Web Apps > Native Apps

Because they’re convenient.
That’s it. We’re done folks, go home. See you tomorrow!


If you’re still reading this I’ll assume it’s out of curiosity on the subject at hand, which is always admirable, so I will elaborate a bit.
How long has it been until you’ve needed to convert a word document to PDF? I rarely do this so I don’t have a program on my PC for it – a good one is just a google search away.
I also occasionally crop or make very simple edits to pictures. Does it justify having photoshop installed?
But still I do these things from time to time. And 10-15 years ago I would’ve had both a converter and a photoshop clone installed and ready to go. Because 10-15 years ago there was no HTML5. There was no ES6. In many countries there wasn’t even a (really) good affordable Internet connection. Most importantly there wasn’t the huge amount of up and coming web devs looking for projects to fill up their resume that there is now.
Nowadays I don’t have these programs because of the utility they provide compared to their web alternatives.
Here’s a quick illustration of what I mean:
Native App
Web App
Google it
Google it
Download it
Use it
Install it
Use it
Bloat your PC
Get mad at your PC for being slow
Need therapy about it
(Yes, I used Google Docs for this table)
OK I may have gone a little overboard with the cost of native apps…. Come to think about it I’ve gone a little overboard with this whole Web > Native idea so far. That’s not all there is to it.
Web Apps aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. They’re harder to get work done with. Especially non-trivial work. They’re slow. It’s actually easier to use a native program if you’re somewhat familiar with its UI. The more complex the task – the more these come into play. Native apps used to be lighting fast, back when hardware resources were scarce. Now that’s not the case. Developers aren’t pressured to optimize,but to deliver quickly and are often forced to use Java[1].


But the biggest advantage of web apps is an abused buzzword.
You know where I’m going….
The Cloud.
Remember that comparison table I made? It took me a couple of minutes from opening the browser tab to pasting it in this post. As soon as that was done, the tab was abruptly closed and forgotten. Yet if I somehow end up in South America for example, I need only an Internet connection and a semi-adequate smartphone to access it again. Add a history/version control and this becomes a huge deal maker.
However the most potent advantage of clouds is shareability. All your colleagues are one link away from viewing meeting details, a High Level Design document, whatever else you may need.
So these are my thoughts at the moment. This is not gospel but my humble opinion, and I’m very interested in others’.
[1] What I dislike in Java is just the amount of Slowness and Bloat that’s forced upon the users. You do you and write in Java, C++ or whitespace no judging. It’s the forced part that sucks.