When Apple’s iPhone was born in 2007, the reinvented mobile experience bifurcated into mobile web and mobile apps. The company’s App Store set the standard for finding and downloading these self-standing software programs that offered their own self-contained functionality.
While the app ecosystem offers many advantages — including fast performance, offline use and specialized functionality — there are also drawbacks. Users generally have to detour to an app store to get them, their large file sizes often consume on-board device storage, and many apps — notably free ones — have very bad habits, like stealing your personal information or running up data charges without your permission. Plus, apps are very difficult to discover in the app stores, and users are downloading fewer and fewer.