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Google May Have The Most Used Mobile OS, But at What Cost?

March 14, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer


We all love Google, for one reason or another, Google is our preferred search engine, our preferred mobile operating system provider, and soon our preferred wearable provider. It is also no secret where Google makes most of their money, advertising. However Google may be facing a big issue that they may have caused on their own. The issue is the amount of money they get for advertising on mobile devices. Since most of the information we are usually searching for can be provided by an app, Google is missing out on the money provided by advertising that we otherwise would have seen if we had to search the web for the answers.
There are apps for weather, traffic, banking, movies and just about anything under the sun, that we would want to search for, there is an app for that. This is where Google will lose money. Instead of using the web, we can just use our apps, and in doing so, advertising provided by Google is seen by far fewer people than before. Recently, Nielsen data, shows us exactly how much time is spent on mobile apps rather than mobile browsing. According to the report, 89% of our time is spent on mobile apps, and only 11% on mobile browsing. Rolfe Winkler from the Wall Street Journal, points out that “Google spiders can’t freely crawl apps,” So what will GOogle do to keep earning money?
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One way Google has attacked this issue in the past, is by the use of “deep links” which makes in app information discoverable to Google. However, with so many app developers and permissions that need to be granted to Google in order for them to access the information, Google will have to strike deals with each individual app developer. That is no easy task since there are over 1 million apps, and each app will need a deal, that’s a lot of deals. There could be a saving grace for Google though, and it is HTML5.
If developers used HTML5,even if they used a hybrid version that combines HTML5 with native coding, than Google will have better discoverability. HTML5 has been getting lots of praise from Google for quite some time now. Google has webpages dedicated to showing the benefits to using HTML5. Basically, the use of HTML5 makes inapp data searchable, which benefits Google, as well as developers. However, the benefits are clouded by the disadvantages to developers, which may be the reason HTML5 isn’t being used.
Using HTML5 from a developer’s standpoint, could mean lower performance compared to using native coding. This may be true for full HTML5 apps, but there is a hybrid version that is not getting much love either. This could be due to the fact that it is lesser known, a hybrid HTML5 and native coded app. This is where Google could start seeing an increase in cash made by mobile apps and mobile web. Google just needs to be more vocal about the issue.

Are you a developer, if so what is keeping you away from HTML5 or HTML5 native hybrids?