Pull your head out of your App

(A blog about Animal Welfare?)

Remember when Microsoft Word was delivered on a CD and had to be installed? So many license keys and updates. Ugh. Thankfully, installing software is a practice swiftly becoming a part of our past. I’m writing this now in Word Online compliments of Office 365, a comprehensive online version of every Microsoft product I ever needed (and then some).

When Google came out with the Chromebook, a laptop that consists of little more than a well-built Internet browser, they were way ahead of the game...and rightly so. The world of installed “native” software has given way to web-based applications. Just by connecting to the Internet, the Chromebook has all the latest apps, latest versions, and everything you create is backed up and protected as you work.

In the PC world, the move to web-based is a foregone conclusion (yes, your Mac is a PC too).

But where does this leave smartphones and tablets? The transition hasn’t been the same for mobile apps, at least not as clearly. When it comes to our smartphones, we are ever demanding.

Our apps must be “red-light” responsive and silky smooth in operation. Anything less and we don't hesitate to uninstall the offending app.

In the past, slower and less stable connections and smaller onboard memory favored installed/native apps. That’s because native apps store all the heavy content they need (graphics, images & code) on the actual device so information exchanged over the device’s connection is minimal. This translates to a smooth and snappy user experience almost regardless of connection quality.

Today, however, our mobile devices have ample short-term memory, packets of information delivered over the internet are smaller, connection speeds are faster, and latency has decreased.

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