WeChat Launches Cloud-Based, iMessage App Store-Like 'Mini Program'

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Popular Chinese mobile app company WeChat [Direct Link] congratulated Apple on ten years of the iPhone earlier this morning, with founder Allan Zhang posting photos online from the iPhone's unveiling in January 2007.

    Simultaneously, WeChat parent company Tencent Holdings launched a suite of cloud-based smartphone apps that analysts believe suggests WeChat intends to "play a leading role in the next decade" of the smartphone software business (via The Wall Street Journal).

    The new platform is called "Mini Program" and is made up of a collection of apps, all stored in the cloud, that users can access without downloading or requiring storage space on their smartphone. Although seemingly a direct counterpart to the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, a Tencent spokeswoman speaking with The Wall Street Journal said that the company "maintained regular dialogue with Apple" throughout the development of Mini Program. WeChat also deliberately avoids calling it an "app store."
    Although Mini Program provides experiences and programs similar to iOS apps, none are located in a "central location," akin to the actual App Store app on iPhone and iPad. Programs are instead discoverable through third-party means, like scanning a QR code or finding a new program in a search result. The programs are said to provide small but useful functionalities, similar to the simplified apps on the iMessage App Store.


    WeChat itself began as a chat app in China and has slowly evolved into "a digital Swiss Army Knife," including extra features that let users stay up-to-date on the news, pay bills, check their bank accounts, buy tickets to the movies, and more. Mini Program is yet another feature addition to the popular app, but analysts believe it will take a while for both developers and users to get the full use of the programs.
    For Apple, the iOS App Store continues to account for a large portion of the company's revenue, with $240 million in sales on New Year's Day 2017 -- the "busiest day ever" for the App Store. In total for 2016, App Store developers made $20 billion, which the company said was up 40 percent from 2015. The iMessage App Store is also growing, with 21,000 apps now available for users to download, up from 1,600 last September.

    Article Link: WeChat Launches Cloud-Based, iMessage App Store-Like 'Mini Program'
  2. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    What are the repercussions for apps that copy or infringe on designs and copyrights? What's Apples stance on pirated software in the App Store?
    Should Apple tighten its ship? Or does anything go?
  3. i think G4 imac macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2006
    10 years later and back to iOS "web apps"
  4. dilbert99 macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2012
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    As more apps become OS-independant and the easiest and cheapest way to accomplish multi-platoform is create a web-app, I think this is becoming more and more true.
    Only apps which require the raw CPU / GPU performance of the device will stay native.
    OTOH, look at services like nVidia's "Geforce Now".

    Sun Microsystems had the vision long ago that one day computers (devices) will effectively all be thin clients connected to the internet and the applications will be run from the internet.
    Web-apps on mobiel devices are the realisation of that vision (though not through Java.... lol)
  6. Flytrap21 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2015
    He was probably correct about the general trajectory of software development towards cloud based web applications that integrate natively to device hardware and software capabilities and features. Just look at how powerful some of the HTML5 web applications from the likes of Google, Facebook, Adobe, Microsoft and even Apple themselves have become - they really have become very much like native device apps in performance and capability, despite the fact that they run within a web container that intermediates their integration with the devices.

    Sadly, Steve Jobs (and we we later discovered, Mark Zuckerberg) was probably a few years too early in thinking that nascent web apps could rise up to the challenge when the HTML5 standards they relied upon were still so poorly implemented in many mobile and desktop platforms, especially where Microsoft's non-standards based Explorer and Adobe's plugin based Flash still dominated.

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