The Web App debate
There has been some fluttering this week in the media about festival bands bypassing the Apple App approval process by releasing ‘HTML5 Apps’ (or more simply, a website that is made to look like an app). Web Apps are nothing new, they have been around ever since the first gen iPod Touch arrived in 1997. However, with the mainstream hype around HTML5 and its undoubtable capabilities, Web Apps have seen something of a renaissance lately.
We’ve long been fans of Web Apps and have been working with our clients for around 18 months developing various uses and applications of the simulated app experience. It was, however, this story from the Guardian that caught our eye. It is centred around a band called A Genuine Freakshow who have developed a web app to connect with their fans at Reading and Leeds festivals. By throwing out iPhone-shaped cards to their fans during their set, they invite them to scan a QR code which takes them directly to their web app with their latest singles, photos and gig dates.
Now, as beautiful and well-made the app is, what we always like to talk to our clients about is using the technology in a manner that is fit for purpose. A carefully crafted web app that intends to connect with its audience may lose its potency somewhat when you have 10,000 people all trying to access the internet in a field in the Yorkshire countryside. With internet access required to load a web app (at least initially), it is almost non-existent without at least a 3G signal.
We’d like to commend A Genuine Freakshow for their beautifully designed app but, as mentioned above, the context and location of the end user has to be the primary area of research in the inception of any web app.