Mobile Apps & The Clumsy, Cumbersome World Wide Web

Netflix just released their iPhone app. “What took so long?” we wondered. I opened it up expecting to simply have a queue manager. It allows you to stream entire movies from your Instant Queue on your device. I’m still impressed by the streaming Netflix app on my Wii and then this, at no additional cost.

My intention here is not to drool all over Netflix or to deconstruct the shortcomings with their various apps or to discuss the looming bankruptcy of Blockbuster. It’s simply to muse a little bit on an idea we’ve all been talking about for the past few years or so. That is, the future of the internet, the future of apps and ultimately, simple mobility.

There’s a great article in the new issue of WIRED on this topic. They’re calling it the death of the Web in big bold type on the cover, “The Web is dead.” Sure it’s a bit sensational but they’re illustrating the accelerating diversification of mobile applications: Properties that use the internet but not the world wide web of traditionally hosted “.com” websites.

Websites built for desktop browsing are great for shopping and researching but apps are better for targeted transactions, functions, games and locating instant, specific information. We’re beginning to use our apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Pandora, Google in such a way that the traditional web becomes an impractical option. A desktop computer has become an anchor and the modern web user demands mobility.

What does this mean for the future of the www? I’d like to think that it means that the traditional “.com” site is becoming a home environment for brand and a directory for all other components/applications under that brand, the new phone book. It’s becoming the home base for introducing customers/users to brand but once initiated the rest of the interaction and activity should be handled through simpler, specified applications that don’t require a chair and mouse to engage.