It’s getting harder to get an app to a device


More good conversation from "The Economics of Development" panel going on right now. Folks from Google, Qualcomm, Adobe and Microsoft are chatting about how to get apps to devices these days. It’s getting harder as there are more and more possible devices, configurations and platforms out there. Most of the panel agrees that over the next one to three years, we’ll see the tipping point for apps that are web-accessible as opposed to directly installed to your desktop, notebook or handheld.

I know I’ve been moving towards the cloud for apps and services, but so many people are disinclined to follow me there. For good reasons, I might add. In the next three years might some of the infrastucture challenges be addressed? I think so and so does this group. Thoughts?



I’m also extremely sceptical about this. Ajax might have brought improvements to the usability of the web but it still has a hell of a long way to go before real applications will be available.

Apart from the usability issues are the privacy and data protection issues which, in my opinion, haven’t even been discussed. It’s not really in anyone’s interests to just hand over control to corporations like Google just because some of their services may seem convenient.

Finally, what’s the point of cloud computing when it relies on local software like browser extensions or frameworks like Google Gears anyway. Surely I might as well just install Office and be done with it?

As for these problems getting apps onto devices, last time I checked Microsoft’s marketshare was pretty steady at the same percentage it’s had for the past 15 years or more. What’s so complicated about packaging your application up for Windows?

David Chartier

The infrastructure is the last thing on my mind. To me, the problem with cloud computing and most web apps is the extreme hit in functionality they take. Yes, greater accessibility is wonderful, but not being able to perform extremely simple, fundamental operations like dragging and dropping simple bits of information, or use the highly-integrated tools of my OS, are massive deal-breakers. And before you ask, no, Firefox extensions don’t really cut it.

The ubiquity is a great selling point for cloud computing, but it has light years of catching up to do when it comes to enabling the many forms of efficient productivity that current web technologies simply don’t provide.

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