Desktop applications of tomorrow (I)

13 Mar 2014

This is the first of three posts where I am going to share my vision for the desktop apps of the short-term future.

When I am using my workstation or laptop I find myself spending most of my time in the browser, with it I do a lot of different tasks I used to be doing with many different native applications for example: listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, sending pictures...

When I am using my tablet or phone though the situation changes. I find myself rarely using the browser, in fact I only use it to visit some site I saw on another app like Twitter or Facebook.
At the beginning (HTC Magic, my first Android phone) I thought this was because the browser was so unbearable that they had to come out with an alternative to the web, so they came out with "specific apps", that is one app per each internet service or purpose.

But things have evolved since, and now my Nexus5 and 7 can render websites some times even better and faster than my laptop, but anyway I still prefer to use Android apps. Why?

Content

Both web and android apps are way better at managing content than we are.

They always have something to show to you: perhaps something new that might interest you? perhaps a bold guess based on you previous search? or perhaps just what is "hot" nearby? Two of the best example are Youtube and Spotify.

Your content is available everywhere, and I am not talking only about putting stuff into the "cloud" but I am talking about your online profile. Continuing with the example of Youtube and Spotify on both apps you will have your: playlist, subscriptions, radios, friend list on any device either via the app or the web.

Sharing content is damn easy on both either by copying the url on the Web or by clicking the omnipresent share button in Android. As a matter of fact I don't remember the last time I shared a picture or an article using a desktop app... Probably it was really long ago.

They know what content you like... They know your habits... They know everything and they use it to provide the most convenient content at all time. Oh look! It is Monday, perhaps you want to watch the new video uploaded in this Youtube channel as you do every week?

Finally, both web and Android apps try to avoid making the user think too much which I find it to be a relief when I am using them. Again they do this by knowing what content you are interested on and by providing it to you in the best possible way.

That is it for now, In part II I will explain the current situation of the desktop apps and in part III I will show a mockup of a video app I hope to work on someday. In the meanwhile what do you think? Is the same thing I describe in this article happening to you?

Published on 13 Mar 2014 Find me on Twitter!