Why App Stores are NOT the Future

Why App Stores are NOT the Future

Yesterday I talked about why App Stores are so popular right now.  Essentially, I came to the conclusion that more and more companies (and individuals) are looking to produce content that is more and more cloud based and more and more interactive.  Browswers, especially phone browsers, are simply not up to the task of presenting that level of interactivity.  Consequently, a vehicle such as the “app” is necessary.  While I can understand this necessity, I still don’t think the underlying concepts of apps and app stores are sustainable.

Perhaps the biggest problem with app stores is that there is one for each hardware platform.  How many more app stores can there be?  We all know a project manager who’s trying to build an app for the RIM, Windows, Android, Apple and Chrome app stores.  It’s hard work and its unsustainable.

Another big problem with the app stores is that they can choose EITHER open innovation (Android) OR the security and quality of a screening system (Apple).  I have a hard time imagining a solid middle ground appearing from within an app store.  There will always be profiteers trying to produce crappy apps and sell them for more then they are worth in Android’s system.   There will also always be a lag in innovation as people try to prepare their app for Apple’s approval instead of just getting it on the market.

The final issue with App Stores is that it requires several steps for a user to get from “Hey, I want to check out…” to using the app.  If I want to see something about doritos, I just type in doritos.com and I have their page at my fingertips.  Whatever the future of interaction is, it will have to have accessibility along the lines of websites.

I don’t know what the future is, but it will have to solve all of the problems with browsers that are making App Stores popular right now and the problems I’ve just listed above.  Anyone have any ideas?

  • John

    It’s a world of apps, my friend. Even browsers have apps when you consider plugins. My TI-89 calculator from 2000 had apps on it. Apps have apps.

    If only we could run any app on any platform without any performance degradation. Maybe there’s an app for that.

    • I definitely think that Apps are here and practical for the short term, I just don’t think it’s forever. I didn’t speculate what I thought might replace apps, but a sort of protocol (maybe HTML 5 in the guts) that can run apps on any platform seems likely. It will also have to be a little easier to use then most app stores.

  • Hello, thanks for writing this piece.

    I am Todd R. Levy and my company, BloomWorlds, is developing Android’s family friendly app store, to help Android parents discover safe, secure, and appropriate apps for their children by utilization our vetted submission process.

    We are going to be positioned on that “middle ground” niche market, quality apps over quantity of apps, that is our differentiation.

    Would love to hear your opinion?

    Thank you.

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