Google CEO: Web Apps Will Eventually Rival iPad Apps

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Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt

Browser-based Web apps will rival the power of today’s iPad apps in the next few years, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. In an interview with Charlie Rose (posted on Fortune), Mr. Schmidt said that it won’t be long before developers are able to use open technologies to produce apps that are as powerful and beautiful as iPad apps are today.

“iPad apps are beautiful but highly restrictive,” Mr. Schmidt said. “They’re written in a specific programming language; they’re not Web applications. Over the next few years it should be possible using so-called open technologies to build apps as powerful as those on the iPad but do them on the Web, which means they’ll run everywhere.”

When asked when that day would arrive, he said that, “the technology is there, and people are developing it.” He added that looking back on history that, “I the Internet, openness has always won. I cannot imagine that the current competitive environment would reverse that.”

This is a direct reference to Apple’s Whole Widget model, where Apple makes the hardware and the software, and exerts strong controls over its platform.

“The iPhone established a whole new category,” he said, “but…the Apple model is closed. Same hardware, same applications, same store—a so-called vertical stack. All the other vendors want an alternative, and Apple is not going to give it to them.”

Mr. Schmidt appears to be suggesting that Apple’s iOS platform will not be able to compete with the open source Android platform over time.

In another part of this interview, Mr. Schmidt told Charlie Rose that Google is simply trying to make people into better people through the power of information.

“There’s such an overwhelming amount of information now,” he said. “We can search where you are, see what you’re looking at if you take a picture with your camera. One way to think about this is, we’re trying to make people better people, literally give them better ideas—augmenting their experience. Think of it as augmented humanity.”

That’s right: Using Google makes you a better person. For instance, try Googling hubris.

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Comments

MyRightEye

Oh BS.

iVoid

“build apps as powerful as those on the iPad but do them on the Web, which means they?ll run everywhere.”

...as long as your have a internet connection. smile

Although some web apps are made to be used offline, I’ve found precious few that work offline well. I guess that’s one thing that has to improve.

Of course, Apple tried to push web apps with the original iPhone, but the users were unsatisfied with that.

The only major flaw right now with Apple’s app system is that you can’t install apps from other sources.

geoduck

All the other vendors want an alternative, and Apple is not going to give it to them.

The vendors are not what’s important. It’s what the CUSTOMERS want.

Enterprise customers will want apps that are controlled in-house.
Personal customers will want Apps that will run when there is no network available.
Web Apps may be fine for some thing but there are a lot of situations where a local app is required:
“What do you mean you can’t do your presentation because the internet is slow right now?”

Lastly, who’s to say that the iPad won’t be able to run web-apps too?

vasic

I don’t doubt that those emerging web standards will allow Google (and others) some years from now to develop web-based applications that might match the complexity of today’s iPad apps.

Obviously, iOS and iPad aren’t going to be standing in place during those years. Regardless of what the complexity of web apps (and the underlying technology and standards) ends up being at any given time, iOS and devices on which it runs will continue to be leaps ahead. The reasoning is actually fairly simple: iOS apps run natively, and use hardware resources in an optimised way. Any future web standard will still run on top of an interpreter engine (or some run-time container), such as browser, which will run on top of another OS. A good example is Flash: some of Flash apps may be more complex than many desktop apps of ten years ago, but they are nowhere near the level of complexity that can be achieved on proper desktop (or iOS).

b0wz3r

I will never trust Google with such a scheme.  Basically what he’s saying here is no different than what Larry Ellison was saying 15 years ago that “thin client” computing would be the wave of the future, where everything is hosted and run from servers, etc. 

We all know how right he was about that now, don’t we?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Apple is about apps. Google is about search. That’s all you need to know. But if you want more… Finding stuff requires an open attitude to cataloging stuff. Seems Apple found this out quickly with Ping’s source of songs to like.

tonyinsf

“Of course, Apple tried to push web apps with the original iPhone, but the users were unsatisfied with that.”

I was going to say the same. Apple’s vision was the same as Google as far as web apps go, which is why Apple has been trying to accelerate HTML5. Sticking to flash will only slow down the process. Should note that Steve Jobs publicly announced in his keynote that Apple supports iTunes store as well as open apps in the way of web apps.

