Change is scary, but it can also be really good for business. Mobile is changing the web. Browsers are adjusting. Operating systems are changing. Today you can do more on many apps than you can on the website equivalent. For example a bank’s app might let you deposit a check by taking its picture. Not so on the bank’s website. What does this mean for the future of browsing? With the shift to emphasize content over delivery, find out what browsers and applications are doing to keep up.
Google Chrome boasts top spot for browsers, with 37 percent of users around the globe. But I don’t think that means what it would’ve a few years ago. Developers have been so focused on the functionality of apps, browsers have advanced little recently. Despite this shift over the last three years or so, there are still plenty of things that websurfers do that they don’t have apps for yet.
Mozilla has added new features to its browser such as its Social API. This way you can surf the web and view all your social media activity in a sidebar. Internet Explorer 10 or IE10 works closely with Windows 8. When IE10 runs on Windows 8 websites go full screen. The toolbars and menus pop up when needed.
Google’s Chrome Operating System (OS) is featured on Chromebooks, laptops that run all computer functions through the browser. The idea hasn’t exactly taken off yet and Chromebooks were available since 2011. Mozilla is planning to release Firefox OS based on the web’s HTML. The system is open to developers.
HTML5 is a programming language that makes sites work more like apps. Developers have been excited about HTML5 since mid-2010. HyperText Markup Language, used to organize content, is seeing mass adoption. This is leading to a universal language for applications and the elimination of desktop software.
HTML5 includes support beyond the standard text and static images, now supporting 2D drawing, media playback, geolocation, offline web application development, data storage, and other tools. HTML5 gives developers the power to design applications as they would websites.
Just as you can view a webpage from any device with a browser, web applications are never installed on a local computer. There’s no need to worry about supporting intranet on outdated browsers or software on outdated operating systems. Updates take place seamlessly. (Did you ever have to install a disc for updating a web app?)
As corporate culture gravitates toward “bring your own device,” there is no incompatibility excuse. If you have a browser, you have a workstation. Additionally web apps will have fewer bugs than desktop versions as they only need comply with modern browser standards.
If you’re making a decision to upgrade company hardware, knowing the future of web apps and browsers will help you make that decision. A more future-proof decision will understand that the web isn’t going away and more applications will be moving there.
Please share your thoughts on the future of browsers and web applications in the comments below.