As someone who actually develops mobile apps for education, I’m moving away from it now. The future is browser based and not app based. Cloud will be king soon. Google is in the process of killing the Android platform and launching the ubiquitous Chrome OS. MS is also going in the same direction with little visibility or success. Nevertheless, they are also moving in that direction.
Progressive web apps are the future for the following reasons:
- Progressive - use progressive enhancement throughout.
- Responsive - ensure it fits any form factor.
- Connectivity independent - cache the app shell with service workers.
- App-like - use app-style interactions to add cities and refresh the data.
- Fresh - cache the latest data with service workers.
- Safe - deploy the app to a host that support HTTPS.
- Discoverable and installable - include a manifest making it easy for search engines to find our app.
- Linkable - it’s the web!
Progressive web apps enable the development of the ultimate cross platform application. It wasn’t possible three years back but the W3C has cracked it now so that the browser can manipulate hardware. With these types of apps there is no need for multiple apps for multiple OS, they are cross platform, cross browser, always use the latest version, no installation needed, distribution is via URL, utilizes the power of the cloud, less bandwidth consumption… and the list goes on.
So… if any of you are planning to have an app strategy, my advice would be to drop the concept of apps and adopt the concept of progressive web apps. And BTW with progressive web apps, you just build one app for all devices (tablets, smartphones, smart watches, desktops, laptops etc.)
My two cents’ worth.