Society is experiencing a remarkable period of digitalization yet consumers are tired of app hunting, developers are frustrated by app publication experiences, small businesses, local governments and NGOs often can’t even afford an app presence, app marketplaces are jealously guarded, devices are awash with unused apps … and still everything, everwhere is being pushed online. Quick apps offer a 10 point life ring in these rising tides.


Exploration, innovation, resilience and adaptation is inexorably shifting us online, yet also generating multiple pressures:

  • Companies and public services increasingly need an app presence to reach their audiences, yet writing, publishing and updating apps is not very realistic or easy for many;
  • App marketplaces are filled by millions of new apps each year, making it paradoxically harder for users to find apps, and frustratingly harder for businesses to get their apps seen;
  • Sustainability goals beseech better resource efficiency, yet we download apps with abandon, consuming network bandwidth and bloating our devices;
  • Study after study highlight the growing problem of user app fatigue[1][2], especially for ad hoc needs.

“Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink”

Quick apps offer a future facing alternative to this stale dynamic by providing a breath of fresh air to all parties, and at the same time rethinking the way in which mobile apps can better support (in all senses) ubiquitous connectivity.

Win win win

For users, quick apps enable in-the-moment experiences that forego the burden of search and download for an immediacy of utility (win 1). They deliver rich and powerful experiences, yet launch near instantly after scanning QR codes, clicking web links, or being selected from within other apps. They allow for new experiences (win 2), new ease of life services (win 3), less download hassles (win 4), less device bloat (win 5).

For developers, quick apps are orders or magnitude easier and faster to develop than equivalent native apps (win 6), and can also be published outside (as well as inside) traditional app marketplaces. Indeed, their publication/distribution routes are significantly increased (win 7). Quick apps run on a quick app engine that sits above the device’s operating system. The quick app engine not only takes care of the heavy lifting for app performance (hence the reduced complexicty and volume of code write), it also presents a normalised API set that abstracts from the OS and hardware. As the standards and device support for quick apps mature, these principles of abstraction and normalisation will empower a write once, run anywhere dynamic (win 8).

For businesses, quick apps enable new oppoprtunities for audience engagement and opportunistic interactivity (win 9), driving concomitant market capture and brand awareness. What’s more, since quick apps are both easier and faster to developer than traditional apps, skills are easier to find and projects require less effort. That’s to say, having a quick app becomes more accessible to more businesses (win 10).

In short, quick apps facilitate the democratisation of mobile apps, increase marketplace choice, and provide a better situational experience. They also happen to consume fewer device resources.

Nurturing a quick app ecosystem in Europe

Whilst quick apps implement emerging W3C standards, the European ecosystem is still nascent; low business and developer awareness, insufficient tooling, limited device compatibility. To encourage growth and opportunity capture, the Quick App Initiative has been launched within OW2, a respected European open source organization.

We believe that diversity and open collaboration engender progress, and that a strong European quick app ecosystem will encourage accessible innovation, increase consumer choice, reduce gatekeeper control, stimulate business opportunities, open channels to foreign martkets.

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