In 2006 I wrote about how the fear of installing desktop software accelerated the move to the web. Security warnings, firewall alerts and antivirus popups made installing software feel like an incredibly risky thing to do.
We’re seeing a similar situation with mobile apps now. The seemingly simple act of installing an app requires you to first approve a scary list of permissions, and while some may approve them the same way they dismiss a EULA, others find them daunting. Add to that the spammy notifications and addiction-feeding of popular games plus the privacy violations of popular social apps, and it feels like I’m watching a rerun from eight years ago.
If this trend continues, the whole debate about mobile apps vs. web apps will be pointless: users will feel safer with web apps so that’s what they’ll choose, and developers will follow.