Google Could Erase the Line between Web and Native Apps
As of today, there’s a clear line between the applications that run natively on your mobile device and those that can be accessed through web tabs. Formatting and overall design between the two are often easy to differentiate, but a fresh version of Chrome that will come in the upcoming Android L update is looking to seamlessly blend these two worlds together.
The effort to homogenize the unique styles of apps is most quickly apparent in the redesigned app switcher. Here, both native and web tabs are stored in what’s essentially a drawer. While these two categories of apps are currently split in the OS, Android L gives each app equal value.
Google is looking to insert native apps into web searches, meaning that you could quickly and seamlessly move from the web to another app on your phone. After awhile, you might not know whether you’re thumbing through a web or native screen.
If they become almost identical, like Google hopes, growing businesses might not have to invest in both a responsive web-based app and one that can be downloaded from the marketplace. Mobile technology has advanced to the point where web runtimes are efficient enough to get the job done, and developers are only getting savvier with devices.
For the longest time, it’s been clear that a mobile website can’t keep up with the speed of a good native app. Yet, it's not exactly easy on an Android device to make an app that developers can release inexpensively and consumers can trust with their personal information.
However, it’s been said that systems on some mobile chips can run on qualified laptops. It’s easier to bring the full-bodied experience of some of your favorite websites to a mobile phone without the need for an app. But if you do find yourself scrolling through a native app on your new Android L-capable phone, it might have been accessed through the more integrated Chrome.
Google won’t make mobile apps obsolete by the end of the year. Right now, they’re still too valuable. But the tech giant is taking steps in that direction with its latest innovations.