Everybody thinks they love the web. How could you not? “Apps” run the same everywhere on any device.
Well, that’s the theory, anyway. But you typically watch a blank screen—or, at best, some colored boxes—while the UI takes time to refresh. Not just once, but over and over again.
Even the last bastion of web popularity—news sites and blogs—are now being subsumed by native news outlets like Facebook instant articles and Apple News.
But, but… what about Deep Linking, you ask? Both iOS and Android have deep linking now, so it’s no longer a web-only concept.
But displaying formatted text in a web view is so much easier than creating it on native platforms, you say. Well, since at least version 8, iOS text views have the ability to display HTML-formatted text. This is true even on tvOS on Apple TV, which doesn’t have a web view at all. Problem solved.
And look how things are progressing. Apple Watch doesn’t have any web functionality—and neither does Apple TV. The push is on for native apps.
Surprisingly, it was Google who put the final nail in the coffin.
Google just announced (or, rather, leaked the news) that
ChromeOS is being discontinued and rolled into Android. Sure, there’s the Chrome browser in Android and a web view within native apps, but the writing is on the wall.
Android could’ve been folded into ChromeOS, but that didn’t happen. Chromebooks just never got the traction that Google wanted. Developers weren’t writing apps. Users and businesses weren’t buying them. They did fairly well in education, but that’s about all.
The web, like Linux, is great in theory (and to techies), but average people see no real benefit to it. Native apps are faster and more powerful.
Once you write a native app for, say iPhone, it’s pretty easy to make it work on iPads, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
The same thing is true for Windows 10 (if anybody cares) and will likely be true with a new Android version in 2017, when Chrome is merged into it.
So, it’s time to say goodbye to the web, and hello world to the new reality of native apps.