Friday, 24 June 2011

'Third Intifada' app, Apple and the reason to not build apps

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Technology giant Apple has removed a pro-Palestinian mobile application from its roster of hosted programmes after Israel complained it incited users to violence.

The "Third Intifada" application essentially reproduced the content from a website of the same name - 3rdIntifada.com - which posts news and opinion articles about Israeli aggression and the Palestinian cause.

Apple removes 'Third Intifada' app - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Not to comment on the specific App in question, this case illustrates how critical it is for political groups to never write Apps for mobile platforms but HTML5 Mobile Web Sites. Given the advantages of HTML5 mobile web sites using mobile JQuery it is hard to see why so many people waste time on platform specific apps. Reasons to not develop an app are as follows:

  1. Apps fate are entirely in the hand of platform producers, mobile web sites can site on their own ISP and be seen by anyone with a web connection

  2. Well designed web sites can be seen by a wide range of platforms.

  3. Web sites can be shared without the need to download and install an app, making your site more viral. People can share you app with a URL or twitter post.

  4. Web sites can be upgraded at one location without needing to make users download a patch.

  5. Search engines can see what is inside your web site, not inside an app on users mobiles

  6. You can also pull a web site easily in case of some major problem (saying an order from a court to disable your app)

  7. You can more accurately track how your code is being used without having to install 'spying' functionality on the app

  8. Having device dependent code defeats many of the purposes for having the Internet in the first place.

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