People often write of countries like India or Africa bypassing
landlines or PCs to skip ahead to technologies like wireless or
smartphones, but I haven’t heard of countries treating the web as
one of those intermediate technologies to be hopped over.
Having spent lots of time working out of China, I see the sense in
it. Internet connection speeds are really slow there, and loading
the web can be painful. Even with an upgraded pipe into the
building, when I worked out of Hulu’s Beijing office, I found
myself browsing the web a lot less simply out of impatience.
The web is great. I love the web. I continue to publish my life’s work on the web. But what the web is great for is only what it was designed for: publishing HTML pages. For everything else, the web is a kludge, and native apps provide a superior experience.