Over the last two years one of the biggest complaints I've had to make against tablet computers is that the Internet has simply not kept the same pace of change. If you go to any wbesite you'll still find hyperlinks stacked closely together, drop down menus that only appear when you hover over them and similar features that are far from touch friendly. It's not just smaller website that are guilty of this but the big boys too. Go to Amazon, eBay or PayPal and try navigating via touch, it isn't easy. This is why gHacks has big and easily clickable links, because we know you all have tablets :)
A few website will offer a mobile version for smartphones, but when it comes to tablets you're out of luck. Out of luck that is unless the company has invested in an app for your specific device. If they have you will have a far better experience navigating their site. The differences between websites and apps can be huge, with the usability offered by device-specific apps far ahead of anything the company's website can offer.
It's interesting to note too that in the last couple of years the big players on the Internet have made absolutely no attempt to make their websites touch-friendly. This is despite tablet computing taking off a big way and even the near-imminent arrival of the super-touch-friendly Windows 8 operating system. Personally I find this disappointing and that it demonstrates a lack of understanding and vision on the part of these companies.
How many more people could they reach for instance if they made their websites more touch-friendly? Certainly the disabled and the elderly are an enormous and mostly untapped market for Internet businesses.
So this got me thinking, which do you prefer? From websites and their corresponding apps such as Facebook and Twitter, to Amazon, eBay and more we're very interested to hear if you've begun to abandon company websites in favour of their much more user-friendly apps. Alternatively are there companies that have provided apps for other platforms that are yet to accommodate your own platform?
Let us know in the comments as it's clear this is not only an issue that is frustrating many web users, not just myself, but that is it a problem that is only going to get worse unless and until these companies embrace touch on their website themselves.
However, it does raise additional questions, the most important being do we now need websites at all? If we are all going to be used to downloading and using apps on our smartphones, tablets and desktop computers through Apple's app store for OS X and the forthcoming Windows 8 store, why do we still need the websites? Surely a visit to amazon.com should just present you with a links to their various apps on their various platforms?
Tell us what you think in the comments.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.