I Don't Want Your Fucking App Dot Tumblr Dot Com

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9 Responses:

  1. Roger says:

    Also relevant xkcd 869

  2. LohPhat says:

    When the web took off in 1994-5 it brought great democratization to IT which was plagued by one-off client applications needing to be maintained and supported. When the vendor rev'ed the client app all hell often broke loose as regression testing needed to commence across all platforms. Then, the world woke up and started to use the web browser as their client UI -- fast forward 20 years -- and now we're going back to one-off apps per data source and all the developer make-work this entails. This. Is. Insanity. Yes browser incompatibilities are a pain but this is neither economical or progress.

    • Edouard says:

      While I have immense sympathy for your position, the reality is that apps on phones and tablets give a far better user experience than websites - I'd rather download an app and forego the web version of a site 99 times out of 100, unless the app itself is horrifically bad (which is most forum software, and LinkedIn, whose app is, incredibly, even more wretched than the website).

      The fact that not all sites are better in app form indicates that there is a sweet spot for which the web actually works - examples seem to be forums and blogs like this, with another prominent example being wikipedia - I suspect that it is more places where the words are the content, rather than an interactive HTML5 ajaxy application, or video delivery service.

      While modern HTML is impressive for how far the web has come (and I first did interactive websites back in 1995), they simply cannot cut it when there is competition from a native application - a fact that was largely hidden from us in the dark days before the smartphone.

      So you may argue that, as a developer, it is neither economical nor progress, but as a user I have to disagree - Applications delivered as HTML5 jiggery pokery are substandard in almost every way to native apps for actual use. If making a better UX involves more developer effort, well I'm just fine with that.

      • Pavel Lishin says:

        It seems to me that apps are good for doing things, while the web is just fine and dandy for reading things. Legally-Distinct-From-Scrabble With Friends would probably be slower and kludgier as a web app vs. a downloadable app, but there is absolutely zero reason to download an app to read a news story or a blog post.

      • Glaurung says:

        "I'd rather download an app and forego the web version of a site 99 times out of 100, unless the app itself is horrifically bad"

        Maybe what you say is true for those sites which are actually programs disguised as websites (gmail) or for sites where you plan to be spending an hour there every day.

        However, 99 times out of a hundred, when a site tries to tell me to download its app, the only reason i'm there in the first place is because I was following a link, or clicking on a search result. I'm going there to look at content and then move on to somewhere else. 99 times out of 100, downloading an app for a website would be a huge waste of my time and energy, plus how the heck am I supposed to follow a link in email or Google onto the bloody app?

        In short, for using the bloody Internet as it was designed to be used (as opposed to spending significant time on one site doing whatever one does there) web apps suck. No matter how beautiful and functional the app is, they are the total opposite of what you need if you are trying to use the internet. so why the fuck do sites constantly shove their sucky apps in my face when I am trying to use the internet?

  3. Joe Crawford says:

    Also, fun and appalling is wtfmobileweb.

  4. OS vendors push apps because of lock-in.

    Resist!

  5. Ray Greenwell says:

    iOS 6 has a feature that makes this far less obnoxious.

    https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=10082012b

    But of course annoying sites will continue to use a modal popup of their own devising (all the better to pass your click through 12 different "partner" redirects).

  6. James says:

    Right, this is an easy problem to fix -

    If user is coming from Google or another search engine, don't show shitty popup
    If user is coming directly to the site, give them a cookie and do nothing else
    If user has the cookie, maybe they're a repeat visitor... commence pestering them

    We can do this... website "viruses" do it all the time!

    Since if I visit a web forum regularly, I'd love a mobile optimised version of phpBB that sent me notifications like normal mobile apps do. However, if all I'm doing is trying to fix my JAMMA cab and the solution just happens to be on a forum ... just leave me alone so I can look at your wiring diagrams while sitting in my garage with my head in my cabinet.