For the record, I doubt apps are really dead, but everyone else seems to be declaring various sectors of media dead so I jumped on the bandwagon.
In the last few months I have noticed that many of the app developers I know are offering their clients mobile-optimised websites in conjunction with device native apps. It’s been a subtle but significant shift as I remember back to 2005 when WAP sites where all the rage. For the last few years there has been little talk of mobile websites, it’s been all about apps.
An excellent example of an optimised mobile website is wheretraveler.com. Long before the app craze took hold, Where Traveler hired a developer who optimised websites for mobile. He created a mobile site that looked a lot like an app. Check it out on both a regular PC and a mobile device to see the difference. Also, I found a mobile-optimised website directory called seego.com. It lists over 2600 compatible sites and works for iPhone, Palm Pre, and Android but not Blackberry for some reason.
As we move rapidly towards ubiquitous LTE and 4G connected devices, the speed of mobile page loads will become almost instantaneous. An argument could be made that companies who once thought they needed an app to deliver their content could benefit more from just a mobile optimised website. I asked Michael Schneider from Mobile Roadie (his company builds the MIP Markets apps) his opinion on why the sudden surge in mobile-optimised websites. He said, “For our clients we want to give them the broadest possible distribution and the customer wants the best user experience. Right now that [experience]is native apps but we expect the mobile web to improve over time.”
Here is a short video by Peter Sheldon from Elastic Path with some very good points about mobile site optimisation versus building a native app for a device.
Sadly, it seems, apps are not as dead as I had thought…yet. However, it sort of makes sense that there may be less of them in the future if optimised mobile sites become the norm.
Finally, my company Jumpwire Media is assisting with input and advice for the exciting new Connected Creativity event to take place alongside MIPTV from April 4-7, 2011 in Cannes, France. My intention with these blog posts is to explore connected devices and emerging trends, all the while, increasing your media intelligence beyond your wildest dreams. Of course, I’m joking. I have no idea how wild your dreams are.
The Connected Creativity site is now live: head over there to find out more about this new event. Follow our dedicated Twitter list here; and check out the video, slides & liveblog report of McGarry’s last info-packed crossmedia wrap-up session, from MIPCOM, here.
& last but by no means least, win a free pass to MIPTV 2011! Just fill in this 8-question survey on Connected Creativity (competition runs until Janaury 7, 2011). Thank you!