With both OSX and Windows now featuring an app store we can now get many of our favorite applications all in one place and with peace of mind when it comes to security. I have been using Windows 8 for some time now and one of the apps that I use is the Netflix app. The app has been somewhat buggy as of late, but over all it seems to get the job done. I finished watching an episode of Mythbusters and then went off to run some errands. I came home later and jumped onto my Macbook and started working.
A hour or so had passed and I decided that I wanted to watch another episode of Mythbusters. I started to head to my web browser when I suddenly stopped and wondered if there was a Netflix app for OSX, something similar to what Windows 8 has. I quickly opened the App Store and searched for Netflix, only to find that it doesn’t exist. I thought that it was kind of strange considering OSX has been around for a while and it seems like it would be useful.
I quickly began to realize that the lack of a OSX Netflix app isn’t actually that big of deal. I only need to click a bookmark in my web browser and I have access to all of the content and features that any app would have. Then I started to question the need for apps like these in the first place, at least for your laptop or desktop. What’s the difference between an app on my desktop vs a link on my desktop that takes me to Netflix? Where is the benefit? With new web browsers that harness the power of our machines more than ever by making use of our GPU and extra processing power, why bother with an app? I am looking for any opportunity that can save disk space and the lifespan of my SSD.
What makes the web based app more appealing is the fact that it’s often more reliable. I mentioned earlier that I have been dealing with quite a few bugs since I have started using the new Netflix app, but when it comes to the website, I have had virtually no issues. Some of this could be due to the website being around much longer than the app and therefore less buggy. Why bother with the app at all when we seem to be moving toward a cloud based world? If we are trying to create a much more seamless experience then why leave the browser that we spend so much time using, just to open an app? The answer isn’t so clear at this point, which is why the pros don’t seem to know either. This is basically the wild west era of the OS and everyone seems to be trying a little bit of everything and then waiting to see what consumers end up doing.
We can always look at things from the other prospective, which seems to be a movement away from the web as we know it today. Maybe we just make everything an app, including all our favorite websites and instead of downloading them, we just launch them from the cloud. Perhaps, we can just get rid of the web address altogether and then just use google to search for apps instead. Who knows how strange things will become and how practical any of this actually is.
One thing is for certain, we are in the middle of a long evolution that will leave us with a much different computer experience than currently we have today. We are stuck in a phase between old and new and it feels weird but I think were headed in the right direction, it’s just going to take another five years or more before we can fully adapt this new way of doing things. It is ultimately up to us, the consumers, to figure out what we want. If we don’t buy it, it won’t continue to exist and so we ultimately decide what works and what doesn’t. So what do you think?