Yesterday, everyone’s favorite social networking giant dropped yet another game-changing development on the open web. Backing up the commitment it made at this year’s Mobile World Congress, Facebook yesterday open sourced its web-app test suite Ringmark.
Basically, Ringmark’s function is to serve as a channel for prospective web-app developers to test and analyze the effectiveness of their products. The system works by
running a series of several hundred individual tests that measure the reach a web-app will be able to achieve. Of course there is much more to the system, such as analytics and prospective potential, which you can certainly read about from the minds who created it themselves.
While FiddleFly is a mobile website company and our main focus may not be just on web-apps, we love what Facebook is doing with Ringmark. Admittedly, part of our adoration may stem from the fact that Ringmark and fiddlefly were both conceived the same way, as a simple solution to an in-house problem which grew into something that could truly make the web better. Apart from the kindred paths however, Ringmark boosting the web-app world is something we can all applaud.
We’ve already written on this blog about native apps versus web-apps, and we made it pretty clear that we think the future of apps resides on the open web. A big misconception that we hear all the time however is that web-apps threaten mobile optimization. The truth is that couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the two actually go hand in hand. Mobile web-apps that are built well allow free navigation throughout the mobile web, letting users access them directly from mobile sites with a simple click versus a native app that forces users to close their browsers and open an app and vice versa.
Take for example a restaurant website. If the site is mobile optimized, diners can easily navigate the page for information like directions, prices, and menu options. Now, when they want to make a reservation, doing so is incredibly simple thanks to Open Table, which recently launched a web-based version of its app. Before the new web-app, diners would have to either call to make reservations or close the site and access the native version of Open Table, in turn taking plenty of unnecessary steps.
The evolution of mobile web apps has the potential to do what we all know the web is really intended to do, which is to make connecting and interacting from anywhere on the globe as simple and streamlined as it can possibly be. While Ringmark is only a test suite, Facebook has taken a huge leap in improving the mobile world.
Let us know what you think about Ringmark in the comments section below and make sure to follow us on Twitter @fiddlefly and check us out on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more cool mobile web developments.