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      I’m probably an outlier too, but I won’t install the app either. Very little content is so important that I need to give up my personal data to access it.

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        Count me as an outlier too. And it is not even about giving up my personal data. It’s more like: don’t treat me like an idiot if you want me to read/view your stuff.

        • If the web experience is so bad, why did you even bother to build a site then?
        • Exactly what part of the experience is better in the app? Do you think I am not able to judge what I find comfortable myself?
        • Even if somehow it really is better, did you factor in the trouble and annoyance of installing that app and finding the content a second time in the comparison?

        Really, I keep getting amazed about the blind spot that marketing and ‘engagement people’ have when it comes to banners like this. They care so much about brand and experience, but are stumped when you ask them how they think all these hurdles they put in between me and the content affects the impression I have of their company. (Yes, I have a habit of asking that in the companies I work.)

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        Yall aren’t missing anything. Invariably, when I give up and install an app, it’s a worse experience than the main site. In fact, the app’s usability is often the direct inverse of their insistence that you try it.

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          Github is a great example of this. Their iOS doesn’t have all the features the website has. It also has a crappier navigation experience and overall get annoyed with it quickly. I continue to use it because it seems to preserve my login better and browsing code is decent.

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        I’m really curious about this trend. Google published some research 10 or so years ago that said that an extra 100ms of loading time had a measurable impact on whether users would stay on your page. Requiring an app download adds many seconds to the load time even if you’re willing to download the app. I’d expect that to see orders of magnitude more people give up than an extra 100ms delay.

        The only reason I can see for this is that companies have determined that there’s something like a bimodal distribution of visitors and losing the casual users to focus on the ones with long-term engagement is a solid decision. Well, okay, that’s the only rational explanation I can see. The most likely one is that CxOs have heard that apps are cool and want to be ‘app-first’ and ‘native-first’ because Forbes or Gartner said that’s what all the cool kids are doing.

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      I’m convinced it’s because you can’t run adblock on the mobile app.

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        My guess is push notifications and you always have your phone so users are more likely to open their app when it’s on one of their homescreens.

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        Fortunately I can run adblock on my router.

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          You can’t. You can only run a host blocker, not a content blocker, and that first one is fairly easy to get around.

          Wake me up if someone invents actual content blocker on a router, I’ll be the first one to test.

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      Well I do generally get the app - to open up in a VM, reverse and see how they botched authentication this time around vs. when web frameworks did the work for them. More often than not there are familiar sets of adtech .so:s. If I already have a harness around I then just throw a few gigs of bullshit back. Sometimes the botched authentication gets dumped on some dubious forum. Ethically no qualms about bad things happening to terrible orgs.

      When I actually need to browse from a mobile phone, as rarely as that happens, it is through a server hosted ephemeral browser session that just renders/encodes to a pannable desktop aspect-ratio buffer, forwards and none of this “is it a mobile phone display form factor or user-agent or ”.

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      This irks me to no end. Specifically the Reddit one.

      I find that a benefit of Firefox Mobile is that you can load the desktop version of a site—which is often dynamic enough to work on a phone anyway.

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      There are technical drivers for some companies. Their businesses might require access to certain features that are only accessible to native applications.

      Proprietary mobile features cut both ways. I once worked on a 3D project that stalled because Android uses OpenGL and iOS uses Metal/SceneKit. The only thing the Android and iOS teams could agree on was that they would not deign use WebGL in a web view. The eventual compromise was that the website got live 3D renderings and the native apps got static 2D images.