No Future for Apps Stores?Web Browsers is the way to go?
Apple customers may have downloaded 1.5bn applications from its AppStore in the past year for their iPhones and iPod touches, but the service does not represent the future for the mobile industry, according to Google. Vic Gundotra, Google Engineering vice president and developer evangelist, maintains that the web would win and users of mobile phones would get their information and entertainment from browsers in future. The case in favour of web based browsers is the lack of platform uniformity. Having different support for all of the different mobile platforms from Apple’s AppStore to those of the BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android and the many variations of the Nokia platform is nightmarish.
Google forecasts a move to incredibly powerful browsers, which would be platform independent. A vast number of applications can be delivered through the browser and there are huge cost savings by shifting to a single browser window from individual company based platforms.
Quoting Gundotra, “We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that’s where Google is investing.”
Advances in the browser being introduced through HTML5 standards meant that web applications could tap features of particular phones such as their accelerometers. An example is Safari Webkit-based browser on the iPhone allowed positioning technology on the phone to be used and Google’s home page can now display where users are located. Webkit, which Apple had turned into an open-source project, was also powering the browsers on the Android and Palm operating systems.
While Steve Jobs had hinted two years earlier at open source development of a common platform. The timing then was not right. The rate of innovation in the browser [over the past 12 months] is surprising. Steve Jobs really did understand that, over the long term, it would be the web, and it looss like that is how things will play out.
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