No, Uh, We Don’t Have an App for That…

Think about this: much of the “web traffic” we see now doesn’t actually go through a web browser at all,  instead a lot of traditionally “web” type interactions are now happening on smartphones, etc. through applications.  It’s pretty cool stuff.

On my phone I have all kinds of neat stuff, such as the Navionics app that allows me to carry around every navigational chart for the eastern seaboard of the US, and navigate in real time, which is great if you’re a boater, a database of knots,  the New York Times app, the MLB app that gives me real time scores and access to live game video, a db of recipes and nutrional info from Big Oven, as well as  cocktail recipe guide, tides, a translation app, surf reports, and a bazillion other things.

This stuff is truly transformational.  I kind of pity you folks stuck with Blackberries or, ugh, regular old cell phones.

However, there’s a problem on the horizon, and it’s due in large part to Apple’s attempts to control what happens within the Iphone universe.   You see, now that we’ve got a worthy competitor, the Google Nexus, and the other earlier Android phone apps, we’ve got a Balkanization going on.  Apple apps require Objective C code, while Google is using Java.  Hence developing smartphone apps has become what developing computer apps used to be: either code for both platforms, or forgo one of the two.

We’ve been here before.  Most of these apps don’t really do much, basically they access info on the web and display it on a small screen.  Maybe they access the GPS, but one is left asking the question: would it have been such a problem to come up with a common application protocol?

I thought we’d learned this lesson before.  Now instead of having commonly shared apps, for the Iphone, the Nexus, the iSlate, the Lenovo UI, etc, we’re looking at one off app development for each.

Oh well, on the other hand, I guess there’s lots of money to be made redoing work to make it function on divergent platforms…

2 Replies to “No, Uh, We Don’t Have an App for That…”

    1. Oh yes, the master platform would equally onerous in my book. The thing that bothers me is that we’ve got to code one offs for each platform, and unlike the old Beta vs. VHS wars, I don’t see a clear winner ever emerging.

      Right after I posted originally I was pointed towards the news that Adobe Flash is now allowing us to write Iphone apps which they compile for submission the Iphone store. I suspect they might be able to provide that common coding ground, but then we’re reliant on Adobe…which I suspect is exactly that “one platform to rule them all” which we might be better tossing into the lava pit….

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