Hey, I'm a Web App :-)
I live in the browser, which means you can simply navigate to app.localspoon.co.uk to use Local Spoon.
5 min read
Local Spoon is a web application. Web apps live in the browser, which means you can simply navigate to app.localspoon.co.uk to use Local Spoon.

How is it different from a native app? Let's find out!
The gap between native apps and web apps is narrowing.
To provide a bit of context for this article:

1. We've seen a big rush to apps during the last few years – yet app development hasn't become easier or cheaper.

2. We haven't solved the discoverability problem either. Apps are hard to find, hard to install, oh and easy to uninstall!

3. The biggest change during the last few years is the narrowing user experience gap between native apps and websites. Nowadays, websites and web apps can be built to work almost as smoothly as native mobile apps. I guess we said this twice...

For many, the choice of whether to pursue a mobile-optimized or mobile app will come down to content. How are people going to interact with us on mobile devices?

Google is king when it comes to search engines and analytics. Most of our early users came to our website using their smartphones. Data never lies! Of course, there is a plethora of industry reports that would just confirm what we've just said.
We cannot hide the fact that we designed Local Spoon as a web application because it was faster and more affordable for an early stage startup. Still native mobile apps are a little weird, if you stop and think about them. Let's see why :-)
A. Data Usage and Storage

The average mobile app weighs around 20MB, often requires an internet connection in order to be used as intended, and issues several data-heavy updates during its lifetime.

Web apps are great for users, especially because they make distribution and installation so easy. They also eliminate size constraints, which means no more having to uninstall an application in order to make room for more!

Local Spoon contains all or most of the same features as a native app at nearly 1/20th of the size.
B. Future updates

Updating a web application for a user is a seamless process, requiring nothing more than a browser refresh. Wish to see the latest offers and restaurants in Soho and Fitzrovia? Pull to refresh...
The web is and will always be the most popular mobile operating system in the world — not iOS or Android. We spend more time in mobile web browsers than we think.
C. Distribution and installation

It's not just companies that are turning away from native apps — the average American now downloads zero apps per month. This has little to do with us spending time on phones — compare this app fatigue with the amount of time we're spending in browsers.

And everyone's familiar with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer — "traditional" browsers with address bars, search functionality, and buttons to skip forwards and backwards.

Although marketplaces for web apps do exist, you don't need to go to one to download Local Spoon. Web apps live in the browser, which means you can navigate to app.localspoon.co.uk to use it, and installation is as simple as bookmarking a website.

If you want to share the Local Spoon App with a friend or better still a specific offer you can simply tap "Share offer" and send the URL over to them.

We believe the Solution is the Browser. Some of the most widely used applications are in fact web applications. Outside of the mobile apps, most people use Slack on the web (as opposed to the desktop program) as a browser. Spotify, digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs is in fact a web application.
See how it works
For a more immersive experience we advice our users to Add Local Spoon to HomeScreen.

Try me out in Chrome 39+ on Android: from Chrome's menu, select Add to homescreen.

Try me out in Safari on iOS: Tap the Share button on the browser's toolbar — that's the rectangle with an arrow pointing upward. Tap the Add to Home Screen icon in the Share menu.

Perhaps we're not yet at the point where the web can fully replace all native applications, but we can build high-performing responsive web applications right now. With new web APIs and libraries getting released every day, the web app is starting to look more appealing over traditional native apps.
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