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iPhone Apps Going The Way Of Flash Homepages?

Companies are falling over themselves trying to get an app for their company in the App Store. Is this a long-term trend or will companies back away from custom apps as fast as they backed away from Flash based home pages years ago?

Ed Hansberry

November 9, 2010

2 Min Read

Companies are falling over themselves trying to get an app for their company in the App Store. Is this a long-term trend or will companies back away from custom apps as fast as they backed away from Flash based home pages years ago?Peter Yared wrote a post for VentureBeat explaining how companies used to spend $50,000-$150,000 for a custom web page built in Flash only to discover it consumed enormous amounts of bandwidth and was difficult and costly to update.

When the iPhone was the only kid on the block, writing one app might make sense. But as Mr. Yared points out, Android is the new kid in town and it makes no sense to have an iPhone app and not an Android app. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 has launched and is getting very favorable reviews, both by consumers and developers that love how easy it is to develop for. That makes three platforms now. HP is bound and determined to make WebOS 2.0 a success, be it on a phone or a tablet, so that makes four or five different platforms.

Speaking of tablets, the iPad, though it runs iOS like the iPhone, looks much better with apps designed specifically for it, so now we are up to six platforms. Throw in the Blackberry, Meego and perhaps a few others and it isn't outside the realm of possibility to need eight to ten versions of your app to meet the needs of your customers.

Regular HTML would suffice in many cases, and HTML5 would cover just about everything else when it comes to banking, news, sports scores, movie reviews, Netflix queue management, flight status and more.

Of course, there will always be a need for true native apps. Games and productivity are just two examples.

It will be interesting to see if in the near future if companies cease development of iPhone specific apps and put their resources into web pages. It is less costly to develop, can easily be more secure, and in many cases, consumers prefer web pages anyway.

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