We don’t have to make the web great again, it has been always great.

No. In the Mobile era, the web is stronger than ever.

People keep asking me why Uptodown is delivering almost 200 million Android Apps every month (and growing nicely) through the web, and how is possible to be one of the 160 most visited sites in the world with 80% mobile traffic. So let me adopt some of the Cindy Krum @Suzzicks words to cover a few things here.

Please, note that she is actually talking about Web App indexing, and I don’t share some of her arguments — Uptodown is fully responsive without a line of Javascript or the need to use non-standard technologies -

But some of her great arguments about Progressive Web Apps are perfect to explain why the mobile web is still the king. That’s beautiful:

Rand Fishkin @randfish
This is why the mobile web, for most businesses, is a vastly smarter bet than the app world.

And you can add this:

In the particular case of App distribution, this is exacerbated by a “small” change proposed by Emily Grossman @goutaste :

Where you have to add another circle related to the “standard” SEO for Apps.

There are dozens of good reasons why the web is a much better channel for Android App distribution. But if you want some of the most important points from our experience:

  • Discovery. Over ¼ of smartphone users discover apps via search engines. According to Google Mobile App Marketing Insights
  • 30%-40% of Android devices on the market are forked, AOSP devices, meaning they do not have Google Play installed (and some cannot install Google Play such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire).
  • Diversity. For example, there are over 4K completely legal apps on Uptodown which Google does not allow on their Play Store (betting apps, certain multimedia apps, certain competitive apps)
  • There are no restrictions in terms of audience, region, device, as the web is a completely independent, open and global platform
  • Access to a wider range of resources. Many people prefer to download the APK itself as opposed to installing the app directly onto their phone. Why?
May need to download APK from a data connected device and transfer to a non-connected device.
May want to share an app by email, dropbox, USB drive, etc.
May want a backup of the install files
Previous versions of APKs which is helpful to users looking for a specific version and actually solves the Android fragmentation problem
  • No Google registration required, no email, accounts, credit cards or payments to access to free content

So, hell YES, long live the Mobile Web.

You can read more about our vision about the future of the mobile web + App distribution on our Paper.