I hated studying history in school when I was younger, and I really loved mathematics. The main reason is that it was never natural to me to memorize a book, and it makes a whole lot of sense to understand how to operate a function once, and use it many times.
There is one thing though I really loved and love about history. As Karl Marx said, “it repeats itself”. And it so logical that it will. Maybe in different form, color, temperature, but at a high level – things happen again, and again (and then again). Now, some things are fully random even though we want to believe they make sense (Black Swan Theory), but to generalize, history is amazing for being a great tool for us (human beings) to use. Not using it, in many ways, at least in my mind, is being stupid. It happened before — you can read about it, listen to it, talk to people that were there, and at least be able to analyze it with respect to your situation to make a more intellectual decision. I’m not saying – do exactly the same, but information is for sure POWER.
So history is great.
Question: do you remember that many years ago everything was download-able as application on your desktop so you can use it?
And then there was a lot of operating system issues (is it a mac OS, is it a windows, 95/97…), what hardware is it, and so forth. Remember? (Examples – email applications, chat/social applications, etc). and then this project called ARPA really evolved into this “internet”, and people just could log in a “virtual world” where information, and applications were available on the world wide web. Beautiful.
Now, some things were absolutely had to remain as downloadable application because they took serious use of the native APIs, hardware and security issues that was not that trivial to replicate or solve from a 3rd party website, mainly games or heavy apps like photohshop, etc. the rest? Were totally internet-ized:
Email application? –> Gmail.com, windows exchange webmail
Chat/social applications –> facebook.com, AIM over the air
Code sharing apps–> sourceforge.com
Even Office apps –> Google Docs/Spreadsheet…
In fact, it makes so much sense. Software companies for the first time could work on one anchor source code, update it, and the next time people visited the software (a la website) they experienced the latest whereas with applications it’s so much harder. It’s almost as hard as being Audi, and finding out that Audi TT has a flaw in the brakes system, and you need to call out people to return the car for a fix. Also, when developing a downloadable application, you have the cross the human barrier of making people actually download and then install it which is not at all easy (see companies like Joost, etc)
So many years afterwards (as a reminder – “history repeats itself”) – mobile becomes the king of all worlds. However, Apple’s biggest pride is having gazillion apps on the app store. My opinion – (1) who cares (2) how did we go back to develop apps instead of just improving the mobile web experience. Meanwhile, Youtube (smart guys) announced that they are rolling back from the YouTube mobile app, and going to invest in making m.youtube mobile portal better. (see post at VideoMuze by Will Richmond http://goo.gl/zC7e).
Do I think mobile apps should totally vanish? Absolutely not. I think there is a need here and there to leverage the mobile hardware, CPU, and etc’. do I think many of the apps could be online, on the net, with a “m.” prefix?
Period. The end.