Nemo

Mr. Schmidt is a poor student of history.  When the iOS, which was then called the iPhone OS, was first introduced in 2007, its first and only development model was web apps.  Apple’s SDK for native apps wasn’t ready to go for the iPhone OS at its introduction but was under development; Apple introduced that native iPhone OS SDK about mid 2008.  When Steve Jobs, in 2007, suggested that developers would find the iPhone OS’s web app SDK to be quite powerful and could suit the requirements of many apps, the developers’ community howled, they shrieked and demanded an SDK for native apps and insisted that web apps weren’t insufficient for the most robust applications, such as advanced games.  In 2008 Apple brought forth its SDK for native apps in the iPhone OS, while retaining the SDK’s ability to create web apps.

Today the iOS SDK has retained the ability to do web apps on iOS devices.  The core technologies for iOS web apps are standard Web 2.0 tech of Javascript, HTML, and CSS.  However, developers have voted with their apps, choosing to build the vast majority of their apps as native applications, even though you can still do web apps in the iOS SDK.

Perhaps, Mr. Schmidt knows that developers are about to make a sea change by moving all of their native apps to the web.  If so, the iOS and iOS devices are ready.  But I think that what really motivated Mr. Schmidt’s comments is that Google is a web company that hopes to move everything to the web and its servers so that it can monetize it all with either an ad supported or subscription business model and collect even more valuable personal information about those who use web apps.  While that would be wonderful for Google, there is no evidence that I know of that indicates that developers are about to abet Google’s vision by abandoning native development for web apps.

FlipFriddle

Web apps work well in theory under ideal conditions with a 100% reliable connection. Reality unfortunately doesn’t work that way. Having stuff locally, especially content you’ve created gives you irrefutable ownership over that content. When it’s sitting on hardware someone else owns; well who knows then. No thanks.

geoduck

If I write an App and put it in the AppStore I get paid for each person that gets it. How will developers get paid for web-apps? I don’t want ads in my text document. I don’t want pop-ups in my presentation trying to sell my competitors product. I don’t want junk food ads appearing in the middle of my kids math lecture.

I don’t see the Google advertising model paying for web apps. In many cases users won’t tolerate it.

ChuckInSF

Web Apps won’t work on my tablet when I’m on the subway, underground. Or on an airplane and unwilling to pay $15 for 3 hours of slow internet service.

The main thing I want on my wifi-only iPad are apps that DON’T require a connection to the internet to be effective.

kraigspear

The best platform for Google is one where you have to stare at one of their ads the entire time you’re using a computing device.

As well as a platform where they know every little detail about you, to help them better target ads at you.

Is this really better?

Can I please pay for software and services…..

themrwhite

Apple already did this, and developers complained, thus why you have native apps on the iPhone now. This guy is a schmuck, Google is now the new Microsft, can’t innovate, just copy Apple.

themrwhite

geoduck said on September 27th, 2010 at 4:08 PM:
All the other vendors want an alternative, and Apple is not going to give it to them.The vendors are not what?s important. It?s what the CUSTOMERS want.
Enterprise customers will want apps that are controlled in-house.
Personal customers will want Apps that will run when there is no network available.
Web Apps may be fine for some thing but there are a lot of situations where a local app is required:
?What do you mean you can?t do your presentation because the internet is slow right now??
Lastly, who?s to say that the iPad won?t be able to run web-apps too?

You do realize the iPhone has done web apps since the beginning right? This means the iPad can as well :\

themrwhite

kraigspear View Observer ProfileNew Member
Joined: Sep, 2010
Posts: 1said on September 27th, 2010 at 4:01 PM:
The best platform for Google is one where you have to stare at one of their ads the entire time you?re using a computing device.
As well as a platform where they know every little detail about you, to help them better target ads at you.
Is this really better?
Can I please pay for software and services?..

This is why I don’t use Google where I have to sign-up for wnaything. I use their search engine and that’s about it. Everything else is lame and useless when I have native apps that are better.

aardman

Another hapless CEO claiming that in a few years their product will blow away what Apple is offering . . . today.

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