Will Apps replace the Internet as we know it?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by mscriv, Mar 24, 2012.

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  1. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #1
    So, it seems many tech prognosticators are saying that Apps will forever change, if not replace, the internet as we know it. What do you think? Will Apps become the standard access point for users as opposed to the WWW "document web" that we have primarily relied on for the past decade? How do you think this will affect general internet use? Will this cause a greater divide between accessing the web on a mobile device vs. a computer?
     
  2. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #2
    Apps replacing the Internet ?

    An interesting concept, considering most of the apps need the Internet in order to be remotely useful.

    Are you confusing the www and the Internet ? The fact is, a properly made website is quite easier to maintain, update and make than a native app multiplied by all the platforms out there.
     
  3. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020

    charlieegan3

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    #3
    apps need the internet to work?

    When you view a page in an app you are using the "document web" as you put it.

    Mobile pages and browsing basically work on the standard internet.

    apps may become the main way to access the internet but wont replace the internet.

    apps are software, internet is much more.
     
  4. mscriv thread starter macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #4
    I'm sorry if you all don't understand what I wrote or if I worded it poorly. When I say,

    I'm not talking about the end of the internet, but a change in how we access the net and the information it contains. For example, apps are replacing how we interface with things on the net. Instead of going to a company's website to conduct business like booking a flight or ordering a pizza, now I can just click their app and do it without ever having to open a traditional web browser.

    Here's an article from 2010 about the subject.

    The Death of the Website

    Here's a more recent interesting article on the subject that is beyond my tech level, but I think I understand the basics.

    The App Internet in 2012: Defining the death of the web
     
  5. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #5
    For mobile devices, this appears to be the trend.

    For everything else, no.
     
  6. Tinyluph macrumors regular

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    #6
    Isn't the other side of this that the web is becoming increasingly powerful and that it would some day be the portal for everything we do, including tasks normally handled by native applications?

    Both ideas seem short-minded in my opinion. Any time something catches on people want to hold it up as the future of everything--like tablets. :rolleyes:
     
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #7
    You worded it poorly. The real question you want to ask is: will Apps replace the web browser as the primary internet interface?

    IMO, no. Web browsers are extremely flexible and allow the interface to be changed and controlled at one point. Only when the information transported over the internet requires processing of some kind does an App provide leverage. Otherwise, its simply a way of locking a user to a service.
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #8
    Replace the internet .... no. But I think that has already been sorted out.

    Will apps replace web-pages as we know them? Maybe not replace, but certainly become the primary interface for all sorts of devices - and for certain people. Before the www there was a bunch of text only internet sites. Wasn't Gopher one, iirc? And there were others. Lots of Newsnet sites, etc etc.

    Perhaps apps will replace the browser for initial searches. Think along the lines of a personalized Google News page. If that page became an app, then I could read all my headlines, watch news stories develop within the app. I would really only need to go to a web-page if I decided to read a story on the newspaper's own website.

    Interesting idea... about apps and the internet.

    Perhaps apps will become the de facto interface for the internet? People will spend 80% of their time within apps, and then drop down into the internet for specific needs. I could see that happening.
     
  9. jackc macrumors 65816

    jackc

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    #9
    It seems like every web site wants you to download their app -- I don't want an app for every page I might visit. That's fine if you only go to 5 different sites.
     
  10. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #10
    You're confusing sites with protocols. Just like the OP is confusing the www with the Internet.

    Last I checked, a web browser was an app, a nntp news reader is an app, an e-mail client is an app, a FTP client is an app.

    Heck, any clients for any type of protocol is... yep, an app.

    Apps already are, always have been and always will be the defacto interface for the Internet.

    I think what you guys are asking is basically if we're going to replace all these generic protocols with proprietary protocols accessed through fat client type applications, tied to a single vendor's services. Talk about going back in time...
     
  11. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #11
    Yes. Apps have already started replacing a lot of the things I do on the internet:

    Image uploading: Cloud
    News reading: Pulp

    [​IMG]

    Facebook: MenuTab

    It saves a lot from having to wait for things to load in Safari, and it gives you an ad free experience without ad blockers.
     
  12. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #12
    Response 1: If you think of the browser as just another app, then the answer is already yes :)

    Response 2: Does your hypothetical user want to be able to access every website for info? There's almost 400 million websites in the world. That's a lot of dedicated apps :) And what if you owned three types of phones? Ouch.

    Response 3: Yes, a lot of people, such as my wife, would prefer not to surf for info.

    Upshot: Will apps replace HTML websites? Never, mostly because a website can be viewed on many devices without requiring an app per device type or site.

    However, will some people stop using browsers and only use apps? Sure.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #13
    I apologize for not being more precise, and I'm sorry that this sidetracked the conversation. Perhaps we should define our terms?

    I think of the internet as being the whole basic concept of interlinked computers. Some of the connections use FTP, and others HTTP, etc etc. Regardless of the connections, the computers 'out-there' have data. When asked, these computers present that data - usually through an HTML formatted page.

