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Further thoughts on the "do you need an app" question

Just a quick follow-up to last week’s piece about whether you need apps as part of your mobile strategy. Things are getting really interesting on the app vs. browser debate. Why? Because Amazon’s new Kindle Cloud Reader hints at why apps may not be necessary in the long-term [Full disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate].

You see, the Kindle Cloud Reader gives loads of “app-like functionality” in the browser, using HTML5 instead of a proprietary app platform. Don’t worry if you don’t know what it means technically, but its business meaning is that you can give your customers rich, immersive experiences on their mobile devices without building separate apps for iPhones, iPads, Androids and who knows all what else.

I’d touched on this a bit last week and highlighted Roger McNamee’s argument around HTML5 taking the place of apps. I just didn’t expect anyone to offer a real-world example of it so quickly. Of course, as this bypasses Apple and Google’s app stores, I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this topic. But, I stand by my earlier advice: Make sure you’re mobile enough and let the technology issues work themselves out.


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