otsukare Thoughts after a day of work

The Wrong Debate About Native And Web.

People like dichotomies and they will do everything to have their story fits the imaginary gap.

There was a strong debate the last couple of days created by an article posted by Peter Paul Koch on Web innovations and where to drive them. I have not yet made completely my mind about it. I will probably never do.

Bruce Lawson has published a kind of answer about this article. An excerpt:

But the point here is that users do want such things, because they’ve now become used to experiences available in native apps. And we know that consumers love the app experience; in April 2014, the mobile analytics firm Flurry reported

And to further his point, he cited a report from April 2014:

Apps continued to cement their lead, and commanded 86% of the average US mobile consumer’s time, or 2 hrs and 19 minutes per day. Time spent on the mobile web continued to decline and averaged just 14% of the US mobile consumer’s time, or 22 minutes per day.

A couple of things in this small paragraph.

  • average mobile consumer: For this kind of things, we all know that average doesn't mean anything. People working at Opera knows that more than anyone else. Tune the market share song.
  • USA: An important market but not the world.

Time spent on mobile and in apps are expressed, but my main question was "yes, but doing what?". What people are actually doing on each of them. Because Bruce likes this source. Let's take another recent article.

Messaging and social apps are clearly the leading apps used by Mobile Addicts. In fact, Mobile Addicts use Messaging apps 6.56 times (an over-index of 556%) more than an average mobile consumer. This validates many of our analyses this year that messaging has become mobile’s killer application.

Note that this excerpt is no better than the one given by Bruce. Let's create my own narrative with fluffy unicorns.

Some people spend a lot of time on messaging and social apps on mobile. And it is perfectly fine. I personally do not want to use a Web browser for accessing my mail or messaging my friend. I do want a Web browser for reading, linking, sharing links.

I'm living in Japan. The train is king. People do mainly three things in the train: reading (a paper book), sleeping and using their mobile device. On this 3rd category, they basically do:

  • Checking and messaging on social networks (Line, Facebook, etc.)
  • Watching TV programs and movies
  • Playing games

These are all time consuming activities. Another phenomenon I see it's what I called "filling the bored time", we fire our mobile and starts an app, the exact same way people are starting their TV at home.

The Web is not endangered by this usage. They can continue to be native. All these games are fad. It's part of their business models. The new game will be replaced by another one. I can still link to articles of the New-York Times—December 8, 1993. I'd rather spend time on making the Web more robust, resilient, profitable and performant than having the Web run after the latest Apptorialist du jour.

"I realized that if everyone had the same information as me, my life would be easier," Mr. Berners-Lee said. New-York Times. December 8, 1993

Otsukare!