Friday, July 20, 2012

Why is there an app for that?

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately when I browse the internet with my iPhone or iPad.  It seems like every site that I visit wants me to download their custom iPhone/iPad app.  News sites seem particularly guilty of this quirk.

The main purpose for these apps seems to be storing data offline.  If you have a number of articles cached, you can go read them in your favorite wifi-free park.  Of course, many of these apps seem poorly designed.

Flipboard works quite well, which eliminates any valid reason for a news-related iPhone app that I can dream up.  Since it is now available on Android, it would seem to be much wiser for news sites to focus on creating a quality version of the site for mobile users, and leave the app development to Flipboard.

Also, why don't browsers allow for the same functionality that Flipboard provides?  If users want to be able to review content offline, shouldn't developers be given the tools to create that experience?

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