test.ical.ly | getting the web by the balls

Jan/13

11

Webapps, native apps, smart tv and desktop apps.. it’s web services, dude!

serviceApple’s Next Battleground Isn’t TV; It’s Web Services. In this recent article on AllThingsD author John Paczkowski explains why he thinks Apple has to focus neither on hardware nor software but web services to improve their business and I think this is true.

For the whole industry.

Think about it. What is it that you really enjoy about your smartphone and/or tablet? Sure there’s the design and the speed of the interface and the feeling of exact touch events. But what do you use it for?

Speaking for myself I enjoy the convenience my devices to access web services in different situations.

My prime example would be Google Mail (or any other web based mail service with a convenient interface). I can access it on my mobile just as well as on my tablet or desktop. I could even install native apps on each device to access my mail.

The mails are consistent throughout my access points and offer more or less the same functionality but shaped to feel right on the device at hand. Scanning emails on a small screen is convenient and fast while reading longer ones feels better on a tablet or desktop but that is fine as I use those in situations where I have some time on my hands which is often not the case when I use my mobile. Writing mails is working on all device categories but for me is most enjoyable with a proper keyboard.

I could tell the same thing about Facebook, Evernote and many more.

Todays challenge is to provide a solid service as well as several frontends to it each designed for the device their installed on. Well actually designed for the usage situation the user installs it for on whatever device.

From an architectural view this means that you need a service that has a proper API to allow for a loose coupling between frontends and the backend. Only this allows to be flexible enough to create whatever frontend your target group demands without having to change the service backend accordingly. This way you can develop native apps for mobiles, tablets, smart tvs, car entertainment systems and whatever comes up.

For the publishing world this means the explicit separation between the CMS and the website and setting up all the other frontends using the same API.

And while your at it – why not open up parts of your interface and experience what others might create off it?

So yes this is new battlefield for Apple. But the same is true for Microsoft or Samsung and many more.

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