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How Mobile Apps Are Reinventing the Worst of the Software Industry 333

An anonymous reader writes "Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Stack Overflow, says the mobile app ecosystem is getting out of hand. 'Your platform now has a million apps? Amazing! Wonderful! What they don't tell you is that 99% of them are awful junk that nobody would ever want.' Atwood says most companies trying to figure out how to get users to install their app should instead be figuring out just why they need a mobile app in the first place. Fragmentation is another issue, as mobile devices continue to speciate and proliferate. 'Unless you're careful to build equivalent apps in all those places, it's like having multiple parallel Internets. "No, sorry, it's not available on that Internet, only the iOS phone Internet." Or even worse, only on the United States iOS phone Internet.' Monetization has turned into a race to the bottom, and it's led to worries about just what an app will do with the permissions it's asking for. Atwood concludes, 'The tablet and phone app ecosystem is slowly, painstakingly reinventing everything I hated about the computer software industry before the web blew it all up.'"
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How Mobile Apps Are Reinventing the Worst of the Software Industry

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  • We're fixing this (Score:5, Informative)

    by asa ( 33102 ) <> on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @04:21PM (#46338251) Homepage

    Firefox OS is trying to fix much of this. [] []
    The Web is the most successful platform of all time and we're leading the pack on bringing a the Web platform to mobile in a way that's integrated rather than fractured like the existing app store models.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @04:31PM (#46338385)

    What missing is ability to push back against unreasonable permission requests without having to root your device.

    Apple did a great job with iOS in that regard - not at launch, but at this point it's pretty good. You are asked AT THE TIME THE APP TRIES TO ACCESS a resource like your photo library, contacts, location etc. if you want to allow it.

    If you change you mind later, you just go into privacy settings and control access to any of those items to shut down access by apps you might suspect are misusing things (or you know they are, as can be the case with push notifications)

    I agree with your point, but Apple has done a good job so far in helping users push back to whatever degree they desire.

  • Re:App permissions (Score:3, Informative)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @08:41PM (#46340741)

    MS, Google, and Apple are all looking to exploit and profit off of user data

    I know it's trendy to bash Apple around here, and it's easy to fall into the Apple fanboy trap, however...

    How is Apple, or Microsoft for that matter, guilty of this? When have they shown Google levels of concern for your personal data? Everything Apple has been doing has been to restrict the amount of user data 3rd parties can collect.

    iAds famously restricts the amount of user data advertisers can get, Google was told to kick rocks because they wanted more user data from YouTube and Maps.

    What the bloody fuck are you talking about?

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.