Daring Fireball writes:
The user experience limitations of a web app are glaringly obvious. They simply dont look or act like normal desktop apps. The browser in which theyre running thats a normal app. But the web apps running within the browser arent. They dont have menu bars or keyboard shortcuts. (The browser itself does.) This isnt about being Mac-like it applies equally to Windows and open source desktop platforms. Instead of looking and feeling like real Mac/Windows/Linux desktop apps, web apps look and feel like web pages.
The persnickety little UI details I obsess over these are nothing compared to the massive deficiencies of even the best web app. But most people dont care, because web apps are just so damned easy to use. Whats interesting is that web apps are easy despite their glaring user experience limitations.
What theyve got going for them in the ease-of-use department is that they dont need to be installed, and they free you from worrying about where and how your data is stored. Exhibit A: web-based email apps. In terms of features, especially comfort features such as a polished UI, drag-and-drop, and a rich set of keyboard shortcuts, web-based email clients just cant compare to desktop email clients.
With web-based email, you can get your email from any browser on any computer on the Internet. Installation consists of typing a URL into the browsers location field. The location field is the new command line.