Electron and the Decline of Native Apps ➝

John Gruber:

The Mojave App Store app certainly isn’t written using Electron. But the problem with Electron apps isn’t really Electron — it’s the decline in demand for well-made native Mac apps. And that is ominous. The biggest threat to the Mac isn’t iPads, Chromebooks, or Windows 2-in-1’s — it’s apathy towards what makes great Mac apps great.

I don’t think it’s necessarily bad for Mac apps to be un-Mac-like. But if the way that an app differs from the norm creates a worse experience for the user, that is bad. I can understand why some companies are building apps on Electron — it allows them to quickly develop desktop apps using the same codebase as their web app.

For a lot of application categories, you need a web app. And the rise of Electron is in no small part due to the economics of software development — building a single app that works on a number of platforms is significantly less costly than building native apps for each. But I wish that these companies would more seriously take into consideration the vastly superior user experience that can be achieved by embracing each platform’s strengths through native APIs. Doing so would result in software that users are excited to launch and truly enjoy using.