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If you had to pick a device that either had any native app you wanted other than a browser, or one that only had a browser and no other offline apps, which would you pick? Chances are, you’d pick the device with a browser. The internet’s a great place for reading, finding info, and social network, but it’s also many of our go-to way to stay productive and get entertainment. You can do anything in your browser, from playing Angry Birds to solving complicated integration problems in Wolfram Alpha.

Pretty soon, you might even be using your browser to dial phone numbers and take pictures, if Mozilla has its way. It’s working on an innovative browser-based phone OS called Boot to Gecko where everything you use in the whole device is coded in HTML5. It’s also working on a new cross-device apps marketplace to let you buy web-based apps that run and feel more like native apps.

Could something like this actually change the mobile app ecosystem?


It seems hard to imagine that just 20 years ago the average person had never used the internet. Today, we’re expected to use the internet more and more for school, work, and keeping up with family and friends. Anytime we’re wondering about anything, most people do a quick Google search instead of pulling out a book or trying to remember the fact in question. Then, some of the best productivity tools and more are web apps, giving us even more reason to spend time online.

It’s easier than ever to stay online all the time, thanks to near-ubiquitous cellular internet connections and WiFi in most homes and businesses. Many places still don’t even have 3G coverage, and 4G seems to be a pipe dream for anyone outside of a major metroplex, but it seems increasingly difficult to find a place that doesn’t at least have GPRS coverage. Even if our internet speeds aren’t great, we feel compelled to get online everywhere, all the time.

The only problem is, data plans can get expensive. If you’ve got a laptop, tablet, and smartphone, most telcos want you to subscribe to 3 data plans, plus your standard home internet. Some areas have prepaid plans that can be used as needed, but most networks in the US require unlimited plans. Sometimes, it seems like it’d be easier to just rely on WiFi, and live without the internet otherwise.

So how about you? Do you pay for cell data plans, and if so, how much do you use it? Let us know in the poll, then share more details about how you get internet on the go in the comments below!

If you haven’t noticed (or don’t visit the sites), Gawker launched an all new design across their sites (Gizmodo, Lifehacker, etc) that’s quite different. Many people think it’s terrible and a poor decision. I can’t help but see various similarities between the new design and designs you’ll see on tablets such as the iPad.



Performance issues aside (which are being worked out by their staff), the new design’s usability makes more sense for tablet-type devices than the prior blog style design. Personally, I like the new design more than the prior one, even on my desktop. It makes more sense from a usability standpoint; no new page loads or tabs when navigating to a post, a quick overview of recent or popular posts, etc.

The question, though, is whether or not people really want mobile web UX when they’re on their desktop computer? I think the web and computer technology is slowly evolving into more dynamic, interactive and “go anywhere” hardware and software, so I see designs such as Gawker’s as an expected step across all platforms.

As you can tell, I clearly prefer the newer design and the idea of mobile web UX making its way onto the desktop, replacing our older viewing methods. What do you think? Do you prefer iPad-type web designs over their desktop counterparts while on the desktop? Or do you think desktop web UX will, and should, always be different than other platforms?