Publishers Seem like Straddling Apple and Google’s Web-App Divide

9 November 2015

Dublin: Apple always wants the mobile devices to be flooded with apps whereas Google has got a different approach; it supports the world who where people reach out to a browser and search for the things they want. 

These days the websites are getting increasingly caught in the middle of the competing visions. We can just take an example of Atavist Magazine, an online publications run by Evan Ratliff.  According to Ratliff, he felt it very difficult to do everything twice; once for the website and the second time for the app.

Yes, it definitely takes a lot of time to manage a website and also to get audiences for the app.

Ratliff says that, making some one download an app is a way harder than targeting and sending them stories via social media. So, in the last month he shut down the app and decided to keep going with the web.

But that was not an easy decision as he had quite a good number of followers and it’s very hard to give up the audience once you have it. As the app’s limitations were too much, he had to give it up.

Web or App?

  • The vision of both the tech giants has a common denominator – money. The main business of Apple is to sell its devices, so it favors the apps that make iPhone a must for users. Meanwhile, Google makes money by presenting users with ads when they search for something. Both are big companies and there is a considerable overlap. Of course, Google also makes money by selling apps and also has a few popular programs like YouTube and Gmail. But even those are tied to the vision of core products.      
  • So the publishers seem to straddle both the apps and web; apps to cater to the needs of the loyal users and website to be found by the new users. So most of the publishers have invested on the website and an app; this can certainly be burdensome for small publishers who can’t afford large technology staff.  

So, the debate on app vs web seems absolutely to be a no-brainer. Apps appear to have beaten mobile web largely as Americans are spending at about 60% of their online time on a mobile app, 30% of their time on a desktop computer and just 9% on mobile web according to a recent report published on Goldman Sachs.

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