Found History

by Tom Scheinfeldt

Briefly Noted for December 23, 2009

| 2 Comments

There’s an app for that: It’s called "The Web" — In a run-down of coverage of Mozilla’s new Fennec mobile browser, Bryan Alexander at Liberal Education Tomorrow quotes Mozilla’s vice president of mobile, Jay Sullivan, arguing that while the iPhone apps model of mobile content delivery will remain dominant in the near-term, nevertheless “over time, the web will win because it always does.” Google seems to agree. Developers at the Google Mobile Blog recently voiced a strong preference for building mobile web applications rather than native, iPhone-style applications. They write, “Looking ahead, it’s also worth noting that as a worldwide mobile team, we’ll continue to build native apps where it makes sense. But we’re incredibly optimistic about the future of the mobile web—both for developers and for the users we serve.”

One Tablet Per Child — The One Laptop Per Child project hasn’t made much news in recent months. But it’s making headlines now, showing off a striking new touchscreen tablet PC concept they’re calling the XO-3. If any readers are feeling generous this holiday season, I’d gladly accept a gift of one of these, but sadly, the XO-3 won’t be available until 2012.

2 Comments

  1. What do you think, Tom, for 2010? Is the open Web going to outflank the walled gardens on mobile devices before 2011?

  2. @Bryan – Probably not. But the Web will make headway. As Android grows in popularity in 2010, it will become increasingly cost effective to develop a single mobile web application rather two separate native applications. Because they both run on WebKit, a site designed for the mobile, iPhone version of Safari renders almost identically on Android. There will still (and may always) be a place for native applications for resource or user interface intensive applications (like photo editors or email clients) but for simple retrieval and delivery of information, the Web will win for the same reasons it always has: it’s open, it’s cross-platform, and it’s cheap. And from a user perspective, why on earth would I want a hundred tiny icons for a hundred different apps for the hundred different publications I read on my home screen, when I can have one web browser that delivers the same content just a quickly and easily across devices?

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