    I know that it is a huge simplification, but I leave it up to the engineers to make it so simple that we can actually think of it this way.

    Is there a good definition for 'apps' vs 'applications'? Obviously the browser is an application. I just think of apps as being small, and doing one thing. But doing it (hopefully) really well.

    I think, regardless of the protocol, what the OP was wondering about was whether the interface presented to the user was going to change from the browser application to something else that is often called an 'app'. In this case I think that the apps are taking the data from the linked computer and presenting it to user in a non-HTML formatted way. Actually, probably taking data from several computers and combining it somehow.

    Maybe we should let the OP weigh in here and clarify what they meant to explore?
     
  14. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #14
    HTML is used mostly on the WWW. The Internet is document format agnostic and application protocol agnostic. It is like you say, a network of networks. It just happens to be the network of networks. You should always capitalize Internet when referring to it.

    A browser does one thing and does it really well. Apps and Applications are the same thing. It's what is called an abreviation.

    The OP wants to know if we're regressing back to a fat client model, where every vendor and service provider has to make you download/install a proprietary application that uses the vendor's protocols in order to access data/services given by that vendor.

    The web browser is an application that implements a standard (http) to transfer documents formatted in a standard way (html) to present to the user. It thus doesn't require the vendor to provide and support a fat client application, only to support the open standards.

    Are you sure we want to go back to that ? Obviously not. But iOS and other mobile application developers are being smart. Most applications that can just be a web site are just that, websites. They push data in JSON or XML to applications over HTTP, and only the display portion is made proprietary, but using Apple's or Google's frameworks as much as possible (tableviews are quite popular) in order to display the content in a "richer" way then HTML can. But...

    Ever since the 90s, when Web applications (called web apps back then) became popular, people have been trying to make them use rich UI components. The w3c took way too much time in bringing HTML5 and still hasn't delivered. However, the WWW remains the cheapest, easiest and most portable way to bring an application to people. Deploy once, support many users. That is why a lot of other mobile applications are simply wrappers around HTML rendering engines. Why ? Because Apple/Google/all don't allow you to simply put up a bookmark on the App Store or Google play.

    It becomes about marketing. The Web application might be quite sufficient, easier for you to manage and reach a broader audience, but Apple and Google have made their stores such an integral part of the experience that people don't go elsewhere. So you're stuck going the fat client route if you want in on the action.

    Which is a sad state of affairs.

    ----------

    So you don't do these things on the Internet anymore ? Praytell, what network are you using to access the news, or to upload your photos to ?
     
  15. mscriv thread starter macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #15
    Yep, you pretty much nailed it and I appreciate your other comments as well. I'm not knowledgeable or educated in the area of tech. I'm a simple consumer. Thus, my question was not intended to be technical in nature, but to explore how is the growing app market going to change the way front line consumers like me access their information.

    This user made a good point regarding the topic.

    And I appreciated these comments as well.

    As for KnightWRX, well...

    I think most of us know that browsers are applications, email clients access the internet, and that the net itself is the worlds most complicated network.

    I'm not as interested in what vendors are going to do as I am in what consumers are going to do. Where are things trending? That was the point of the question. It's likely most vendors will make both available because they want as much traffic as possible. But how will consumers respond? Will people be more inclined to utilize a dedicated app vs. visiting a website?

    I appreciate your knowledge KnightWRX and thank you for participating, but let's not assume we know what others are thinking and let's not be rude either. Comments like the following are not necessary.

     
  16. tunerX Suspended

    tunerX

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    #16
    Nope, it won't change it. It will only change the way that we access it.
     
  17. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #17
    AT&T and sometimes T-Mobile...

    It's STILL the internet, just the base of it is all local. Instead of waiting for a whole page to load, it's just the feeds that need to be fetched and cached. That's good because I can sync them every morning and be able to read them whenever without worrying about not having access to the internet.

    This is Cloud (CloudApp) http://getcloudapp.com/ All I have to do is drag the files to the cloud icon in my menubar and it takes care of it for me.
     
  18. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #18
    Wired had a good article about this a couple of years ago called "The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet".

    Websites are great if you are on a computer but the more you access content from things like phones, tablets and smart TVs the more cumbersome the web becomes.

    Especially for entertainment and media I think we will continue moving more towards apps. For example, a TV/Movie app that has access to all the streaming services you've signed up for (ABC.com, Netflix, Hulu, iTMS, Amazon, YouTube, etc.,) so all you'd have to do is enter what you wanted to watch and the app would find it for you. No more going searching across multiple services to find what you are looking for. Just input it once and let the app find it and start playing it. You wouldn't know which service it came from and you probably wouldn't care.


    Lethal
     
  19. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #19
    I sincerely think you do not understand what the Internet is then. You haven't replaced it.

    ----------

    Then we don't have to muddy the waters with confused terminology now do we. ;)

    Use of the correct terms and jargon will promote much better discussion.

