APPs are for Suckers.

On July 31, 2012, Flurry Blog reported that Apple has paid out $5.5 billion to developers since the launch of the App Store. Obviously the App business is booming and not going anywhere anytime soon.  There are 100,000s of apps that are designed for a device (iPad, iPhone, Nexus, etc). This means the App is using the features of that device to enhance the user experience.  I love that. You love that. All is good.

Unfortunately, there are many 1000s, maybe even 10,000s, of Apps that are useless. They never needed to be pushed into the world from the womb of technology. These apps are ones that mirror static content on websites, or simply convert the website into a mobile format.

Because it is the birthday of one of the founders of IT BABBLE – Sir Omar Ghosn of the Levant Hill Clan and Helsinki Lowlands- I am going to rant a bit on one of his pet peeves~ Useless Apps.

The reason useless Apps exist is because people have useless websites. I know because I have one useless website myself, and I cannot wait to get rid of it this summer. Sometimes we have to keep these things going until the replacement is in place. But because I know it is useless and flawed, I am NOT going to INVEST money into an App for it.

Instead I am going to rebuild it like modern websites should be build with a Responsive Web DesignResponsive web design (often abbreviated to RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). ~Wikipedia

Basically the website is smart enough to know what you are connecting with, and it formats it appropriately.

Check this out it is RWD –

Check this out, it is flawed and NOT RWD –

So if your device has a browser, and the website adjusts for your device, then an App is just redundant unless it has other features.  If you want to make an App, make an App that is more than just your website reloaded.

Websites need to be updated and changed with user trends. If you are using a content management system or some type of portal generator, then you should be able to enable it to be responsive.  Many themes will specifically explain that their feature set is responsive. Most of the time a new theme is all it takes to get you 75% of the way to a good responsive design.

So if you are feeling ashamed of your App and your website, take action and update it.

If you build an App, build with purpose. Use features on the device to make the experience better and to allow users to interact with you or your organization in a different way. Do not build an App to avoid updating your online presence.

Recently I spoke to someone who not only had an App made because their website was flawed, but also did not have the App designed for dynamic updates from their website. They have pages of content being fed into the website every week, and the App cannot use any of it, unless it is manually added.

The plan should have been:

  • make the website more friendly to mobile devices
  • look at the limitations of the website on mobile devices after it has been updated
  • make an app to offset those limitations and add additional features
  • keep all data flowing dynamic with someone in the loop as seldom as possible

I hope this helps people save time and money in the future, after they have updated their websites of course.

Happy Birthday Omar, keep on truck’n.

Tony DePrato

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