web meets app    It’s undeniable. We’re using our phones for more and more things. Smart phones have got into our daily lives very quickly and they’ve become almost indispensable devices. Photo and video cameras, watches, radios, mp3 players, gps,... The sales of many gadgets that we bought separately until two or three years ago have fallen heavily and many of them will inevitably disappear.

But that fall in demand has brought an increase in demand and innovations in another type of product: Apps. We live in an app world nowadays. Have you ever asked if we really need all the apps we download? As has happened with some many things, we’ve created a need where there wasn’t one and spend a lot of time uploading and downloading apps and, in most cases, we use them once and once only. Apps are created for absolutely anything. Free or at a price. If there is a price, it tends to be very cheap.

In fact, this increase in apps is out of proportion and often makes no sense. In fact, many apps do not use the technology offered by telephones today (geographical localiser, speedometer, camera,...) and what used to be available for the Internet free we now buy in the form of an app even when we don’t need it and make no use of it.

What’s more, there is an unbreakable boundary between mobile phones and tablets. This boundary is caused by each mobile phone operator’s system having its own language and, because of that, its own ecosystem. So an app developed for one operator does not automatically work for all other operators. So each app has to be programmed twice. The most widely used systems are iOS and Android. But there are more: Windows, Blackberry
OS, Nokia Symbian OS,...

It’s a closed universe because each system has its own shop and the owner of each shop decides what to sell on it. So the owner of each operating system controls the information and services offered for its own ecosystem. By consuming apps for what we used to obtain freely from the Internet we are putting ourselves under the multinationals’ control. While webs are universal, apps separate consumers depending on the operating systems they use. What’s more, apps duplicate the work needed for each operating system. In most cases it is not economically viable to develop for iOS, Android and all other types of apps. But building webs involves no such problem. The Internet is universal and nowadays there is access to it from any mobile phone. Wouldn’t it make more sense for operating systems to give web developers the opportunity to use specific mobile phone functionalities (geographical localiser, speedometer, camera,...)? That would mean the end of the current separation and closed nature of things
and free us from the domination of giant multinationals such as Apple and Google. The announced new Firefox OS has been created with this objective and the tools created can be access by all. Welcome Firefox OS, we want you on our mobiles!