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I really loathe these app popups, unless you are doing some serious processing like a for a game there is almost no reason for an app. It breaks the power of a browser to have multiple documents and it breaks urls and linking to content. And, as they point out, it also is highly redundant when a mobile site has already been built. That's to say nothing of further redundancy in having more than one app: one for iOS, one for Android and maybe one for Windows mobile. That's potentially four different expensive mobile development processes for an entirely inferior experience and causing significant annoyance.

There is a damn good reason for all these apps - tracking and monetizing datapoints. The app itself does not necessarily have to provide any value to the datapoint.

Egocentrism inclines me to think that apps were written for me. Reason leads me to believe they were not.

Apps will give you a few more obscure datapoints that web analytics won't but I'll bet that very few companies actually use them. I doubt many even study bounce rates when they present you with these app download modals.

By "obscure datapoints" are you referring to my contact list and geolocation?

Apps can gain access to all sorts of information inaccessible to the browser.

I was thinking more device orientation/velocity/camera etc Geo is available on web, and SSO via fb etc allow virality through contact lists in much the same way as an app (I think). I guess the biggest reason why a business should get you to install an app is push messaging (though I guess that could be approximated with email).

An app with access to your camera can shoot fucking video or pictures and run them through analysis. For example, an internet radio station can adjust its playlist based on who it sees. Well, that and its ads.

What internet radio station is "access[ing] your camera[,] shoot[ing] fucking video or pictures and run[ing] them through analysis" to "adjust its playlist" and ads "based on who it sees"? For that matter, what app is doing anything remotely close to this?

Of course there are things you can do with apps that you can't do with sites (though I guess HTML5 is looking to challenge this) - but the OP is talking about sites pushing app versions of themselves through modal blockers to the content she/he is trying to reach, not separate apps which couldn't be remotely realised as sites.

Not without getting additional permissions, they can't. And If the daily mail wants to access my contacts, they can go to hell.

Most mobile browsers on the platforms getting these popups expose a geolocation API.

The apps themselves are usually not "inferior experience". They can be snappier and better offline performance. That's not to say I disagree with all of the other things you said.

My experience is counter to this - most apps created from websites are inferior experiences.

Most common reoccurring problem I find is that all links off-site, are displayed in a webframe. Which doesn't give me access to the normal things that Safari does - I can't email the page, add it to my reading list, or bookmark it, so inevitably I always open it in safari. I'd've rather stayed there in the first place...

But this is not the only sin, just the one that leaps to mind.

The vast majority of these apps are brochureware that wouldn't function properly without an internet connection.

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