google – Stéphane Caron – No Margin For Errors http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com Thu, 07 May 2015 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.12 Mobile Web Apps: The End of App Stores? http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2010/01/28/mobile-web-apps-the-end-of-app-stores/ http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2010/01/28/mobile-web-apps-the-end-of-app-stores/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2010 19:30:47 +0000 http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/?p=374

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Earlier this week Google released Google Voice as a web application. It’s a toned down version of the application that originally got submitted to the App Store but stirred controversy.

If you never heard of it before, the application got pulled down from the App Store for “unknown” reasons, Google complained to the FCC, then Apple said they were investigating the app. Someone somewhere obviously doesn’t want that app on the iPhone.

What they did this week is a straight hit in Apple’s face,. They modified their original App to be available as a web app, so unless Apple block access to the Google Voice website, there’s really nothing they can do about it and that’s a good thing.

Mobile Browsers are really powerful.

Mobile Safari is part of why Google has been able to release Voice as a web app. This browser really is quite powerful, it supports advanced HTML5, CSS3 and the JavaScript performance is impressive.

This got me thinking about the relevance of developing an App for the App Store. It’s true that the browser can’t access some core features like the camera or the gps, but some apps could actually be quite easily converted to a browser based equivalent. Just think about website specific apps that really are only RSS readers (Engadget,TUAW,CyberPresse), notes apps, even Instapaper could be converted using Safari client-side database.

Visibility

It’s true the App Store can potentially give you a lot of visibility, but the truth is that with over 140 000 apps yours can easily be far down the list. As if you publish it as a web app you can actually promote it not only for the iPhone but for many more platforms as it is browser based.

Open is epic win

Developing a web app aimed at the iPhone makes a lot of sense, you don’t have to go through the approval process when you launch or when you want to update your app. Your market could also be a lot broader as the app could be easily adapted for Android and Pre, much easier than re-coding the equivalent in their native language.

You can even add web pages to your home screen on the iPhone so it feels more like an app from the App store.

Cost $$$

Last time I checked there were not many people in my area developing for the iPhone, while there were plenty of web developer. It would be a lot easier to maintain and to find support in the event you lose one of your programmer. And as with everything, if demand is up, prices will follow so an Objective C programmer ain’t cheap.

Bottom line

If I had to develop and app for the iPhone today, I’d strongly consider the web app avenue unless the app rely on core features that are only available in the iPhone SDK.

What’s your view?

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Google Closure Tools best thing that happened in a while. http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2009/11/06/google-closure-tools-best-thing-that-happened-in-a-while/ http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2009/11/06/google-closure-tools-best-thing-that-happened-in-a-while/#comments Fri, 06 Nov 2009 14:44:16 +0000 http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/?p=26

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Google launched closures tools yesterday. In consists of 3 things:

A JavaScript optimizer

The Closure Compiler compiles JavaScript into compact, high-performance code. The compiler removes dead code and rewrites and minimizes what’s left so that it downloads and runs quickly. It also also checks syntax, variable references, and types, and warns about common JavaScript pitfalls. These checks and optimizations help you write apps that are less buggy and easier to maintain. You can use the compiler with Closure Inspector, a Firebug extension that makes debugging the obfuscated code almost as easy as debugging the human-readable source.

Closure Templates are implemented for both JavaScript and Java, so that you can use the same templates on both the server and client side. For the client side, Closure Templates are precompiled into efficient JavaScript.

A comprehensive JavaScript library

The Closure Library is a broad, well-tested, modular, and cross-browser JavaScript library. You can pull just what you need from a large set of reusable UI widgets and controls, and from lower-level utilities for DOM manipulation, server communication, animation, data structures, unit testing, rich-text editing, and more.

The Closure Library is server-agnostic, and is intended for use with the Closure Compiler.

An easy templating system for both Java & JavaScript

Closure Templates simplify the task of dynamically generating HTML. They have a simple syntax that is natural for programmers. In contrast to traditional templating systems, in which you use one big template per page, you can think of Closure Templates as small components that you compose to form your user interface.

If like me, you’ve always dreamed of taking a look at how all those Google Apps where built (gmail, gdocs), well now’s your chance. Closure is actually the code that is driving those apps. It has been around for a while and the people at Google has been working pretty hard to open source it.

I’ll first start playing with the compiler to merge it with my deploy scripts. Then I’ll see what can be built with the actual library.

What do you guys think about it?

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Google saved the internets? http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2009/09/22/google-saved-the-internets/ http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2009/09/22/google-saved-the-internets/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2009 14:46:40 +0000 http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/?p=30

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Today, Google released what’s called “Google Chrome Frame” it’s basically an IE6 plugin that puts Google Chrome into the IE6 window. As you might already  know, the most recent Google apps takes advantage of the most recent advancement in css, javascript, html and supporting IE6 has really become a pain for them (and everyone). Why write hacks when you have the power to write an IE6 plugin? They took the simplest route and what seems like the right one in my point of view.

I hate Google

Yup I hate them. Not because I see them as big brother or because I fear them, but because they have so much power, so many assets that nothing seems to stop them. Take any small company that tries to develop and sell a web app and need to support IE6, they’d never have the power, money or resource to build such a plugin. Yet that’s what Google did and damn, I must thank them for that.

The future

I guess we’re gonna have to wait a few months before we can actually see if people use this. But if it ever become mainstream enough so we can start asking users to install this plugin instead of spending 20-25% of our time writing IE6 hacks, I will then have to say…thank you Google.

What’s your word on it?

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