The Web is a Native Platform

The problem is treating native as a word that only applies to certain categories of things… Native only has meaning with context: All things, software included, are native to somewhere.

Being native to the internet means prioritizing connections over hardware features, and standards over specific innovation; the web is native to a communication protocol. Consensus is critical to the functioning of the platform, leading to a certain friction for innovation.

Hardware specific software is and has been so common, we often don’t stop to think about how strange it is to have software that doesn’t run on some computers.

Now that we have a web platform that works everywhere, such restrictions must be inserted artificially. If you wanted to sell customers on limited access software, it would be useful to imply that universally accessible software is somehow weird.

When developers complained about the iPhone’s lack of a hardware-specific platform, they were not clamoring for the ability to display UI to end users; the fully-supported Web already did that. What they wanted was access to the full feature set of the hardware, which the Web lacked, but Apple’s built-in software had.

There is a group that has every reason to imply web software is weird and foreign: Hardware manufacturers. Hardware-bound software restricts your ability to shop elsewhere. Nothing has empowered consumer choice in hardware like the prevalence of the web; it is the best friend a new hardware platform ever had, and a bane to the established incumbent.

I write my web app code using hardware-specific apps (though that is changing.) In most cases, I complete tasks using both kinds of software. A pixel is a pixel; a sound is a sound.

The web makes no decisions. It treats censorship as an obstruction.

via The Web is a Native Platform — Medium.

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