The relevance of Web – In the world of Apps

The relevance of World Wide Web or rather the Mobile Web

I know, there are thousands of articles on this topic around the blogosphere. Infact my inspiration for this article comes from ScriptingNews.com by Dave Winer but not a single word is copied and pasted here from any article or site.

Infact I never ever quote anything from any site also and put inferences/ references like some do.

These are based on my experiences. Purely mine, no readers’ or public in general.

Phew, that was some disclaimer. Lol!

Ok, coming back, we have seen a surge of apps on many platforms. Again to remind you if it already hasn’t been hammered to your head, I use S60 OS based phone! :p

I hardly have any apps save few which are must haves for me. Gravity, Profimail, Qik, Endomondo, SPB Wallet, Quickexpense, NGPay. Recently I have started using Mobile Documents and loving it!

Rest all, I do through mobile web. Be it going to mahadiscom.in to pay my electricity bills, m.espncricinfo.com to get the latest score, m.facebook.com, m.flickr.com, some blogsites which I read.

Everything is web for me. I get my work done through web. I haven’t used iPhone or an Android and don’t know the relevancy of apps in making web redundant but I would like to believe, if you have an app for everything, you would probably use the internet but not the web.

 

But for me and many others, mobile web has just started! Ok, I have been using web for 5 years or so but most of the consumers (especially in India) have just started using web on phone. Opera’s internet data is a fantastic reference point. It says, mobile internet has penetrated 20% of the user base in India. That just signals the advent of Mobile Web. And it opens a plethora of opportunities for companies. Mobile Ads for one. Every time, I click on scorecard on m.espncricinfo.com, it opens the ad with the option to skip. More often than not I skip but come to think of it, I remember having seen ads of Nokia E7, LG Air Conditioners in past 7 days. Can you remember what ads were played during the last night’s episode of Laagi Tujhse Lagan? 😉 

 

I love mobile web and do not regret having apps for things I can do with it. Just that, it takes probably 15-20 seconds longer than the execution of task through apps. Fine. So be it.

The world is moving towards apps but for the time being, Mobile Web is here to stay and stay well. Then again, atleast for me!! 🙂

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About Ashutosh

A family guy who loves phones, music, movies, tea, sweats and gizmos :)
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17 Responses to The relevance of Web – In the world of Apps

  1. gadgetbuff says:

    Well said, Ashutosh.
    For the Indian market, web apps (mobile web sites ) are the best solution as of now, but as the smartphone market grows, it will inevitably go in the direction of Hybrid Apps (i.e Apps) which have a brilliant way of handling static as well as dynamic content in a non-obtrusive way ( Hint : web page loading ) Also , saves on data, handles ads well.

    I agree, web apps are here to stay as they are the easiest form of distribution to the next billion, but i am sure, hybrid apps will take over the reins when the majority are able to afford smartphones.

  2. Arun says:

    Good one Ash!

    HTML 5 is gona rock mobile phones.

  3. Nitish Kumar says:

    Very true! the mobile web will stay here for sure as everyone can not opt for higher specs mobiles and nor every service has apps for every market platform.

    But still when I try to book a ticket through IRCTC etc then it reminds me that how easy life becomes with some apps like NGPay. Mobile Web is and will be solution for lower end and mid tier market, but Apps are relevant and cant be ignored only because they are not available for some set of devices

    • Ashutosh says:

      You are not part of that consumer group I am talking about Nitish. You carry a Samsung Galaxy S and as I mentioned, people using iOS and Android will use more apps and will use more internet. Just that their internet usage will not be routed to worldwide web.

  4. Abhinav says:

    well put 🙂

  5. I would like to respectfully disagree with the premise, analysis and conclusion of this article.

    This is not to say that the mobile web will die. But the app economy is here to stay. Its just a fact, we all need to get used to it.

    Its a little like arguing you will watch movies in black and white only on a color television. And as color TVs get cheaper, everyone will buy one.

