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Packaging & Distribution in the Digital Age: Or, Why Even Grandma Loves Apps

There's long been a raging debate going over HTML vs. Native Apps. Just Googling the debate returns over 3.7 million results.

I'm here to tell you, that's the wrong way of thinking of things.

It's like debating whether oil or water will win when mixed. You can't get the right answer if you're asking the wrong question. While oil and water don't mix well, they can co-exist in the same bottle, and there are valid times you might want to use each.

Let's dive into the right way to think about mobile, and specifically about the role native apps will play. A better analogy of the mobile landscape is from the point of view of a car manufacturer like Honda. Honda makes a lot of Honda Accords -- they're its bread & butter. But for years, Honda had a Formula One team. A Honda Accord will never compete at the Formula One level, nor was it meant to. And conversely, if Honda only had a Formula One team, it wouldn't have the massive market share in the auto market that the Accord and other bread & butter models provide it, but Honda did learn a lot about how to make really great engines from its Formula One program.

In the same way, mobile apps are the "Formula One" of mobile, and HTML is the Honda Accord. You can get wide distribution across many phones by having a mobile HTML presence, but you can't do the sexy, progressive types of things that you can do with apps, because an app is typically compiled software which can leverage the specific hardware functionality of the phone (the camera, the address book, geolocation, the microphone, and many other things).

Why I Don't Buy Apple Products

On Tynan

This won't quite be the Apple bashing that people probably expect. To start off, I don't hate Apple. I think that they're a spectacular company that does a lot of very smart things. I think that they build relatively high quality products and do a good job of supporting them.

Even if I don't buy any of their products, I'm glad that Apple is around. They're responsible for pushing forward a lot of technologies that are later adapted and improved on by companies I do buy things from.

I also think that Apple makes the right product for a lot of people, maybe even you. An iPod is probably the right music player for more people than any other music player. The average consumer will probably do better with a Mac laptop than the average PC laptop.

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