The Great App Bubble

Aaron Shapiro, Fast Company, Sept 03, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If you agree that the purpose of the app is to monetize (or at least popularize) content for Apple and developer, then yes, we're in an app bubble, as this article suggests. But I think the purpose of the app, as designed and implemented, is different. It creates a weak lock-in to certain content providers, and consequently reduces that behaviour most destructive to commercial providers, the users' endless browsing through personal and noncommercial sites. Apps are intended to get us to settle in on a few favourite (and usually professionally produced) content sources, instead of surfing hundreds, as is encouraged by the web browser. From that perspective, there is no app bubble - quite the opposite. The reduction of the number of apps on individuals' phones shows the system is working as intended.
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