Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

As the article explains, Offline Web App is being used to mean Progressive Web Application (the standard terminology).

(edit Turns out that's not quite right, see diggan's reply.)

From the article:

> You’d almost think they had an App Store to promote or something.

There's certainly a tension here. I'm still not sure why more vendors don't make iOS PWAs to get around the App Store payment rules.

Perhaps related: Very roughly a year ago, something changed in iOS that broke the 2048 PWA. Its swipe-detection no longer works. A pity.






> I'm still not sure why more vendors don't make iOS PWAs to get around the App Store payment rules.

Because users won't use them. For users that don't have a technical background: if it isn't in the app store then it essentially isn't an app. For techie users: lots of us don't want web apps because of the power, memory, and bandwidth usage is often higher than a well written native app. The fact that there's a gatekeeper who has some control over what shows up in the app store is usually a feature and not a bug.

If there were big parts of the app ecosystem that didn't have native apps, then eventually users would find web apps. But that isn't the case. Think of anything and search for it in the app store and there's an app for it (including 2048).


> For users that don't have a technical background: if it isn't in the app store then it essentially isn't an app

I'm not convinced of this. If it has an icon like proper apps, and feels like an app, I don't think users are going to mind if it came from the App Store.

The question is whether the unfamiliar 'installation' process is too fiddly for non-technical users. I don't think it is. I figure a 10 second How to install our app animation would do the job.


I think this is a problem of their own creation - done in the name of simplicity which has outlived its usefulness, but to take it back now would be chaos.

A closed, curated app store gave less technical users the confidence to actually download software without concern that it would screw up their device. However, things which have a different model like web apps or system extensions (read: keyboards) were also put into the same distribution mechanism.

You can see why as it removes a barrier to using them: people just go the same place they've always gone to get software on the platform. They make no distinction between the native Gmail app and GIF Keyboard because the install process is the same and each are displayed prominently.

In reality, 3rd party keyboards and the like should probably be handled - from a UI standpoint - like they are on macOS, inside System Preferences/Settings, with no app icon on the homescreen, they simply aren't as important as full blown apps.

^ People will dispute this and that's really nice...but they're wrong.


I've seen a lot of news sites and random WordPress blogs doing that.

It has become spam, just like news sites asking to send notifications.


offline web apps are different than PWA. A PWA doesn't necessarily work offline, but more is independent from the connection / loading of it. I do think most PWAs do work offline, but doesn't mean it's a requirement to call it a PWA.

Similarly, an offline capable web app is not necessarily a PWA, as PWA carries a lot of features to it besides being offline capable.


Good points. I've edited my comment.

What is an "off-line web app"? If an app never goes online and is sandboxed from other apps, then it never has any data at risk of exfiltration.

An offline web app is a frontend-only application (just HTML+CSS+JS or less) that can be loaded from any medium (internet, usb stick, direct TCP via netcat or any other transport) and work in your browser without requiring a remote connection to allow usage of it's features.

So yes, this would mean it doesn't run the risk of ex-filtration or snooping at the transport layer, as the data never leaves the specific website context in your browser.


> I'm still not sure why more vendors don't make iOS PWAs to get around the App Store payment rules.

One reason is because Apple have incentive to break PWAs and they will do it. It's not a wise business decision to act against big player.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: