Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Clients vs Web-Based Apps, my opinion.

January 29, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

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I’ll put myself out there for criticism on this one… but I quite like the ‘app’ model vs. the web-app/web-client model for both my mobile devices and for my computer.

  • When I use Twitter, I much prefer using the desktop client than the web-app.
  • When I use Google Reader, I much prefer using Silvio Rizzi’s Reeder app than using the native Google product.
  • When I use Gmail, I much prefer using Sparrow, Mail.app, or Postbox, rather than using the GMail web client.
  • When I used Facebook, I much prefer using Seesmic Desktop over Facebook’s webpage.

And, well, the examples continue…

Why do I, even during this day-and-age of Chrome apps, Google Gears, Adobe Air, Silverlight, and Flash, prefer the old-and-staid desktop client apps?

Well, for the same reasons… because of Air, Silverlight, Flash, Google Gears, etc… and also because of the fragmentation between browsers and the variation of standards between them.

Add to that, my years of experience with data-entry-loss due to a bad  ‘submit data’ click, and upon discovering that there is an interruption in Internet connectivity or a broken link and the submitted data was lost…

Add to that, the variability in UI refreshes whenever the web connectivity is all over the place in terms of speed…

Add to that, browser crashes which take down all of your data and sessions in multiple tabs..

Add to that, the average lack of customization in UI layout on your average web-app…

So do I get that web-apps are a great thing? That you can enhance your experience within an app by adding others very easily like Rapportive does for Gmail? Yeah.. I get that. Do I get that you don’t need to worry about updating the Apps, because they’re updated server-side? Yeah I get that… Do I get that there is lowered security risk, particularly for web-mail vs client-based mail? Yeah.. check. Do I get that you usually have to pay money for a client app vs a web-app? Yup. I’ve paid my fair share… Do I get that with HTML 5 all the worlds problems, including the application cache for web-apps will be solved? Yeah.. I’ll wait to see when it’s properly implemented.

You could say I’m a luddite, but I’ll stick to my client-based apps, and I’m particularly happy with the launch of the App Store for Macs as it will make it that much easier to deal with the issues that have plagued the industry in the past, namely billing, discovery, and the updating of client software.

I just find that with flaky internet connections (or working on a plane), browser compatibility  and stability issues, and variability in UI rendering, I just can’t convince myself to use a web-based version if there is a client-app available. However, Is that where we are headed? Of course… most likely the way that many app developers have started to do with mobile apps where there is a web-backend but with some UI elements and local caching.. Widgets? Yeah, sure.. call it whatever you want, just make sure that when I’m done typing my 100 word response to whatever, it doesn’t disappear into the ether.

my 2 cents.

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