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  1.    #1  
    I was reading this morning that Google want to release an OS for Netbooks at the end of the year and I assume that this will be something between the Android OS and Chrome Browser. The new Google OS will not have a real OS API (and yes it will be build on Linux) and Goggle are telling developers that the new world is Apps on the Web and storage in the Cloud.

    This got me to thinking that a Pre App is running on the phone itself but in a way created as web application with close integration to the WebOS API.

    Let’s forget security for a moment, which by the way I am not sure, will be compromised or not. Why are we creating Pre Apps and not Web Apps? OK I can see that Pre Apps like Internalz should be a Pre Apps but 85% of all the Apps I see out there could run on the Web as easy and may even run faster and have more computer power, more storage and larger databases. If I could run most of the stuff on the web and maybe have a very little footprint in the browser doing some Java scripting to connect with the Pre WebOS then we may be able to make some cool stuff.

    Most of the time I am close to a public WiFi connection so I do not have to use the slower EDVO and when we all get up and running 4G then would a web app make more sense?

    What do you think?
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  2.    #2  
    Tom Peters in the “Search for Excellent” always started with putting some stakes in the ground and in this case I would like to point out:

    --Any and all Smartphones has less power that most Web Servers, so let’s run apps here that is not very close connected to the Smartphone.

    --The Web Server will know what type of Browser and in some cases what Smartphone that is calling it, so let’s tune the apps to screen size and power of the Browser / Smartphone.

    By following the above one can create one single app with different behaviors per the Browser / Smartphone / Computer. This way one will not write a program for one brand but will max out the saying “Anytime Anywhere Any-Device”
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  3. #3  
    hmm, i can think of a couple reasons right now:

    would require internet to work, you'd have to wait for it to load if you had slow internet connection.


    It would require server power, which costs money for the devs.



    I think it's a good idea for some apps, but not for all, i personally love what google is doing, but i also like having it on my computer, or my phone....
  4. #4  
    I actually don't like that vision and don't believe the web is supposed to work that way. Cloud should be there to offload work onto or for backup, not to serve apps. This business model works for Google thanks to advertising, but there's nothing in it for independent developers. Nobody wants to pay for web apps. Until that's changed, only Goolge benefits from something like Chrome OS.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  5. #5  
    So, I am sitting on an airplane or in a car in the middle of nowhere and I reach for my phone to use the calculator and... damn, no signal, so no calculator! Ridiculous.

    Yes, Web Servers are more powerful than smartphones. But Smartphones of today are as powerful as the computers of a few years back... they are plenty capable of doing the vast majority of the things I need to do. Why on earth would I want to be dependent upon network server availability for things that don't require that?

    The Smartphone is the one device that I'll pretty much have with me no matter where I am... so, I want to load it up with pretty much anything I'd like to have available anywhere I might be... at least anything that's tolerable to do with a tiny keyboard and screen.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Stradale View Post
    So, I am sitting on an airplane or in a car in the middle of nowhere and I reach for my phone to use the calculator and... damn, no signal, so no calculator!
    So, this is an extreme example, but a good point. Anything that you would like to work without a net connection should be an App and not a Web App. Although ... you may be surprised at how fast this will change in then next few years. But there will always be some apps that should run locally.

    The flip side of this, and one of the interesting things I've seen with the Pre, is a Web App that is equal to and maybe better than the Pre App. The Weather Channel app is one of the best available IMO, but I actually think the Weather.com mobile web site is even better. I can access it as quick (maybe even slightly quicker), I like the scrolling action better on the web site (Web App, if you like), and there's more options.

    So to answer the OP ... as with much of software development ... "it depends".
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by davis.rob View Post
    The flip side of this, and one of the interesting things I've seen with the Pre, is a Web App that is equal to and maybe better than the Pre App. The Weather Channel app is one of the best available IMO, but I actually think the Weather.com mobile web site is even better. I can access it as quick (maybe even slightly quicker), I like the scrolling action better on the web site (Web App, if you like), and there's more options.

