If you are looking for a well-written blog that focuses on mobile and isn’t simply singing the praises of Apple or Google, I highly recommend this one. Having a healthy dose of curmudgeon doesn’t hurt, either.
I linked to an article discussing the decline of the mobile web yesterday, and for the most part, I agree with it. Mobile is overtaking the web.
John Gruber doesn’t agree:
I think Dixon has it all wrong. We shouldn’t think of the “web” as only what renders inside a web browser. The web is HTTP, and the open Internet. What exactly are people doing with these mobile apps? Largely, using the same services, which, on the desktop, they use in a web browser. Plus, on mobile, the difference between “apps” and “the web” is easily conflated.
In essence, he claims that Internet-connected native apps and websites alike are all part of the web.
I don’t know if I agree. Being able to navigate from document to document is what made the World Wide Web popular; hyperlinks are such fundamental part of the web that for me, they are what define it. You can’t link to elements of a mobile app. You can’t link from one app to another. Well, you can in some cases, but it isn’t something that is there by design. So no, apps and websites aren’t both part of the web. Apps are connected, but there is a distinction to be made here.
This is a worrisome trend for the web. Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.
I wouldn’t say it’s all doom and gloom, but this article does bring up some good points.
The company behind the popular Plants vs Zombies mobile game has said that the introduction of a charge for a previously free item was just a “test”.
PvZ isn’t what interests me about this article. It’s the concept of in-app purchases in general.
Mobile analyst at IHS Insight Jack Kent said that users can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game if they don’t know what they are paying for so in-app charges become more important.
“For smartphone and tablet developers in-app purchases are the dominant business model, 80% of revenue is made this way,” he said.
There are several ways of offering in-app purchases without pissing people off. The fact that people can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game can be remedied by offering a trial for free and an in-app purchase that unlocks the full game. It’s a single transaction, but it seems to work quite well on Xbox Live Arcade. In essence, offer people a demo if up-front charges are intimidating. Just don’t milk them for all they are worth.
The new version of Facebook Messenger now allows you to chat via people’s phone numbers, even if your contact isn’t on Facebook. This feature could be really devastating to WhatsApp and the like, but how many people are willing to switch from what they’re used to remains to be seen.
This specification defines several new DOM events that provide information about the physical orientation and motion of a hosting device.
These seem to be implemented in Android ICS 4.0 and above. Time to do some testing.