Part 12 - web sites as apps (appification?) - iPad as my main computer

We've covered many aspects of my iPad-only journey in this series of articles but as they say, the deeper you go... Today I'd like to talk about another aspects of the iPad that makes it such a joy to use. It's the appification (is that a word?) of the web - meaning more and more web sites now have their own iPad apps - and it's really great. Why? Well, for a number of reasons:

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The apps are made-for and thought-about the iPad

Many web sites from established players just collected so much dust over the years that they really suck. I mean seriously, they look bad. Just go to IMDB, eBay, Amazon... and many others. They seem like they're stuck in the 90s enjoying the first Internet gold rush. We're in 2012 people, where's HTML5, CSS3, people, responsive web design? Well, it's not there.

But... they have dedicated iPad apps that rock!

I am a movie-freak so I naturally looooove the IMDB (the Internet Movie Database) but I hate their web site... but I love their iPad app. It's sweet, high-res and lets me learn all about the movies I'm about to watch, the actors, see (and queue) the trailers and much much more. Same applies to Techcrunch - I no longer subscribe to their RSS channel, I just fire up the app and read a few trending topics. Great job there. And recently I was searching for a flat to rent for some friends so instead of firing up the web site, I checked if the company had an iPad app and they had, and it worked with my GPS position and the browsing experience of the flats was just amazing. A lot better than on their web site.

Here are some advantages of these apps:

  • iPad-like navigation - swipe, scroll, tap... perfect browsing experience on the iPad. Although I'd love all the web sites to adapt responsive web design (like we do at Nozbe) they usually don't - but their apps do :-)
  • retina-ready - unlike their web sites, the graphics are already retina-ready for my new iPad and look completely stunning.
  • one-tap access - no bookmarking - they are on my home screen, with easy access, usually even support app-switching very nicely. Great stuff. Use them more and more.

There are mediocre examples, too, but they keep getting better

Yes, I'm talking to you GoDaddy! I have lots of domains with you and the premise of managing them directly on my iPad is great but your app doesn't support app-switching, doesn't remember my password, doesn't support retina and is darn slow - get it fixed, please.

Appification is good for you

If you're stuck in a laptop land, you don't get the benefits of these great apps and it came to me as an additional incentive, simplification and surprise. I just love it and hope many more web sites come on board and follow suit. Keep them coming! Let's appify (again, not a word) the Internet :-)

And which iPad apps do you use instead of their web sites?

Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 (ipad,ipadonly)