Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Future of Apps

I still find it difficult to comprehend how marketers have somehow convinced the mass market that there's a difference between applications (on a PC) and "apps" on a smartphone or tablet, and that the latter are cool. I'm sure that there's a fair swathe of the population who thinks applications (or programs, or software) on a PC are fundamentally different from "apps" on their smartphone. But that's an aside.

It's probably not good futurism to base predictions on personal preferences, but as futurism is such a subjective topic anyway, I'm going to go with it:
  • I don't want to have to install to my device applications that I'm going to use once, use infrequently or will almost certainly be connected when using
  • I need the web applications to handle my data securely (e.g. I don't like online file converters that host your files in the public domain)
  • I don't want to have to remember a million logins and to have to keep logging in
  • I do need to know whether an application is local or in the cloud so I can plan for the times when I won't be connected
So what is and what will contine to happen:
  • Desktop apps are moving online (no installation)
  • Smartphone apps will do the same
  • Applications that are cross-platform
  • Applications that are predominantely web-based, but retain some functionality when disconnected
  • Single sign-on
  • Online application aggregation (the Windows Start Menu or quicklaunch bar for web-based applications)

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