The mobile web sucks, but a great many websites aren't helping the cause

Nilay Patel's piece of the state of the mobile web. I agree with much of it.

Certainly I strongly agree with a point Patel only briefly touched up, which relates to Apple's iOS terms that explicitly prevent developers from bringing a custom web engine to the platform. I.e., Chrome is available for iOS, but Google are forced to use Apple's web rendering engine for displaying the web content. Google are explicitly forbidden from using Blink, their custom rendering engine that powers Chrome on all other platforms (including OS X) on iOS.

I think this restriction is egregious and overzealous on Apple's part, and absolutely harms the mobile web.

But by no means do I agree with all of Patel's piece.

Apps have become nearly irrelevant on desktops because the web experience is close to perfect, while apps are vitally important on phones because the web experience is dismal.

What the what? Certainly I'd agree it's conceivable we might be a path where desktop apps become nearly irrelevant, but by no means are we close to there yet.

Finally, this:

Google's second quarter 2015 financials

Janko Roettgers for Variety:

What’s more, the YouTube-owned video service also seems to be growing eyeballs, despite increased competition from Facebook. “Growth in watch time on YouTube has accelerated,” said Porat, adding that global watch time is up 60 percent year-over-year, with mobile watch time more than double from what it was a year ago.

Porat’s remarks got seconded by Google’s chief business officer Omid Kordestani, who called YouTube’s watch time growth “the fastest we’ve seen in a couple of years”. A year ago, YouTube’s watch time had accelerated by 50 percent year-over-year, according to a Google spokesperson.

Kordestani also said that the average mobile viewing session on YouTube now lasts more than 40 minutes, and added that mobile viewing alone attracts more 18-49 year-olds in the U.S. than any cable network. The number of channels than earn a six-figure income on YouTube is up 50 percent year-over-year, according to Kordestani.

Improved mobile performance clearly spells good news for the company. Wall Street seemingly agreed, with shares spiking 11% in after-hours trading, causing Google to again overtake Microsoft as the second most valuable company on earth.

Also interesting from these financial results: