Saturday, 5 June 2010

Are Apps a Good Thing?

There are thousands of apps. They can do the most amazing things; but are all these apps. a good thing? Especially apps. that allow the use of established web-sites.

I was using my favourite currency conversion site when I noticed a link for the Android app. I then realised that there are apps for the iPhone and Blackberry too.

My reaction was why would you want an app. to convert currencies, you can do it so easily in the Android/Blackberry/iPhone browser? Not owning a mobile phone I tried on a divice (Nintendo DSi XL), Opera Mini simulator, and Opera Mobile Emulator for Linux. performed beautifully on all three.

I continued to wonder why bother with an app. I thought that having the app. would make it easy to go back to again, but then so would bookmaking the site!

I asked my other half why bother with an app. for a job which is easily accomplished in the browser, and she suggested that apps. suited people who were not too conversant with computers. This I can not see because it requires no more technical ability to use a browser than it does to use an app.

I wondered if apps. were to make use easier on a small screen, but I have tried .mobi versions of sites and would generally prefer the full site with extra scrolling, or change to column mode to actually read. I find it infuriating that Wikipedia defaults to the .mobi on the Wii.

So why bother with apps? The web should be open to all, are we not just making bits exclusive to those with the right kit?