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What’s an “App”?

by Greg Robertson on April 24th, 2013

It’s not a web app. It’s an app you install from the web.

We received an email…

“I heard about Forecast, but I couldn’t find it in the App Store. How do I get it?”

“You don’t get it from the App Store: just go to on your phone, and you’ll be given instructions on how to download it.”

“Wow, this is great! I didn’t know you could get apps outside the App Store!”

We’ve had conversations like this dozens of times since launching Forecast. They usually comes from people who have an iPhone but aren’t particularly tech savvy, and I’m fairly certain none of them will ever know that Forecast is actually a web app. To them, it’s just an app you install from the web.

Great insight in to the whole native vs. web app debate. You should also check out Forecast, its my favorite weather app and its not available on iTunes.

via @danwoolley

  1. This is a great way to explain how to access an app that isn’t something you find on iTunes or Marketplace. I’m a firm believer in developing one application that can be used on a whole range of devices. Building a special app just for iOS and then another for Android and then another for Windows Phone and then another for Blackberry can be a colossal waste of resources.

    I think too many get bogged down in “Is it in the App Store?” Focus on broad access and really strong features.

  2. Greg Robertson permalink

    @Rob Agreed!

  3. Mark Zuckenberg may disagree with you. Below is what he says, see below…Bottom line if you are a leading broker and can be in all the stores AND have mobile web for a low monthly fee, you should do that for the next year or two, then decide if Apple has imploded and apps/iTunes not relevant.

    From the Zuck: “When I’m introspective about the last few years, I think the biggest mistake that we made as a company is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native. Because it just wasn’t there. It’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, long-term, really excited about it… We just never were able to get the quality we wanted [from the HTML5 apps we were building]…Probably we will look back saying that is one of the biggest mistakes if not the biggest strategic mistake that we made. But we’re coming out of that now”

    On the one hand you boys complain top Realtors are always behind the curve, and then you tell them to be behind the curve just sayin…

  4. Greg Robertson permalink

    @Brad I don’t think its a “behind the curve” argument. Some apps just don’t need to be native.

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