The web browser has come a long way in twenty years. Instead of building a desktop app and then trying to get it to work properly on a dozen different platforms, you can just build a single web app that runs on every platform, in every browser.
- Responsive web design—automatic web page layout based on the screen geometry—allows you to create one app that works everywhere instead of separate apps for desktop, tablet, Android, and iOS. CSS Grid makes it easy to build responsive layouts.
- No gatekeeper: iOS apps must be downloaded from the Apple Store which charges the developer a 30% commission. Apple does this to to ensure malware apps don’t get installed on iPhones (and to make a bunch of money).
- Automatic updates: modern desktop apps must contact the home server to see if an update exists, and ask permission from the user to download and install the update. For a web app, the developer pushes the change to the server and the client uses the new app and the end user doesn’t even notice. Simple.
- Piracy: a huge problem with desktop apps. There’s nothing to pirate on a web app except maybe sharing login credentials, and that can be defeated by comparing IP addresses, user agents (the type of browser being used), browser window size, etc.
Responsive web apps are easy to build, don’t require approval from a gatekeeper, provide automatic software updates to the client, and can’t be pirated. Instead of building a dozen different user interfaces for different platforms and screen geometries you build only one.