Notes from Bruce Lawson, Web+: Can the Web Win the War Against Native Without Losing its Soul?, 30 September 2014
There’s more engagement with apps than websites. 86% of mobile web accounted for by apps. Why?
ISSUE: You can connect to apps without wifi; “The web doesn’t work offline and apps do” and a lot of the world doesn’t have good connectivity.
RESPONSE: AppCache was supposed to make the web work offline, but works on magic. Service Worker is a replacement for AppCache, lives in the browser cache.
ISSUE: Apps can access device-specific functions e.g. geolocation, accelerometer.
RESPONSE: There are now APIs for accessing things like geolocation and dragndrop.
ISSUE: UX is better on apps: faster performance (information stored locally). (Facebook moved away from HTML5 to app because of performance e.g. scrolling.)
RESPONSE: IE11 now has
<img lazyload...>, which waits to load the image until other key resources have begun.
Adding to home screen
ISSUE: Only 10% of opera desktop users bookmarked anything, even less on mobile. Users prefer to install the app instead.
RESPONSE: It’s possible to add websites to the home screen on non-apple devices using e.g.
<meta name="mobile-web-app-capable" content="yes">.
- Apps are discoverable via app stores.
- Push-notifications encourage engagement.
- Web components allow you to create and extend tags e.g. you can create a supermegabutton that inerits the properties of button.
- W3C widgets didn’t take off.
The web is updateable; if you want to change something; with apps you have to persuade the user to re-download it. Widgets were snapshots, so you lost the conversation with the user.
- Roughly, China, APAC and India have more inhabitants than the rest of the world; only 8.1% of phone sales in India (reported April 2013) were smartphones. And it doesn’t matter how smart your device is if your network’s rubbish.
Opera mini uses pre-compression and prerender to reduce the bill for people who pay per MB. Older mobiles don’t have the power to render a website so you still need progressive enhancement. Real HTML is faster than squirting it in via JS.