About a year ago, I wrote a little
note explaining why—in my opinion—web applications were still way behind native apps. I read
it again today and I'm a bit sad to observe not much has changed since then. iOS 6 brings a few
nice things but overall, the situation is pretty much the same.
I took my current home screen as an example. How many apps would I be able to recreate today
targetting only the latest version of Mobile Safari and without sacrificing any feature?
Clock: Forget the most useful feature: alarm.
Calendar: Event alerts can't be implemented.
Photos: Can't store 1000 photos and videos in cache.
Camera: Well, no.
Settings: You can't modify any iOS settings, obviously.
Reminders: You can't set actual reminders.
Reeder: You can't share an article by Message.
Tweetbot: No push notifications.
Phone / Messages / Safari: Not sure I need to explain.
Mail: Banner and icon badge notifications can't be implemented.
There are obviously way more things that couldn't be implemented today but I just wanted to
highlight one feature from each of those apps I'd really miss.
I'm not even talking about very serious issues like performance (good luck replicating Reeder
and Tweetbot) or offline restrictions, just replicating the actual features is far from being
This quick (and probably partially inaccurate) analysis consolidates my opinion from last year:
mobile webapps aren't a decent choice if you're serious about software and user experience.