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Apps are icons

Apps are icons

We at Four Kitchens believe native mobile applications -- the things you download from the App Store or Google Play and install on your smartphones or tablets -- are a stop-gap technology that will be replaced by web applications that run inside browsers. Here's why: Many "apps" are simply dumbed-down versions of websites. This is frustrating to users who want to access the full capabilities of those websites. Maintaining a website and multiple versions of apps (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile) in multiple flavors (the so-called "HD" apps for larger screens) is expensive and inconvenient. Apps were originally invented because websites couldn't tap into the capabilities of mobile devices. Now, wrappers like PhoneGap and native Device APIs expose websites to your device's senses: touch (gestures, multitouch), sight (cameras, ambient light sensors), sound (microphones), motion (compass, accelerometers), and location (GPS, proximity detectors). Everything is converging on the web. Or, rather, reconverging on the web. But there's just one, tiny thing -- a single, critical flaw on popular mobile devices -- that will prevent web apps' ascendency and continue to prop up the "need" for native apps. It's not hardware-software integration, which is quickly being solved with clever APIs and libraries. It's not frontend performance, as increased processing power and better JavaScript support will level the playing field. It's much simpler than that. It's a matter of psychology. It's the icon.

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