    I would argue that the Pre App was poorly designed if it is inferior to the equivalent Web App... the Pre App should be able to access the same data from the web and be able to provide exactly the same functionality at least as well, if not better, than the Web App.

    There are cases where the data must come from the web... in those cases, a Web App might be just as good as a local app, or might be a little worse than the local app... but there is no scenario where the Web App should be better than the local app, unless the local app was just poorly implemented.
  8.    #8  
    All, one of the major feature with a Web App is that you the developer can update the application at any given time and do not have to ensure that all users are on the current version. More important is to not worry about which version of which patch the user has installed or is missing installing.

    Clearly one can write to a specific phone market or one can do the Web App and any and all Cell phones with a Web Browser can use it.

    A correct designed Web App will know what the calling Web Browser is and can do. Scale the application per screen size and what should run on the Client side.

    Talking about “poorly implemented” Apps: I do see many of them, both from a under the hood design to a real bad GUI. The good news is that any developer can do whatever they want, the public by buying / donating are voting with the $$.

    Regarding making money: I do believe that some people will never pay, but in general I see many people in this forum that are willing to pay / donate and I think the same goes for a real good Web App. By donating to the developer we are all keeping the developer in business and keeping the App current.

    Am I saying; that we should only create Web Apps, absolutely not! What I am pointing out is that a developer should be looking for the right solution and not just say; I need to create a Pre App, just because I can. On the other hand everyone should do whatever they find working best for them.
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  9. #9  
    I believe it will end up being a mixture of local and server based programs. Large sized items such as high resolution textures, videos, animations, and sound will be local for smooth operation and small sized files like text and menus that can change often will be stored on servers.

    In the end large sized files or "events" will be stored locally and small files or "triggers" will be on servers. Of course this may all change if the internet runs 20x faster than it is now.
  10. Dave81j6's Avatar
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    #10  
    This crosses very closely to your Web App vs Palm Pre App idea. CNet ran an article today (12/9/09) I just pulled this portion, the link is at the bottom of this post.

    YouWeb founder Peter Relan said his company had seen user engagement go way up when a user was able to access that same app no matter where they were, or what device they were using. He also noted that there are a whole lot more people with access to a Web browser than a smartphone with a data plan, which gives app developers the potential for a much larger user base.

    So i got to thinking. Isn't the Pre code based off the same code used on the web? If so, then it shouldn't require much extra effort (coding/what not) to get a Pre App to be a standalone Web App. If palm was willing to host a server, and use your palm profile to log in, you would have full access to all your apps, both on the smartphone and the web. Two problems, #1 you would need a server and thats costs money, of course, but based of YouWeb founder Peter Relan said, it could happen. #2 i am by no means technical so i have probably wisked right by another potential issue.

    here's to an idea that has to start somewheres. and here's the link
    Mobile-app makers prepare for a gold rush | Web Crawler - CNET News
  11. #11  
    At first glance, that seems a sexy solution: when I am at my computer (or any computer), I can access all my WebOS apps via the web... and then I have a real keyboard to use.

    HOWEVER, once you get used to being able to access your data from either your computer or your Palm, then you'll want to take advantage of that bigger screen. For example, the best calendar views on a computer are VERY different than the best calendar views on a smartphone.

    And THEN there's the flip side... you don't have a touch screen or gesture inputs on the computer... so again, the smartphone app may be less than ideal on your computer.

    Thus, the IDEAL once you start liking having access to your data on both computer and on Palm is to have apps designed for each platform that operate on the same data, syncing as appropriate. Oh, wait... that's what Palm gave us ages ago with Palm Desktop... and now we get with The Missing Sync and our Pre's.

