Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Have you ever noticed that many of the things you do in an app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone could just as easily be done using just the Web and a browser? My bank, for example, has an iPhone app. They also have a pretty nice Web site. What they don't have is a pretty nice mobile version of their Web site. They put their money into creating an app rather than merely putting a mobile skin on their current system. Many other apps are similar.
Why do they do this? Simple: community. If my bank can get me to download an app, then they have a permanent space on my app list. I see their brand when I swipe through my app screens. If they just have a mobile skin on their Web site, none of those things occur. Although I might bookmark their Web site to my app screen, they can't be sure and there's no good way to make sure it happens.
As you might know, Kynetx is based on the idea that people will download a client side app that manages context across multiple Web sites. When we were talking to VCs they all said: "no one will download anything--isn't there anyway you can do this without a download." Of course that was the conventional wisdom two years ago. The iPhone has changed all that.
While it may be more difficult to get someone to download something than to just get them to visit your Web site, once they do, they're a much more valuable customer. Downloads are cool again!