    • Ashutosh says:

      hi. Thanks for going through the article. I would have liked it all the more had you identified yourself with a name. Am sure you have read the article properly but I guess, I might not have been explicit in making my intentions clear. I am not saying that apps are crap or mobile web pwns them. I am saying, as of today, Mobile Web is the gateway to *work on the move* for the majority. Apps will come but it has a loooooong way to go 🙂

    • krisis says:

      Statspotting,
      I would like to respectfully disagree with your premise, analysis and conclusion.

      I think Ashutosh made it abundantly clear that he was speaking for himself and the majority like him. You don’t see a ‘layman’ installing Opera/Gravity or Trill/Native facebook app (which is one of the major reasons phone makers even bundle free apps like Opera/Nimbuzz with their phones) and prefer to go through the mobile web bookmarks from the default Vodafone/Airtel landing page. And doubtless, you should agree it is difficult to monetize from the app user (apart from the d/l fee you get), that is easier from the site user, at least now.

      I, for instance, on Symbian, which is the most common OS in India, prefer to make a quick check of my facebook notifications or twitter mentions on the web in a jiffy rather than open a native app that loads a lot of frills that I find charming when I check in leisure.

      There are two very different use cases for web and app usage, which sometimes overlap. And I see it more as having a swanky HDTV but you can’t expect to subscribe to and watch HD screening all of the time, you need a little Doordarshan now and then 😉

  6. krisis says:

    Well thought out, Ashutosh.
    A few thoughts I’d like to leave:
    • Opera’s mobile web includes app usage, so if you were meaning to say internet has caught on with the public in general, good point.
    • The reason people gravitate towards apps and one of their main advantages is the persistence of data and preferences, that you don’t have to worry about a bloated browser cache or an external app to fill the data in. Plus it is easier to keep them running in the background.
    • Another reason the mobile ads and VAS in general are so preferred is the average mobile users amateurishness that result in a high clickthrough rate and revenue, plus the fact that it is installed in the phone and has a high recall.

    That said, it is indeed a big deal to reproduce all the characteristics that you can put on your site on your app, plus the fact that you can make unlimited changes to the site/ have multiple options of delivery (low/medium/heavy content)/can identify the exact phone model and capabilities and customize your site to suit the device, all of which you can do in a limited way through the app.

    Would be really interested to hear your thoughts on these.

    • Ashutosh says:

      Good point about Opera’s data. Since these days, almost every feature phone comes with Opera Mini as its default browser. We have seen this surge more so Micromaxs and Onidas of the world. It still fails to make any dent in the mobile web usage. Considering the availability or rather the lack of it on Nokia Smartphones and nearly not even 5% penetration of Android and iOS in the Indian market, it’s safe to assume that nearly 95% of the 20% internet penetration would refer to Mobile Web!

      Coming to the second point, which actually is little off track from what I am trying to emphasize. However app usage is limited. It sucks data. As you said, it’s easier to leave it running in the background! It drains battery! Are you getting my point? 🙂 I have never denied the fact that apps have their advantages. Infact their advantages far outweigh their disadvantages but there are many factors which lead to that. The eco system is not condusive for apps right now. For example, do you have an app for Indian Railways (don’t tell me IRCTC). Do you have relevant services apps for Indian specific services. PAN Card, Ration Card, Insurances, Power, Infra?? They will all come. They will take over the internet. As I said, for the time being, Mobile Web is the gateway to mobility for the masses!

  7. krisis says:

    I also would like to what you think of services like Opera, technically an app that lets you see the mobile web, how would it be classified 😀

  8. Nikhil Pai says:

    Read your article today & am wondering whether to classify it as one of those “justifying the continued use of Nokia E72” ones. I think I will 🙂

  9. Pingback: Layman’s take on Samsung Galaxy S (Part 3): Multimedia, Camera, Browser and Android Market « Nitish Kumar's Blog

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