I’ve come across this Tweet recently in response to Notion’s announcement that they would be switching some components of their cross-platform web-based mobile app to native:
Tweet in question.
However, what really gets me thinking is this reply concerning the viability of cross-platform vs native development for mobile apps for resource-strapped startups - of which Anytype probably can be categorized under.
Here’s another intriguing set of replies to that Tweet, this time offering the opinion that for startups, it’s best to start nimble and “cheap” with a single multi-platform app, and once the product gains a stable footing in the market, native development then can be done with the newly gained resources. Anytype is still a product in development with no paying customer base yet, so I find this interesting and applicable to the current state of the product.
This reply is also interesting - it offers the opinion that starting native (mobile) app development early on in the company’s development can “end up spreading [it] too thin.”
I recognize that pretty much everyone here (including me) would vastly prefer a speedy and purpose-built native app for their mobile apps; Notion’s (and in some cases, Obsidian’s) mobile app is incredibly slow and is a pain to use on any mobile device that doesn’t have an logo of an apple with a bite taken out of it - and even on iOS devices, the experience is slow and frustrating. I also vastly appreciate the hard development, passion and work that is going into the mobile apps to make it fast, pleasant, productive (it definitely shows; the Anytype mobile apps are light-years ahead of Notion and Obsidian on aesthetics and speed) and on-par with Desktop’s feature set, but, we do also have to recognize the benefits of cross-platform app development; out of which the efficiency, cost and speed is most notable. Especially feature parity.
I’d love it if I could hear some opinions and thoughts about the ideas raised in the Tweets by the Anytype team (especially the one by user ajexx), alongside the decision-making process that resulted in separate mobile app development being chosen rather than a single, unified codebase, and the problems and benefits that this is causing now, and foresee to cause in the future as well.
It’d also be useful to know if the final “1.0” release will only happen not only once all the planned features (e.g, collaboration, spaces) are released on Desktop, but are also available on mobile. There are a number of successful SaaS products that got away with having fully-fledged desktop apps but half-baked mobile apps (such as Coda, Discord in its early days, and the Microsoft Office suite); perhaps Anytype can launch a bit earlier despite mobile not having full feature parity with desktop and capture more of the market.
Also BTW, I’d also like to give a word of thanks and appreciation to the Anytype team. I’m elated to see that efforts have been taken to improve community<->company interaction after community feedback. I’d also like to send my appreciation to the team for being able to persevere despite the war in Ukraine; it’s fully understandable that there would be a drop in productivity and company efficiency in the midst of such a horrific event. I’m happy to hear that most of the team have been able to escape with their families from the affected countries…