Does the rise of WebRTC apps mean the end of mobile and Web apps?

As more enterprises adopt WebRTC apps, will mobile and Web apps become a thing of the past? Expert Dave Michels explains.

With the emergence of WebRTC apps, will mobile and Web apps become obsolete? Are there drawbacks to exclusively...

using browser-based technology, such as WebRTC, rather than an application downloaded to a tablet or smartphone?

WebRTC is only part of the issue relating to Web-based applications versus clients. The debate over local applications versus browser-based interfaces has been raging for years. WebRTC apps enable real-time communication within the browser, so a local application such as one on a mobile device or desktop may no longer be required. However, there are benefits of using a local application over WebRTC.

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Browser-based applications are attractive because they don't require much customization for different operating systems, nor do they have to be distributed. However, WebRTC apps tend to only work well with a good Internet connection. Something as simple as a single keystroke may require a round trip over the network. Local applications offer a faster user interface and can be functional when offline.

Local applications such as email clients make a lot of sense. I often process my email on a flight, for example, and then sync when I land. Real-time communications may not have much utility without a network, so other functions of an application are also a factor.

Learn more about WebRTC apps:

  • When is the right time to deploy a WebRTC app? Learn why you don't have to wait for WebRTC to become a standard to deploy it in your enterprise.
  • What WebRTC apps will and won't do for your enterprise: Learn what processes and systems WebRTC can improve and what legacy systems it won't replace.
  • Enterprises are ready to adopt WebRTC: Learn why enterprises are deploying WebRTC and how it's already changing enterprise communication.


This was first published in April 2014

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