Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages meant to keep users in Web browsers and out of dedicated apps

“Google on Wednesday announced a new open-source project dubbed Accelerated Mobile Pages, intended to increase the hits publishers receive on articles, and hence the public’s exposure to advertising,” Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider.

“In theory the effort should allow ‘lightweight’ mobile webpages which nevertheless have video, animation, still graphics, and ads,” Fingas reports. “Other Google products (like Google News) will incorporate AMP over time, and the company has signed up just under 30 publishers, plus other partners like Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, and Adobe Analytics.”

Fingas reports, “Although most of Google’s revenue is derived from advertising, the company is promising to support a wide variety of ad formats and networks, along with subscriptions and other paywalls.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is Google’s bid to keep the Web at the forefront and keep mobile users in browsers and out of dedicated apps such as Apple News, to name one example.

SEE ALSO:
Following Apple News, Google preps Accelerated Mobile Pages – October 7, 2015

24 Comments

  1. Why should I be stuck with one web browser when I can have dedicated apps that optimize my interactions with the various companies that use apps?

    I think of it as 200 specialized web browsers with all the power and limited overhead of a native app.

    Google can keep their ads.

    1. With larger more powerful mobile devices, native apps will have less of an advantage over web-based apps (that are designed properly), going forward. And a key advantage of web-based apps is that they do not take up any valuable storage space on the mobile device.

      If native apps are generally superior to web-based apps, Windows and Mac users would be using a collection of specialized native apps for web-activity. Instead, most web-based activity on my Mac is through “one web browser”; each web site I visit is a “web-based app.” MDN has a native iOS app, but there is no equivalent OS X app because Mac (and PC) users just go to the web site; they would not download and install an app that only accessed MDN. How inefficient…! 🙂

      The key reasons for this difference in user behavior are screen size and computing power. When the screen is small and computing power limited, the optimization of native apps is a big advantage. But the trend for mobile devices is larger screen sizes. Big iPhones last year and bigger iPads this year. And the power of A9 in the latest iOS devices is on par with the latest MacBook. While many specialized apps (like high-end games and graphics/video editing) will obviously continue to be native, those key reasons for preferring native over web-based (generally) are diminishing for mobile computing.

      The undesirable aspect here is Google’s advertising, not the concept of web-based apps. Apple should also pursue making web-based apps better for users of Safari.

      1. Sorry no. In a mobile device I will never trade storage for the data usage and processing overhead of a web-based app.

        I’m willing to rely on off-device storage for large amounts of app data such as content like video and photos and text that are temporary.

        But I do know what you mean with regard to encouraging web-based apps where they make sense such as applications that are rarely used or content that is almost always just text from an existing web page anyway.

        1. Though I would have agreed with you a few years ago, web-based apps can now be developed to work offline allowing document creation, editing, and only syncing with an offsite location when re-connected. The best commonly example of this is the Chromebook. If you haven’t tried playing with one go see what a device only restricted to a browser can do. This is not special to just Chrome. I am quite sure any modern browser will have much of the same offline capabilities. The point is the advantage of Native apps to create, edit, save data has been reduced. This is being balanced by how easily web apps can be updated compared to the native counterparts. For certain application categories it could be said web-based apps will completely replace the native ones. If you are willing to do some simple searches you can find many examples of video games, new and retro, that will work completely offline after you first download the page.

            1. I was just using the Chromebook/Chrome as a visible example of web-based apps working well offline. Your mileage for your browser being an infection vector will vary with your browser choice.

      2. Besides that,
        – the web site version is often more up-to-date and better maintained than the individual app. They use industry standard themes and CSS.
        – there is a middle way between the proliferation of dedicated apps and website apps, namely apps supporting a common format, such as an Apple news app. This also avoids the lock-in of users into individual newspaper/magazine “ecosystems” and other commercial restrictions the individual apps represent.

        1. The up to date web version also has to be all things to all operating systems. And there is nothing inherent in web tech that makes it any easier to maintain than an app for a particular operating system so you end up with the lowest common denominator.

          Also there is no lock-in when the user can simply open another app or use the apps built in WebKit component.

          Of course there is a middle way. But sometimes the middle of the road is the unsafest place to be.

          1. Web developers have been able tell what browser and version you are using for as long as I can remember. There is really no large barrier to having versions for different classes of browsers. Compared to having to maintain native versions for different OSes, the web-app is much easier to maintain and distribute. Currently I still see native apps’ advantages as having better access to the underlying HW which may result in better response but as the web browser APIs are improved and HW becomes faster even that advantage is being eroded.

            1. Agreed but it isn’t my personal goal to make a developer’s life easier by having to supply that faster processor whether web-based or native app.

            2. Unless you don’t upgrade your devices every few years I doubt you’ll be able to keep yourself from supplying that helpful faster processor. 🙂

            3. Actually every 18 to 24 months so I don’t have to trade any in if I don’t feel like it. Although I’m always tempted to switch at 12 months, I don’t like the nuisance of transferring to a new phone even as simple as the process has been made.

            4. Sounds like you’re on a good plan.. I hate having to move stuff every time I change to a new device so try to avoid it as long as possible.. Result is upgrading devices every 5-6 years unless they break.. 😛 Have to admit though with more stuff being backed up to the cloud it is a lot less hassle when switching over.

            5. Yes the migration of data hosted in the cloud has become much more reliable. My phone is the most up to date followed by my tablet and then my laptop.

              I’ll likely get an Apple Watch and Apple TV before any thing else gets replaced even though both the tablet and laptop are starting to show their age.

    2. LOL. Are you that special person who thinks he’s cool because he spends his time managing his app collection? If you that’s making the best use of your time, go ahead. When a company or site tries to push me to their app, I tell them to get lost. I have way better things to do with my time than use 1000 apps when one browser is good enough.

      1. What management do you imagine happens? You only download an app you might use more than once. And they update automatically.

        I can understand if you don’t want to download an app for say a news website. But how about one from your bank? Or an app that tells you when the battery in your car is charged? Or an app to manage your toll charges? Or an app to make last minute changes to an Office document? Convert currencies? Order an Uber?

        Sure you can do any one of those things with a website on your laptop. But unless you are using a tablet the sites are awkward to use on any phone under 6 inches.

        The only guilty pleasures that take up space on my phone are games I seldom play because I’m working or enjoying life.

        Management? What nonsense.

  2. Biggest issue with Web Base in-browser apps is simply this…

    I do not always want to be connected to the internet and using data… no matter how cheap data gets or unlimited can be… there will be times you just want off the grid.

    Example (poor as this may be) is a game that requires no internet connection… its nice to just play without needing to be connected – or being interrupted with other things.

    Another example is, file creation. On-line web base applications can save files to my device, yet without being o-line I can not edit them.

    Native Apps are far more flexible and preferred THANSK APPLE.

    1. Native apps almost always require you to be connected anyways. There is no benefit here from a native app.

      What game requires no internet connection? There aren’t many, I’ve found.

      File creation – yes, but do you really create files on your phone? Why do that to yourself?

      1. In this I have to agree with Poster. You will likely always be using mobile data plans to download screen content.

        But he is wrong if he imagines the amount of mobile data is the same. A native app doesn’t have to download the same interface elements over and over for each page you step through. Unless it uses WebKit, it also doesn’t have the processing overhead of interpreting HTML and JavaScript.

        Using a web app for something you do everyday is just silly but they do have their place such as if you get a link to news site or a business you don’t frequent.

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