Friday, 24 August 2012

I don't want your app, I already have a web browser

What's with websites that want you to install an app that loads a single site and no more than that?

Surf to any online forum on your phone and there's a good chance it will pop up some annoying Tapatalk spam.

Anything Tapatalk can do is possible with some HTML5 in any web browser, but at least Tapatalk lets you surf multiple forums in one app.

But what are sites like The Verge thinking?

The Verge has a mobile app. They could advertise it with a small banner or a line of text on their mobile site, but instead they shove it in your face with something that's even worse than a popup ad.

Popup ads are horrible, but at least you can click 'em away and arrive straight at the site you wanted to go to, because the popup and the site that spawns it load at the same time.

The Verge loads a screen nagging you about its app, and when you tap the "screw you, take me to the page I asked for" link it starts loading the page you're after, even though it knows you wanted to go there from the very beginning. You may continue to your target destination later, but next time you fire up your browser the ordeal starts all over again.

The Verge is not the only site that annoys the hell out of me. Plenty of other sites use the same obnoxious method to advertise their app. I'd welcome a mobile browser plugin that auto-skips all these nag screens. It would be even better if that plugin can make the Tapatalk popups drop dead too.

There's no way to make these popups and nag screens disappear yet, but at least you can kill most banner ads with apps like AdAway.

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