Keeping track of applications on mobile devices, let alone discovering new apps, can be overwhelming and more involved than many users have the time or patience to commit. While native apps provide the optimal UI designed by developers, devices have limits to storage and users have corresponding priorities that leave certain native apps on the chopping block.
With the continuing growth of HTML 5, however, access to mobile web versions of native applications, as well as HTML 5 apps written for the web, has become a beacon of order to what can sometimes feel like spawning chaos.
Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch
reports today that Everything.me, a beta search engine for native and mobile web applications, has received $25 million in investment from Telefonica, Mozilla, and Singtel. Rebranded by the makers of DoAt, Everything.me
is designed to simplify discovery of apps and reduce barriers to their use by providing a search tool for both native and mobile web apps.
What distinguishes Everything.me from other app search tools is its emphasis on HTML 5 web applications, which in addition to their more open format also propose a different form of delivery to devices. Everything.me provides search categories in addition to a query field, matching keywords with content and providing suggestions from a database of both native and web apps. The service allows users to access a mobile HTML 5 version of selected results, customized by Everything.me, before crossing over to a dedicated HTML 5 or native version of a particular application, such as Twitter or CNN.
When Everything.me service receives a public launch, the service will enable developers to add HTML 5 apps into its open app platform, not only bridging a divide between native and web applications, but offering users the option to access the benefits of an app without necessarily downloading it to their device. This is likely preferable to forgoing the streamlined features of certain apps, for example CNN, and visiting the website directly from a mobile browser.
According to today's report, Everything.me has raised $35.5 million to date, and with the backing of Telefonica, Mozilla, and Singtel, The Everything Project can expand development to include its service on desktop browsers, whose division from mobile is becoming less and less pronounced as users work and sync between multiple platforms.
Between Telefonica and Singtel, the partnered investment could reach millions of the providers' customers in Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific Region, in addition to the 450 million present users of Mozilla's Firefox. While Everything.me does not yet have a revenue model in place, current and emerging markets for smartphone users could pave the way for monetizing and marketing through affiliate links in search results and branded searches. For its latest investors, Everything.me presents a unique opportunity as smartphones become a more global phenomenon.
“As the next generation of smartphone users come on board, they will be less sophisticated, so you need to start to make the experience much more intuitive and seamless,” Tracy Isacke, director of investments at Telefonica Digital, told TechCrunch.
Less sophisticated, perhaps, but this is probably more about a challenge for the mobile device industry (and the innovations built around it) to find ways to keep users more informed and engaged with less exertion and drain on devices. The developing progress of HTML 5 should help bring focus to the intuitive value of the web for end users, particularly new mobile users accustomed to desktop browsing. Search tools such as Everything.me enable easy visibility for useful, expansive services, some of which end up lost in the mix when users get bogged down by too many levels and layers of access.