Are native apps for Android safe? Are webapps / browser based apps safer and more secure? Apparently yes in many cases.

These days it has become really tedious to track and review various permissions any given app is requesting. Are all those permissions necessary for even trivial apps? How many people can really understand the implications of various permissions an app is requesting? My mom and dad cannot... I am sure.

And with the increased adoption of mobile banking and e-wallets, all these insecure practices of granting whatever permissions an app is requesting poses even greater threat. I am confident Google is addressing many of these issues at the platform level but I seriously doubt whether anyone can audit each and every app and its updates.

And most apps do not have to be native to begin with. They can simply be browser based apps and still be effective offering great user experience. Most apps are already hybrid (native+html based) anyway.

All that is remaining is making the experience seamless and more developers will embrace this approach. Web apps are discovered in browser, so the browser should hint the availability of an app when visiting a website and installation should be seamless. The Play store should allow listing of simple unwrapped webapps and the newly installed app should become a first class citizen in your app drawer; not a measly shortcut on home screen.

PS: We have already discussed in a previous post how Mozilla could build a launcher with in-built browser and web-app catalog for Android and make their browser-app approach a first class citizen on Android. What we really need is a Firefox launcher/eco-system in Android and not Firefox OS since Android is already open source.