Dan Newcome, blog

I'm bringing cyber back

I don’t want to download your app

with 34 comments

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I’m getting sick of being prompted by random Web sites to download their special iPhone app. I really just want to use the site without having to clutter up my phone with yet another single-purpose app.

I can’t put my finger on exactly when so many sites started prompting iPhone users to download apps, but recently I’ve been to a few forums and news sites that all seem to want me to install something to basically read a blog or browse a forum.

The value of the Web is the content and connections. Just let me use the Web. I don’t care that much if I get slightly jerky scrolling, or if the list doesn’t seem like it’s infinitely scrolling off the edge of my little iOS world.

I think the app should not have to be the default mobile experience. I do like having the option of a higher-fidelity experience if I want it. If you provide a lot of value, I’ll grab the app on my own accord and enjoy it that much more, thanks.

Written by newcome

December 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

34 Responses

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  1. That’s why iOS introduced Smart App Banners. http://david-smith.org/blog/2012/09/20/implementing-smart-app-banners/

    ahmet alp balkan

    December 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm

  2. Hi Dan —

    The worse thing is that the apps offer a worse experience.

    The apps don’t support basic things like search, bookmarking, and copy and pasting.

    Pat

    December 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  3. Some iOS browsers (I use Mercury) have a user agent setting that will tell the website you’re using another browser such as Firefox or Chrome. While it’ll prevent you from viewing mobile versions of websites, it also eliminates those annoying pop ups.

    MidianGTX

    December 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm

  4. […] I don’t want to download your app « Dan Newcome, blog […]

    Cut | Dilantha Nanayakkara

    December 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

  5. You are not alone, Android has the same problem and it’s a pain in the ass!

    J-P

    December 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

  6. I completely agree! Not only are the apps single-purpose, there are some other issues:

    (1) multiple versions of the app must be built if the business wants the app to be accessible on the different type of smartphones (eg. Android, iPhone, Windows), all of which also include a different usability of its consumer.
    (2) ongoing improvements and maintenance of the app contribute to never-ending costs,
    (3) consumers are prompted to update the app because fixes have been released but its it more than likely the consumers are going to want the more improved version of the app, so what is the purpose of requesting the consumer to update the app? Its a hassle to constantly update our several apps in a society where we have less time in a day than we’d like.

    Amanda Woo

    December 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm

  7. Reblogged this on WOO and commented:
    I completely agree! Not only are the apps single-purpose, there are some other issues:

    (1) multiple versions of the app must be built if the business wants the app to be accessible on the different type of smartphones (eg. Android, iPhone, Windows), all of which also include a different usability of its consumer.
    (2) ongoing improvements and maintenance of the app contribute to never-ending costs,
    (3) consumers are prompted to update the app because fixes have been released but its it more than likely the consumers are going to want the more improved version of the app, so what is the purpose of requesting the consumer to update the app? Its a hassle to constantly update our several apps in a society where we have less time in a day than we’d like.

    Amanda Woo

    December 29, 2012 at 9:10 pm

  8. The best example is the facebook app. I installed it few times in hope that they finally made something useful of it. And deinstalled every time because it oferred much poorer functionality then web site.

    j.smith

    December 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm

  9. It’s even more stupid when the app actually detracts from the user experience instead of enhancing it. See: Grooveshark.

    Bob

    December 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

  10. I agree. It’s almost as annoying your “FOLLOW ME” popup on the bottom oft your page…

    somedude

    December 30, 2012 at 12:30 am

  11. Agreed, lame – removed.

    newcome

    December 30, 2012 at 1:05 am

  12. @MidianGTX Problem with User Agent (UA) spoofing is that many sites will use your UA to redirect you to their “mobile” site (e.g. m.facebook.com) and so by pretending you are not on a mobile device you will miss many of the enhancements of using their dedicated mobile site.

    I do use this feature sometimes to circumnavigate the restrictions that you get with some mobiles sites and chrome on andoid actually has this built in: Menu > Request Desktop Site.

    Thom Seddon

    December 30, 2012 at 3:31 am

  13. I’m as annoyed as you when a news site I visit once in a blue moon asks me to install an app…

    but…

    I respectfully disagree about forums. Traditional, desktop-browser-oriented forums are a pain in the ass to use on an iPhone, and forum-reading apps (such as Tapatalk) need only to be installed once for all forums you visit, and provide a much better UX. You get unified notifications/subscriptions, better layout, and buttons that don’t require a toothpick to use. I know this can theoretically be achieved via HTML work on the forums themselves, but in practice, this isn’t done, and slapping a Tapatalk plugin on your ancient phpBB installation is the best thing you can do for your users.

