With the iPhone’s popularity, and other phones following suit, “apps” have become almost as important to me as software, if not more important. More and more, I prefer and seek out tools that support the idea of truly ubiquitous computing. For example, I like apps that let me write while I’m deep underground on the subway, unconnected to the internet, but also let me edit and revise my writing from a desktop via a web interface later, after the information from my phone has been uploaded (automatically of course) to my web-based account.
It’s made me wonder how “apps” are changing the software market, and my inclination is that they are decentralizing it.
I was discussing this whole topic with a friend recently, who pushed back, saying strongly branded and fully featured software applications (really, anything labeled Microsoft or Adobe) are here to stay, in large part due to business use. We debated the point a bit.
Then I picked up Wired magazine’s August 2010 issue with the cover story The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet. I highly recommend it to anyone else who has been thinking about how apps, cloud-based systems, and web-based platforms (like Facebook) are changing what we think of us our “web” use. The article convinced me that it’s not software that’s being decentralized, it’s our “online” activity. We’re still connected to the internet, but we’re less and less on the web.