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The return of native applications - but what for?

Before the web applications era we had the following (and not an easy one) situation with software:
  • some applications had only one target in terms of hardware or operating system
  • some applications had different versions so that they could be used on more than one software / hardware combination
Around the time when I started my first job (2000) it was apparent that the ultimate interface for everyone and everything would be the browser. Since then we have had web based applications serving as the primary user interface in all possible domains, from email, through project management to modeling and simulation.

But recently, we see more and more applications that are marketed as native. Although often a web version of an application exists, its platform-tied version (iOS, Android or Windows) is marketed as if the nativity alone were such a big advantage.

What can we make out of this? I don't know. But it just seems strange.

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