I’ve seen people almost burst into tears when confronted with the fact that their favorite technology is loosing market share, for no particular reason. This is nuts.
The “native vs. web” battle on mobile is turning into a battle about technology alone. Why do you want the mobile web to win? If your answer is starts with something like “open web technology is open, and well supported, and…”, you’re completely missing the point.
Folks consistently mention URLs as winning argument for the mobile web, but they’re missing the fact that the value is to us, not to the user. In 2014, the user couldn’t care less about URLs! Nobody looks at them! Nobody types them into the browser! Instead, users care about sharing, ease of access, and frictionless entry.
By highlighting why a certain technology is better for developers, you’ll never win your product managers over. I challenge you, try! I’ve tried. I’ve failed. Hundreds of times.
Of course, developer friendliness and productivity matters when adopting a technology, but the user experience matters much more. The original iPhone was meant to exclusively run beautiful third party web apps, but the web just couldn’t deliver. Maybe smartphone manufacturers didn’t try hard enough, but it’s not like native was destined to win from the get-go. I’m all for bringing back the web to mobile in all its glory, but my objectives are now different than before.
I want the web to win because it is going to enable rich always-up-to-date, safe, frictionless, easy-to-share, instant-on, multi-screen experiences. All of these are features targeted at users, and none of them possible in a native world.
Fight the right battle! Let’s create a mobile web that users love.