Under the Bridge

HTML App Distro, Take IV: appMobi

You know, sometimes we wonder if anyone except us actually has any functioning memory whatsoever. Examine this alleged news:

World’s First HTML5 Web App Browser Launches – Could Be Game Changer For Developers

What is being called the world’s first HTML5 web app browser launches today in the App Store. The free and universal MobiUs app provides a way for developers to get apps onto iDevices without first getting Apple’s approval. As such, this could fast become be a game-changer in mobile app development…

Well, anyone who’s calling it that hasn’t been paying much attention, have they? Granted that appMobi does look like a neat turn on the concept that might be worth keeping an eye on, but “first”? Ah … no.

[UPDATE: Please examine rebuttal in the comments, where the miffed mobiUS folk correct us that they are accurate in calling it “the first web app browser”, as it is, in fact, an APP. Why yes, now that we look closer, that is what they said. Did you notice the space between “web” and “app”? Nope, we read it “the first webapp browser” too. So read the rest of this keeping that in mind. We’re not convinced that will actually make a significant difference … but hey, all the best of luck to them proving us wrong!]

… Matter of fact, there seems to be a regular pattern developing here. Let us examine this post from your humble blogger just aout a year ago:

OpenAppMkt

So, looks like there’s a new App Store alternative around these days: OpenAppMkt! Basically they’re doing their best to replicate the App Store experience with HTML5 apps; and they seem to be getting a little bit of traction…

So that would make appMobi “World’s Second”, then. But wait, what’s that we said in the OpenAppMkt post?

… absolutely not a single piece we read seemed to have any idea of the existence of the first HTML app marketplace, that we posted about pretty much exactly a year ago…

Huh? Another year ago? Oh, that’s right:

App Store Alternatives

wherein we mentioned Hottrix and their Premier App Shop.

So now we’re down to appMobi being “World’s Third”.

And you know, we could go back another year further than that and be pretty much back to where Apple was telling us that the only way to distribute apps for this brand new shiny “iPhone” thingy would be Apple’s web apps directory, for that matter. So, that makes appMobi the “World’s Fourth” then.

So yeah, this “World’s First” seems to be awarded anew on a pretty darn close to annual basis here. Will this latest one achieve any more traction than the other efforts chronicled above? Why, check back this time next year and see. But you should probably place your bets on there being a fifth “World’s First” HTML app distribution system to introduce to you then, given established practice!

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  • Roy Smith

    Hi,
    First, thanks for covering mobiUs – we’re quite proud of it. I just had a few comments about your post.

    Our press release calls mobiUs the first web app browser, which it is – no other mobile browser has added PhoneGap and appMobi device APIs, HTML5 Canvas acceleration, Push Messaging, and In-App Purchases. In fact, no other mobile browser on the market has even one of those extras.

    I hope you will agree that mobiUs is NOT a web site, it’s an app.

    The other examples you cite are all web sites that attempt to be app stores for HTML5 apps.

    We aren’t pushing mobiUS as an app store. it’s a browser. You won’t find any “app store” features built into mobiUs. We believe mobiUs is a tool that gives app developers the optioin of publishing apps using the open web, rather than being forced into the manufacturer owned app stores.

    So I respectfully disagree with your premise that (a) It’s not the first of its kind and (b) It’s an app store.

    Thanks!
    Roy Smith
    VP Marketing – appMobi

    • http://www.alexcurylo.com Alex Curylo

      You definitely are correct it is, indeed, an app. Edited to highlight your objections.