The global apps debate got another dimension as Google proposed progressive web apps as the next big thing in 2015.

However, most people building apps today still prefer native apps, for several reasons, mostly because it’s what people actually use.

We gathered three experienced developers and CTO’s to discuss the three types of apps most developers are building today. jordimirobruix, former CTO of Wuaki.tv, senior developer at Ulabox, Rubén Sospedra and founder of Javascript coder bootcamp Codeworks Alessandro Zanardi.

Friction, friction friction

A big question in the app-building discussion, is about the app install friction. In other words how many clicks there are from finding the app in the app store – to becoming an active user.

After voting on what type of app most people with build something with tomorrow, more than 40 percent of the people attending the debate chose native.

Briux believes the friction is the same in both PWA’s and native apps:

What’s the difference of the friction generated by the app store, compared with downloading a web app to your home screen?

Zanardi believes progressive web apps is much more frictionless because the device itself promotes the use of PWA’s:

There is much less friction in installing a progressive web app because the device your using is actually wanting you to install it. Compared to going to the app store, installing an app that takes up tons of space, and needs an update every two weeks.

Sospedra turns to the metrics:

The numbers tell us a story when 86 percent of the media being consumed on mobile phones are through native apps and only 10 percent of the total time spent on smartphones are used in browsers. PWA’s are still the new kid on the block, so maybe in five years we can talk again?

https://upscri.be/285782-2

The evil app store?

In one of the last question rounds, the app defenders had to reveal their answer about app stores — good or evil?

Miro says that if you get rejected it’s an evil thing and continues:

Android is pretty easy, just push and you’re in. With iOS however, to wait for someone from the other side of the world to test your app, that’s a black box for developers and nobody likes black boxes.

Codeworks CEO Zanardi points to that the app store or Apple, is the biggest preventer for making PWA’s really big:

The biggest problem PWA’s have at the moment is that Apple’s Safari doesn’t support service workers and that kills a lot of the purpose of the app. Firefox and Chrome are embracing PWA’s. As long as Apple is making tons of money from the app store we’ll have a real challenge.

What does your startup need?

Former Wuaki CTO Miro says choice of app to build all boils down to what kind of business you’re building:

If you asked me four months ago, hybrid apps were not the way because we couldn’t build what the business needed in Wuaki. But today for what I’m building, we’re looking for speed, something that’s tested and reliable and we wanted access to Canvas or WebGL, so hybrid is the way for us today.

Miro explains how the business decisions often dictates what kind of apps you end up building.

Sospedra agrees with Miro, saying that your business goals need to be clear before deciding what kind of app you’re building. He’s also adding that what kind of technology your team is comfortable with is important as well:

If you have a team that are really good at Javascript, then go for React native, but that’s my opinion.

As progressive web apps might be the bet for the future, Zanardi wanted to end the discussion with a statement:

I completely agree with these guys that if you’re building an app today to work on iOS and Android I would go native. The main problem you would have with PWA’s is with the iOS. If you’re targeting mostly Android devices you might go for a PWA. As long as Apple is blocking the spreading of PWA’s we’ll have an issue we need to solve.

There was a lot of other interesting points in the full debate, so check out the video at the top!


The post and video was produced by the itnig media team Masumi Mutsuda and Sindre Hopland.

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T.

The new time and attendance law will kill innovation in Spain and Europe

Simple solutions or “one fits all” policies are easy to market by populist governments but they are sometimes at the expense of certain sectors and their people. This time the affected party is innovation and value added services, to a point that puts in jeopardy our (already weak) spot in the global competitiveness landscape.

I’ve always told my teams that I do not hire their time, but rather their talent and potential: their brains, their energy and passion and their willing to make a difference and impact our clients and the world through them. Innovative companies try to get in existing markets and solve things in complete different ways, some go as far as creating new markets from scratch. They all have in common that their mission is extremely hard, sometimes impossible (thus most fail along the way). The key for their success is how they manage to convince their teams that everything they do is not a job, but a religion. They are changing the world and that is something worth spending time and making history.

I can tell if somebody is motivated by their job by looking at their eyes while they talk about their challenges and ideas. Best people don’t work, they play. They make their challenges their hobbies. I’ve had many conversations at 1 am in the office, after some beers and sushi, before even realizing what time it is. Only when a job makes this kind of conditions happen, the wheel of significant value creation really stirs and great things come from it.

It is very hard to create a culture in which people feel so empowered that they are capable of anything. In my experience, it helps granting absolute flexibility. I don’t remember the last time I approved vacations to my team, or I paid attention to their schedules, or the days in which they worked from home or the office. This is not the kind of conversations I want to have with them. My relationship with my team is based on trust, and it is based on one single (often repetitive) conversation: how can we do more and better, how can we grow faster, how can we raise the bar. Little it matters to me whether they contribute to this questions from the beach in Canary Islands or spending many hours in the office.

However, the government today decided that it is a great idea in the 21th century that all companies like ours should make everybody clock in and clock out by law. I’m now obliged to add people’s time and attendance into our conversation. We now have to treat all jobs like production lines in factories (amidst the era of hyper automation and robotization). They go as far as having us registering accurate pauses for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t include how should we manage the time spent in the chill-out area, or when having long coffees in the outside terrace, or spending the afternoon in ping pong championships. Should we clock-in and clock-out every time we do that too?

When I travel I always get asked how is the Spanish ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation developing, I always defend our potential to become a leading actor in science and technology,  besides our current reputation for tapas, toros and siesta. We previously analysed the many initiatives taking place in the city of Barcelona. But my question is: is there anybody in the government actually helping us to make this happen?

The new law will come to place the next 12th of May. At Factorial we developed a free feature, so companies can instantly become compliant with the law. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after launching this feature people started developing tools using our API to automate clocking or connecting it with Slack and other interfaces. It looks like after all there will always be people willing to work on relevant things and not waste their energy in bureaucratic traps.

PD: You can find more information about the law in this article.