Monday, May 9, 2011

What Kind of Apps are You Building?

Someone asked me: What kind of PlayBook apps are you building?

While that's a great question, I think a better one is: What type of problem are you trying to solve with a PlayBook?

I categorize apps into two broad categories:
  1. Device intensive
  2. Data
Use-cases for Device intensive apps are: camera (still and video), conferencing - and specialized activities like DVD ripping. This category of application represents perhaps 20% of all programs that we use.

The vast majority of applications present data. A good example is my weather site:  It shows real-time sensor data from measuring equipment on top of my house. It also shows government forecast data that changes every hour.

With this type of app: It is the data that's most valuable.
Remember:  timeliness matters.  

Good web sites often focus on data. More and more 'mobile apps' surround this content with an 'app wrapper' that adds little to no value. I find things like native 'weather apps' to be pretty much useless packaging. Going to a weather web site is almost always better.

Favorites in the browser are a great way to access 'data'.  No downloading.  Up-to-date.  No fuss.  

Take a look at the PlayBook Browser Favorites page. The live thumbnail images
look like native apps. And they are better if the solution is mainly about the data.


That big elephant in the room has half a million apps. Many should be delivered via web sites. But you can't charge $1.99 for a bookmark can you?

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