Have you ever used an app – whether on a phone, tablet, or desktop, and found them lacking?
Developers creating app versions of existing desktop software or online services face a dilemma. Apps are generally slimmed down versions of the original as they need to be used on touch interfaces, and the code needs to be smaller.
So app developers need to decide what features are important, how the app might be used differently in that context, and what can be left out. Even though desktop software is often bloated with features that are rarely used, deciding what to leave out is not easy. With computer code, similar to drafting contracts, simple is good but not easy. Sometimes things are left off that are missed by some users or that drive users nuts because they spend so much time trying to figure out how to do something that is missing.
I recently found, for example, that the Windows metro Dropbox app won’t let you select more than 1 file at a time to download. That’s a real pain if you are trying to download a couple hundred photos. I’ve also noticed that the OneDrive app doesn’t let you access OneDrive databases other than the one linked to that computer. And seen weather apps with reduced information.
This is a factor that makes some people lean towards HTML5 websites vs apps.