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Could the Closed Aspect of Apps Threaten the Free Internet?

Instead of the free Internet, there could be walled gardensthat are promoted by our own laziness to simply and consume prepared content rather than exploring the Internet on our own. That is the result of a somewhat unusual survey conducted by pew Internet and American Life Project, which included just two questions and then asked 1,021 respondents for comment.

According to the report, 35 percent of respondents agreed with the following forecast:

"In 2020, most people will prefer to use specific applications (apps) accessible by Internet connection to accomplish most online work, play, communication, and content creation. The ease of use and perceived security and quality-assurance characteristics of apps will be seen as superior when compared with the open Web. Most industry innovation and activity will be devoted to apps development and updates, and use of apps will occupy the majority of technology users' time. There will be a widespread belief that the World Wide Web is less important and useful than in the past and apps are the dominant factor in people's lives."

59 percent believed this scenario to be more likely:

"In 2020, the World Wide Web is stronger than ever in users' lives. The open Web continues to thrive and grow as a vibrant place where most people do most of their work, play, communication, and content creation. Apps accessed through iPads, Kindles, Nooks, smartphones, Droid devices, and their progeny—the online tools GigaOM referred to as "the anti-Internet"—will be useful as specialized options for a finite number of information and entertainment functions. There will be a widespread belief that, compared to apps, the Web is more important and useful and is the dominant factor in people's lives."

There is no right or wrong and there is no detailed conclusion to those questions other than that more than a third of respondents sees apps to become the dominant usage scenario of the Internet within eight years. The takeaway clearly is that an education process is taking place and consumers have begun making choices how they use Internet resources. The request for comment yielded answers that are broad and cover everything from an infinitely open web to an environment that will create "app potatoes". The hope is that HTML5 is capable enough to help evolve the Internet and keep it useful to remain attractive as an open tool.

  • Marco925
    Oh if apple gets its way..... only god knows what will happen to the internet.
  • rex86
  • alvine
    rex86firstthis is not youtbe

    Because development tools are moving in the absolute opposite direction of this.

    Look at phoneGap. Soon every mom and pop shop will have their own mobile app and any high school kid can make their own mobile app.

    Also, every single business I've run into now is 100% paranoid that the biz apps they are outsourcing contain data mining or outright information theft and as such demand to be able to see source code to ensure this is not the case.

    When it comes to making mobile apps, doing it fast is what is important, so inevitably they cannot be locked down like other apps.

    eg: You cannot afford to code obfuscate them properly, or your app's performance will suck.
  • AEternal1
    Someone needed a little more coffee before submitting this article......
  • zak_mckraken
    This is... this is not news.
  • killerclick
    Microsoft is pushing Metro in order to push Windows into the kiosk/closed/app-world and away from the internet. They want their 30% cut, they want ad revenue from ad-supported apps and they want more control over their platform, like Apple has.
    Consumers can fight this by resisting Metro and Windows 8 and by using mobile-optimized websites instead of apps (where this is feasible).
  • This article is complete garbage. So 300 random people think apps are going to overtake the internet, big deal. That's because they are busy sucking on their thumbs playing shit like Angry Birds and browsing Facebook all day. Cmon Toms.
  • NuclearShadow
    I wouldn't call it a threat to the internet itself at all. I would say it is a risk when it comes to phones however and tablets however. Apple for example realized a total closed system is profitable if you want to develop a game you have to go through them for acceptance to be sold which they take profits. This also leaves consumers with no option but to feed Apple more money instead of being able to buy directly. This is terrible as it gives complete control over what people can see and use and even enables favoritism instead of a fair market.

    If by any chance we see censorship based on the OS that aims to blocking of certain websites or blocking news/information critical to the company or political views than we will have a very big threat and problem. A app store though isn't anything to fuss about.
  • gm0n3y
    I think that once HTML 4 is more entrenched / developed and the processing power of mobile devices picks up that apps are going to start declining.