This is an interesting perspective on development of apps:
I can testify to it – my first application on BlackBerry 10 was “browser-based”. I had specifically chosen it because BlackBerry had a compelling implementation of WebKit (that “powers” Safari). Chrome (and Firefox) were leap years BEHIND. As such, I focused on the “speed” of its launch, its responsive design, and the ability to push updates to content in no-time. The content did not need refactoring or course through the App Store. However, BlackBerry 10 then announced its end-of-life, and I couldn’t find any other developer who shared my ideas around having browser based implementation.
Fast forward to 2022, and I get to see “progressive-web-applications”, which is another wording for the applications running in the web browser itself and utilising its core components to push notifications or other browser events. It saves time- you can add any specific website on the home screen and devices have become capable enough to handle these changes. Apple, is holding back “browser-innovation” because then it will hurt it’s App Store business. For all others, it is instructive to focus on the PWA route alone. I’d rather spend more on UI/UX and improve design templates to garner better usability than spend time (and effort) to deal with the opaque App Store policies (which can change anytime).
The cost/benefit tradeoff for cross platform web apps has always been about trading worse performance in exchange for less development time. In 2014 for most apps, that was a bad tradeoff. But in the past 8 years, a lot has changed. Browser performance has steadily increased:
There’s benefit in efficiency.