  14. Web designers need to start thinking “Responsibly”!
    If the website itself would adjust according to the screen resolution, rearranging menus and hiding unnecessary content, then they can provide a great UX without annoying the user and making him/her download an app just for browsing the web!

    Sarvagya Vaish

    December 30, 2012 at 4:37 am

  15. […] don’t want to download your app.  (Dan Newcome via […]

  16. This is one of the great benefits of being an Android user – far less prompts to download a single purpose iPhone app:)

    Brendan Gill (@Brendan_Gill)

    December 30, 2012 at 4:47 am

  17. […] “I don’t want to download your app” newcome.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/i-d… […]

  18. I have an acquaintance, and oppressed programmer, who works in a shop where some guys are asked to write data skimming apps, to be nested in vendor apps. So there is that dark side.

    More generally I hope (I refuse them too) that forums and things are at least using common alternate apps, rather than the madness of one per site.

    john personna

    December 30, 2012 at 7:03 am

  19. Totally agree. I don’t mind if you have an app and promote it on the page, but the drop-own interrupting ad is *not* cool.

    @jmproffitt

    December 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

  20. Reblogged this on FACELESS WRECKORDS.

    faceless wreckords

    December 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

  21. […] I don’t want to download your app (comments) […]

  22. Reblogged this on tentativeisconstant's Blog.

    tentativeisconstant

    December 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

  23. […] recently had a short post that rode the front page of Hacker News for the better part of 24 hours, spending at least 8 hours […]

  24. Can I get an Amen😛

    Shareen

    December 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  25. Bravo!

    Hap

    December 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm

  26. […] I don’t want to download your app I’m getting sick of being prompted by random Web sites to download their special iPhone app. I really just want to use the site without having to clutter up my phone with yet another single-p… […]

  27. Thanks for this sane response. I would add that even worse is the implicit cut off/write off of everyone, and there are billions worldwide, who cannot afford and or do not want a ‘smart’ phone.

    The stunning classism going on, which amounts to virtually ‘obsolescing’ billions of human beings via pricey, absolute unnecessary and invasive ..increasingly short lived, environmentally disasterous technology is mind boggling and horrifying.

    It seems to me that these technologies are first most broadly sold to, and then introduced via, multinational corporations which force them on their employees as a means for 24/7 control, as was done with email and the original cellphones.

    diane

    December 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm

  28. Hear, hear! Almost ready to turn off JavaScript on my phone if this nonsense doesn’t stop.

    Jonathan

    December 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm

  29. Some larger companies are now also now moving away fra java – this might be the beginning of the end for java. We can all hope:)

    C. Smykker

    April 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm

  30. Agreed, “I don’t want to download your app”, and another even more important (too me) reason is that, my Mobile phone is getting slower and slower – too many apps consuming the CPU and memory resources.

  31. Reblogged this on noappdeals.

    noappdeals

    June 1, 2015 at 11:57 pm

  32. amen I just want to see your site NOT load an app. basically piss off

    asdf

    November 14, 2015 at 4:02 pm

  33. Tell me about it. They’re tricky too. They set up the page to look like you have to unstall the app to continue viewung whatever but if you scroll down you can proceed. Yelp is the worst one so far that I’ve seen. Unless you go to the desktop site you can only read one review without downloading the app. I use the Firefox browser and a lot of times I just go the the desktop site. The wruting is much smaller but its a small price to pay I guess. But you have an iPhone, don’t know if you can download Firefox. Im trying to find out why they want their app in your phone, especially the free ones.

    makemice1976

    May 14, 2016 at 4:54 am

  34. I would have enjoyed this post way more if I had read it in an app instead.

    I’m with you, man. This drives me crazy. How is there not an extension or some setting to avoid the app question? So obnoxious. I don’t use Pinterest or Yelp mainly for that reason. Yelp even redirects you from whatever establishment’s Yelp page you’re on in your browser to their default one in the app so you have to search all over again. Screw that.

    Signed,
    Americans for Less Uni-Purpise Apps

    B. Teddy

    June 23, 2016 at 11:19 am


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