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No more iPhone app


#1

Following the recent demise of the Android app, I saw in the latest newsletter that TWS are also putting the iPhone app out to pasture.

Did anyone on the Commuity ever actually use it? I have it installed on my phone but after a couple of short, patience-testing attempts, avoided ever since.

With too many flaws to mention (the basket not syncing with the website probably top), I think this is the right decision. Any arguments?


#2

I never found it that helpful


#3

This has been discussed in a number of threads over the past year or so. The site is so versatile now and adapts easily to mobile devices, you may find this thread interesting…


#4

Thanks,

Yes, iphone app was the same as Android appears to have been. Unless it can offer something unique or very slick, there is no need for an app (that is so poor it would require a total overhaul) when the website handles mobile device access as well as it does.


#5

The apps were built back when we didn’t have a responsive website, the apps have always had slightly more limited functionality but were better than the mobile experience of the site at the time. Now that we have had a responsive site has superseded the app in terms of usability there wasn’t really anything else they offered vs the main site.


#6

The TWS App is rubbish, an absolute waste of time which is a real pity - a feature rich, functional, customer focused App can often be a great way to communicate with customers and provide a great experience.

Just as important, Apps are often the preferred communication medium of younger generations which TWS should lose site or they risk becoming irrelevant to new, younger members. Is it destined to be the preserve of the grey brigade!

TWS really should reconsider this decision and look forward to the future and just think that doing a slight refresh to the website cures all.


#7

I think this used to be true but I’m not so sure any longer and I’m even less sure looking into the future. Websites and browsers are getting steadily smarter and are able to dynamically adapt to the browser’s platform. Giving just as good an experience, if not better, than the equivalent app. Smart websites have a number of very significant advantages:

  1. They don’t require extra storage on the customers device.
  2. They don’t clutter up the customer’s phone with yet another app.
  3. They don’t require software updates to be installed on every users device every time the smallest change is made. Users will simply see the new version next time they log in.
    I have a number of web apps (as opposed to pure functional apps like maps, calculators etc.) installed on my phone and in almost every case I find the website more convenient to access through my normal browser. The only exception is a Compagnie de Mont-Blanc app which allows me to contact the mountain rescue service and automatically sends them my GPS location. So the only real advantage that I can see an app having over a well written website is access to data from other apps on my phone such as GPS location.

#8

Yes all valid but - the next generation TWS members are using App’s


#9

Not all of us! I agree with @MikeFranklin, the less apps I have using up data on my pone the better! I’ve deleted all the usual ones like ASOS, next etc… They quite literally are using up valuable data when their sites are android and apple friendly and their apps are not benefiting the end user. Technology has moved on from apps now.


#10

I think there is value in both points here, websites have certainly got better and more mobile friendly, but I think there is still a lot of value in a good app, as long is at doesn’t just seem to recreate the website. I think the FT was one of the early organisations to ditch their iPhone app after a falling out with apple over AppStore T’s and C’s, but after being bought by Nikkei have redeveloped and reinvested in their app, which provides a good use experience.

As for wine websites in particular, I think there is value in offering something a bit different to the website, or being more focused on some key functionality - BBRs new app has a far greater focus on cellar management and wine trading, and whilst the latter would not be suitable for TWS, a more ‘account’ focused app providing easy access to wines bought and/or stored through the society and associated noted and drinking windows might be a more focused place to start


#11

Apple won’t allow you to make an app that is basically a native version of your mobile website just so you can have an app in the App Store. Those days are gone.

Or, should I say, they’ll let you make it but if what you’re doing could be done with a responsive website or a progressive web app, it’s very likely you’ll get rejected under the dreaded 4.2 Guideline. Google “app rejected 4.2” for the tales of woe of developers the world over stretching back 12 months or more.

I have just professionally spent 6 months getting a previously released consumer-facing app with a big user base (much bigger than the entire TWS membership) through rejections based on 4.2. It was expensive and painful. To do that we had to add haptic feedback, 3D Touch, use the phone camera, add ApplePay, use the accelerometer for shake gestures, start storing and processing data on the phone… the list goes on and on and there was no guarantee of success.

The way Apple’s review process works, every time we update a new app reviewer looks and the work and might have a different opinion of whether we meet 4.2. This means we could get rejected again and be back at square one - only we’ve run out of native functionality to add. It’s a horrible place to be.

Unless your app really needs to do complex processing, store lots of data or otherwise use the unique capabilities of the phone that are only available to native apps, as a manager, you’d have to ask yourself some very serious questions about whether this is where you want to spend your money.

Native app development is much more expensive than web and the talent pool is much smaller. You can do so much more, quicker, and for less, with web. It’s platform agnostic for a start - you don’t need an iOS and Android dev team.

For the very vast majority of sales based businesses, if you have talented product owners, user experience professionals, designers and front end developers with experience in modern technology you can make a truly awesome web app that is better or as good as native. People only really say they prefer native when the website performs poorly on phone. For most people poor performance = slow.


#12

For me, I only use an app if it adds something extra, is better than the site on mobile or is a tool, example could be the Vivino app where I can scan a bottle and get information about it.

I use the normal Chrome browser on my mobile for most sites, I wouldn’t use an app for a brand unless its easier - example is Ebay. Its a better experience on my mobile to use the Ebay app than using a browser to use the site.


#13

Given that some people lost their toys over a few free bottles of wine, I’d love to see the angry mob if they found out how much would be spent on a new app…!

Website all the way - it does everything it needs to


#14

This is just so spot on!!! The cost of developing and maintaining a new native app (well, two really; Android and iOS). Would certainly cost more than any one of the recent promotion offers that everyone got so upset about. In fact probably more than all such promotions over the last year.


#15

that’s the thing - I don’t think most people understand how much an app costs.

for a simple project I was involved with we were quoted a 6 figure sum !


#16

Actually, it might be a good thing. A new native app would mean there’s no money left for any free-bottle promotions.

Every cloud and all that.