Going Native

April 2015

The new Skej is not a web app. After my last post, about why Skej is a web app, you might ask why? The short answer is that while I still believe in the web, it's just not that well supported. For the long answer, read on.

The web is a second class citizen.

You can't install a web app, unless the developer goes to great lengths to make that possible. Although mobile browsers continue to make progress, web apps are effectively not supported, on any platform. Apple (and Google, etc.) could do so much more to make web apps a first class citizen (on mobile). Frankly they don't care, and while I'm disappointed, it's not worth spending twice the effort to make a product less than half as good as native.

Horizontal vs. Vertical Leverage

The web gives you leverage across many different platforms, but native APIs are not well supported. Would you rather have leverage to go deep or to go wide? I would have thought there was a fairly even tradeoff, but at this point I consider it a false dichotomy. It turns out, products that go deep, even if only for some users, are far superior to those that don't.

The implication here is that doing something really well for a few people is significantly better than doing reasonably well for more people. Individuals don't care if you work for others too, only how well you work for them. Lesson learned. If you want to build consumer products, you'd do well to learn this quickly.

App Stores Have Won

Frankly, I hate to admit it. But App Stores are the way people install apps. As far as I know, web apps {don't, won't, can't} get featured. At the end of the day, apps need distribution. And App Stores own distribution.