All of these things can be provided by a web app with a native wrapper.

And as John Gruber pointed out recently, native versus web isn’t an either/or proposition:

I can’t believe someone is still writing this in 2014. Users love apps, developers love apps — the only people who don’t love apps are pundits who don’t understand that apps aren’t really in opposition to the open Internet. They’re just superior clients to open Internet services. Instagram didn’t even have a web interface for years, but native app clients for iOS and Android didn’t lock Instagram into anything. Their back-end is just as open as it would have been if they had only had a web browser client interface. They just wouldn’t have gotten popular.

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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