Online Applications Faster than Desktop?

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror says that he has sworn by Microsoft Streets and Trips for years. In his post Who Killed the Desktop Application? Jeff said he was surprised when he noticed his wife using Google Maps. When he question his wife about her choice of mapping software she flatly stated “Because it’s faster.”

The gauntlet was laid down and Jeff rose to the challenge. He would test his tried and true Streets and Trips against Google Maps.

Jeff tested both applications by creating a route to a location from his home. During testing he discovered the following:

  • Google Maps loaded more quickly than Streets and Trips.
  • Google Maps is easier to use for getting directions than Streets and Trips.
    • Google Maps – 2 steps to get directions
    • Streets and Trips – 8 steps to get directions

One thing I have mentioned before as a failing of web-based applications is the ability to access the information while offline. This issue is something that the first commenter also addresses.

Another issue is mobility. You can take Streets and Trips on your laptop with a connected GPS while driving around and taking trips still maintaining complete functionality of the application.

Jeff has an interesting write up of the differences between the two applications.

Online applications increasingly include greater functionality and more features. Now there are systems that are being released such as Google Gears that can allow offline access to online content.

The world between online and offline access is to content is definitely becoming more blurred all the time.

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