    Even better, I guess, will be when you not only get a bigger screen, but you get the same touchscreen and gesture inputs on your computer... so that there is as much commonality as possible between the WebOS app and the PC app.
    Palm Pilot > Palm Vx > Treo 600 > Treo 700p > Pre
  12.    #12  
    Brian, I like your thinking and view. When I emigrated to US back in 1980 the new kid on the block was a PC from IBM and my job was to create a Pen input device for the PC. We did it with a stunning resolution of 4000 by 4000 in a DOS 1 environment that was doing 640 x 480. I can tell many stories about that time including that we were turned down by Apple due to we pitch them a week after Jobs had signed off on the mouse.
    Today we have the Pre and we need some new thinking (outside the normal what I see all day long). First of all let’s look at how Web Apps are dealing with Smartphones. When you click into the Pre Central (http://www.precentral.net/) you have the option to switch to the Mobil view (http://m.precentral.net/). As much as I love Pre Central I have to say that the Mobil view is fine if you have a Flip Phone but it is an insult if you go there with your Pre. What is wrong here is that the Web Server is not taking advantage of the information the Web Browser is sending back where it is tilling the Web Server what type the Browser is, plus Screen Size and type of CPU power that the Phone has.

    So the above example is not the way the Web Pre Apps should look and work.

    I assume that the newer Net Books together with the Google Web Apps and CNN John Kings Screen technology is what we will see on Desktops in the future and those computers will match the way we are working with an easy switch between in the office / home and on the GO with the Pre.

    Wonder if someone out there wants to build a team to create a part of this new world.
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  13.    #13  
    Guys, thinking about Web App vs Pre App or for that matter any Smartphone App I notice last Friay when my better half and I was at Blockbuster to turn in the online rentals and pick some new movies for the weekend. I pulled out my Pre and accessed my online DVD App (which is linked to both Blockbuster Website and IMb Website) to see what I already have in our DVD library, have seen and wanted to see. I found “Swimming with Sharks” (can recommend it) and when I found my better half see was using the same App on here BlackBerry before she picked “Julie and Julia”.

    Clearly an App like this is meant to be on the Web so not only can we share, but we can get to it from anywhere and anytime, in the office, at home or in the car.

    Other Apps may not have any value on the Web and not to share, but if the App deals with Data, either obtained from the some internal database or request the user to enter the data I would say the App should be on the Web. Here I assume that if you spend time on the App and the Data then you may at a later time go back to that data or even share it and then we are back to the Web App again.

    So where am I wrong in saying that we should develop Web Apps and not Pre Apps?????
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarne View Post
    Clearly an App like this is meant to be on the Web so not only can we share, but we can get to it from anywhere and anytime, in the office, at home or in the car. ...
    So where am I wrong in saying that we should develop Web Apps and not Pre Apps?????

    Given the data is linked to IMdB / Amazon and the data is to be shared by multiple users, the DATA living in the web (in a cloud) makes sense. Where the data lives vs. where the app lives is an independent issue...

    For example, Facebook data clearly must live on the web. And there is a web app to access that data. But it is still possible to build a local app that accesses that same data and gives you a superior user interface... a superior user experience... by better leveraging the platform's capabilities.

    The whole point of moving to Web Services is so that we separate where the data lives from where the applications that can access that data can live.

    So, the lowest level of the software are the web services that provide the data maintenance and the underlying functionality. On top of that, you provide apps that provide the user experience leveraging the web services for the data. One such app would be a web app, giving you access from any browser... with the limitations of the browser platform. Other apps could provide superior user experiences by leveraging the specific platform's capabilites. So, a Pre App could fully leverage the gesture-based interfaces, the touch screen, etc., which a web app could not do.

    Now, if you design the Pre App and realize that you can't provide anything better than the Web App running in a browser on the Pre, then sure just deliver the Web App. But if you want to delight your users, many apps can be much better if written as a native UI accessing the data on the web.
    Palm Pilot > Palm Vx > Treo 600 > Treo 700p > Pre
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarne View Post
    All, one of the major feature with a Web App is that you the developer can update the application at any given time and do not have to ensure that all users are on the current version.
    Whoa, whoa whoa there buddy, hold your horses. I mean, it's almost down right un-American!

