Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A few thoughts on apps and browsers, cloud computing and storage, security and the like

Here are just a few thoughts still bouncing around my brain this morning after a late night of watching the Giants win after one thousand innings, or whatever it was ...
With the Mac OS now geared towards full screen apps, everything computing (at least on the Mac side) will begin to resemble the tablet experience, rather than the other way around. But at the same time we are heading towards full screen apps along side full screen app publications, there is a counter move towards browser based solutions such as HTML5 magazines.

In the end, publishers need to ask themselves if they want their publications trapped inside the browser window, or trapped inside an app. The advantage to the browser is that it cuts across platforms – all PCs and tablets will come with browsers, of course. The advantage of apps is at least two fold: they utilize the entire canvas (even if that canvas sometimes is one size on one device and another on a different device) and that they can more quickly add features as Apple and Google add them to the platform's OS (an example being AirPlay).

It used to be said that online retailing would suffer because older consumers would be hesitant to buy online, handing over their credit card information to an online entity. Consumers, despite their ages, seem to have jumped that hurdle and now share far too much information online, including silly pictures of themselves in their underwear (oh, maybe that is only politicians).

Discussing some of the new features to be found in the new Mac OS, iOS and iCloud with some people yesterday I was struck by those who simply thought the whole thing irrelevant to them. Features like Versions, which automatically save and then recall past versions of documents, didn't really appeal to them, they already save multiple versions of their documents. The same was true of cloud storage, everything they need, they would say, is already on their laptops – they saw no need for constant access to their documents, they felt they already had that.

One part of me says that there is merit to this point of view, do we really need cloud storage options in this day of 2 TB hard drives, flash drives, etc. But at the same time it is clear that Apple, Amazon, Google, and a large number of consumers feel that this is the direction to go in.

But how will corporations feel about their employees using iCloud and similar services?

Apple is already starting to roll out some of the features to be found in their new vision of computing such as instant and simultaneous downloading and installing of apps (screenshot above).

In my case I download and install lots and lots of apps, then delete them almost as quickly. For me, having an app that I have downloaded for my iPad automatically installed on my iPhone means that I have to go back and uninstall it later on.

But, of course, my situation is unique. I think most users will find the service convenient – and, of course, like all things Mac, Apple will allow the user to turn this feature off (which is what I will do).