    Consumers have no choice to follow what vendors do. And smaller vendors, called the 3rd parties, have no choice to follow what the 1st parties are pushing towards, because they are the ones who create the trends for consumers.

    Unfortunately, with Apple's App Store and Google's Google Play, the trend is back to platform dependant fat clients, where you need to write and debug and support a complete application rather than a centrally managed website that is "write once, display everywhere" (though with fractured web standards, we know how that one goes...).

    I alone and the forum rules decide what comments are or are not necessary. Correcting people on the misuse of terminology is important to keep discussion from getting confused and going into incorrect assumptions like "I've replaced the Internet on my computer with AT&T using these apps instead". Which is completely confused.

    Same as your thread title really. It is confusing to the layman. Applications cannot replace the Internet. You need another network to do that. Going back to segregated content providers like the various BBS systems, AOL, Compuserv or MSN, things we had in the 90s, is not the topic you want to discuss I believe.
     
  20. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #20
    :rolleyes: OK, now I understand, but I also think you're blowing it out of proportion...

    The internet as we know it now - Data that is sent back and forth through wires powered by an ISP which is then converted to visuals that can be seen in a browser such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer for a user's enjoyment/interest.
     
  21. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #21
    Yes, I am blowing it out of proportion, but otherwise, we get confused about what is actually being talked about.

    And browsers aren't required for the Internet. The WWW is but one facet of it, HTTP being only one protocol.

    I use the Internet everyday and it's not through a web browser. Again, let's not conflate the WWW and the Internet. They aren't the same thing. The Internet is simply a big IP network. Heck, even at the transport layer you can use different protocols than just TCP (things like UDP, ESP, IPIP, ICMP, etc..).
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #22
    My apologies if I was coming across like an idiot... I was just trying to keep things at a non-technical level to make the conversation more interesting.
    Um, no.... I don't think it's that Important.
    In my opinion, a browser does many things - often really well. It plays video, it keeps bookmarks, it plays audio, it keeps passwords (or not) and other forms. Sometimes it plays Flash (capitalized because it's a proper name) and other media. It works across the internet (lower case, sorry) or it can work across a local network, or it can be used on a single machine. I can even replace the htt protocol with an ft protocol (go ahead, tell me I should have used the redundant 'http protocol' / 'ftp protocol' makes as much sense as capitalizing The Internet :) )
    Not everyone agrees... I believe that there is a semantic transition happening at the moment. People are tending to use the term "app" differently than "application". So, while it may be technically true that "app" started as just an abbreviation - the meaning, imho, is evolving to reflect the nuances of the actual state of affairs. The OP was, in my opinion, using the term "app" to mean a small program with limited functionality. The question was - were small and simple programs with limited functionality going to replace browser-centric interface that we currently use?

    I was pointing out that the internet (sorry, lower case) as we know today had already evolved from the internet (apologies, lower case again) that we knew of the past. My point is that we can't just assume that the internet (there's that darn lower case again, sorry) as we know it today is going to remain that way. And by "internet" - I mean the way that we interact with it.
    With respect, I don't agree that was the question. "Apps" don't have to be tied to a particular vendor and their product (even though many are). However, an app can just tell you the time here and in NFLD, or an app can aggregate data from several independent servers and present a table view (for instance the price of gas in Metro Vancouver. In both cases the HTML browser-centric view is replaced by an app-centric view.
    But HTML is primarily an presentation standard - it standardizes the view that is presented to the user ... not how the data was retrieved to be put into that view. In an app-centric interaction the app creates the presentation and other protocols are used to retrieve the data. As an e.g., just about any FTP program. If the FTP application was trimmed down to the point that it became an app (perhaps it merely showed the user the document names on several different FTP servers?) then that would be a great example of where I think the internet (again, apologies... lower case) is heading.
    Maybe I do... you don't know me... I may even want to go back to the days of Big Iron and Dumb Terminals..... (VBG)
    Yes...
    But this mostly applies to commercial transactions... there is lots of data on the .... internet (wow, another lower case, eh?) that are just raw data.


    What I find sad is how much data is being commercialized. But that is another topic for another day.

    ps Be glad that I don't use tHe IntErwEbZ - eH?
     
  23. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #23
    Yes, it is :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...ons#Name_as_Internet_versus_generic_internets

    When referring to the Internet, it is a proper noun and requires capitalization. When referring to an internet, or an internetwork, it is a common noun and doesn't. Since we are referring to the Internet in this thread, it requires capitalization.

    The more you know...
     
  24. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #24
    Wow. Thanks for the link... I learn something new everyday... like there is a whole Wikipedia article on whether or not to capitalize the word internet/Internet. Wow.

    However, I noted that I was not wrong, just that there are two schools of thought - and we are each in a different one. Keep reading from your link to the end. Wish there had been some Canadian style guides... I may have to do some more reading tomorrow...

    Thanks - seriously....

    Is it to early for a "Go Canucks!" ?
     
  25. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    #25
    I skimmed the title and got "Will Apes replace the Internet as we know it?"

    Needless to say I was very confused...
     
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