John Lilly:

What I mean is this: when you try to take one technology — any technology — and have it mimic another one — you’re starting from a tough place. Specifically, taking the technology of the web and making it look like a native app.

You’re always at a disadvantage — we can argue whether it’s possible to get to parity or not. I think it’s generally possible to get to parity in user experience + performance at any given time, but a fact of life is that the owners of the platform — the organization who ships the operating system — is always moving forward and will naturally advantage themselves — parity today means you’re behind tomorrow. More than that, though, once people have established a good way to do things (like getting apps from the app store instead of going to the web), parity doesn’t even really matter. Being as good as a native app isn’t really the point. You’ve got to be a LOT better than what exists.

Great points. All you seem to hear about today (and really, for the past few years) is that web apps are closing the gap quickly versus native apps. But what never seems to be acknowledged is that native apps continue to improve as well with better API access to new, exciting functionality that may or may not be device-specific.

It has long felt like a race that can’t be won. And I’m with Lilly, the truth is that it’s a race that’s foolish to focus on. The web has other strengths that native apps can’t match. That should be the focus. That’s how it “won” the last time. You win a war by making a battle come to you.

  1. taotsu2 reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    I still don’t and never did believe that web apps will ever replace native apps. I think there is a place for both and...
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  8. parislemon reblogged this from lilly and added:
    John Lilly: Great points. All you seem to hear about today (and really, for the past few years) is that web apps are...
  9. rafer reblogged this from lilly and added:
    Rafer sez: I believe where the web trumps apps, be they Instagram or AOL circa 1995, is the linking and sharing of...
  10. lilly posted this