    Think of the Bill Gates of the world! Updates? For free? Easy to apply? That's just crazy talk there!




    Now, having said all that, the GQueues application I use for my tasks is exactly what you are describing. It is 100% web, with nothing on the phone. The interface is modified depending on how you are accessing it. I love how it works, but, at the same time as mentioned above in the calculator example, if I am not connected, I have no access to my tasks, and that sucks. A hybrid would be my preferred option. The device accesses and syncs with the cloud, but the data is available on and off line.
  16.    #16  
    Ponyfool, well un-American yes but productive and in the end if people like it I know that people will support it either via direct via subscription or donation or in-directly via advertisement – OK we got that part out of the way.

    I totally agree with you that the perfect app is one that will let you work on-line or off-line (with sync to the cloud).

    I looked at the GQueues application; looks good. This would be a perfect example of having a Pre App for the time when you are not on-line. So now the question is how and when does the Pre App get updated? If one is working via the Pre App then the App can ensure that it has an off-line copy, but what if I work on my Laptop and are changing the underlying data. Would the Web App ping the Pre App or should the Pre App monitor what it is going on with the Web App and run down the Pre battery?

    If the Web App cannot directly ping the Pre App and have it updating its off-line copy it could as a minimum send an SMS to remind you to open the Pre App before you leave the on-line area.

    In the last two weeks I have been monitoring where I would not be on-line and I found that my life style brings three stages of X-line: On-line via WiFi for 80% of the time. On-line via the EVDO for very close to 20% time and then there is a handful of hours where I was flying and did not have any on-line access. This will change now where the airplanes are starting caring some type of WiFi.

    So maybe the off-line is really not that big of a problem?
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  17.    #17  
    Brian, you point to two side of an App. The GUI part of the App and then the underlying data the App is using. Maybe that is what a developer should look at and then say if the data has little value to anybody except to the single owner of the Pre then the Pre owner should not have access to the data from any other computer.

    I personally would be OK with less GUI and more sharing since I look to the Pre as a productive tool in my life. That said I still think that the Web App should understand that I am working on a computer with larger screen, real mouse and keyboard plus lost of CPU power, or I work on a much smaller form factor as the Pre. The later does not mean dummy down the Web App, it means be smart with the way the data is displayed and the navigation should learn from how you work.

    As Ponyfool points out the combination of both a Web App and a Pre App would then be the best of both worlds. Again how do we ensure that the two are synced?
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarne View Post
    As Ponyfool points out the combination of both a Web App and a Pre App would then be the best of both worlds. Again how do we ensure that the two are synced?
    There's two syncing's being discussed in this thread:

    = syncing data... when I am offline, I can only use my cached copy of the data... when I am online it should auto-sync with the data in the cloud... such syncing technology is old-hat now (ancient Palm technology)

    = updating the app... when you design your web services and your apps that access the data via the web services, you record the required version of the apps allowed to access the web services... usually, backward compatibility is easy, but when its a problem, you can just bump the min required client app... then when a too-old client app access it, it reports to the user "Sorry, you need to upgrade your client. Would you like to upgrade now?" User clicks yes, it downloads the new app, and then the user continues. No big deal. Happens rarely.
    Palm Pilot > Palm Vx > Treo 600 > Treo 700p > Pre
  19.    #19  
    Developers defecting from App Store to HTML5

    Having the ability to store your data and actions offline isn’t much good if you can’t start the application while offline. So besides making use of the database API, we needed a way to get the application itself loaded without an internet connection. The HTML5 specification comes to the rescue here, with an application cache that is capable of storing all resources in your web app so that the browser can load them while offline.
    Bjarne Winkler
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ==> Pre: There's a patch for that!
  20. #20  
    Don't forget that Network != Just http!!! I would love an easy way to write an app to control my Roku Soundbridge without having to use a web server. Current webos API makes that impossible without first writing a java service. And is that even supported by Palm?

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