Multi-Platform is a Feature

Maybe this is obvious but as iCloud rolls out, users are going to add a new criteria to their app buying calculus. “Is it multi-platform?”

Just like the way even us ‘power users’ are getting hooked on Lion’s versioning and auto-saves, even the most die-hard Dropbox supporters are going to find themselves expecting data to migrate between their Macs, iPads, iPhones, and even Windows PCs.

With iCloud, there is no secret incantation, retina scan, or hacking involved. Your data just is. No longer will you have to consider whether the right folder is synced to the right app. Work on one device. Turn it off. Work on another device and pick up where you left off.

There is a price to brain dead syncing. From everything I’ve seen, in order to work, you’ve got to be working on the same app on every platform.

For the first time since the iOS arrived in our lives, using the same app on multiple platforms comes with an added benefit, data bliss. When users look at apps for their Mac or iOS devices, they are going to actively seek those with support on other platforms. Automatic data-syncing is a huge benefit and multi-platform is going to be a big deal for enlightened Mac and iOS developers.

Already there are some text editors supporting both iOS and Mac OS X. I think this will spill over into most productivity apps: PDF apps, outliners, mind mappers, graphics apps, and any app with a user generated data file. Expect to see a lot of familiar apps on unfamiliar platforms soon.

11 Comments Multi-Platform is a Feature

  1. aaron@hockleyphoto.com

    And for anyone forced to use Windows as part of their work, one of those support platforms needs to be of the Microsoft variety. Meaning I'll be sticking with Dropbox instead of iCloud for the foreseeable future.

    Reply
  2. aaron@hockleyphoto.com

    And for anyone forced to use Windows as part of their work, one of those support platforms needs to be of the Microsoft variety. Meaning I'll be sticking with Dropbox instead of iCloud for the foreseeable future.

    Reply
  3. aaron@hockleyphoto.com

    And for anyone forced to use Windows as part of their work, one of those support platforms needs to be of the Microsoft variety. Meaning I'll be sticking with Dropbox instead of iCloud for the foreseeable future.

    Reply
  4. aaron@hockleyphoto.com

    And for anyone forced to use Windows as part of their work, one of those support platforms needs to be of the Microsoft variety. Meaning I'll be sticking with Dropbox instead of iCloud for the foreseeable future.

    Reply
  5. aaron@hockleyphoto.com

    And for anyone forced to use Windows as part of their work, one of those support platforms needs to be of the Microsoft variety. Meaning I'll be sticking with Dropbox instead of iCloud for the foreseeable future.

    Reply
  6. Brenda Stine

    This is an intriguing statement: "Expect to see a lot of familiar apps on unfamiliar platforms soon."
    iPhoto on a digital picture frame? Final Cut on a video camera? IM on TV?
    BTW, Roku just announced delivery of Angry Birds to TV.

    Reply
  7. Editor@InklingBooks.com

    You may be "getting hooked on Lion’s versioning and auto-saves." They're the main features I'd like to see stripped out. They do badly what applications like Scrivener do well. Apple's geeks seemed to have decided everyone wants the sort of versioning geeks use. Not so.

    It is also part of a pattern. Increasing, Apple seems to regard its users as too stupid to take even the most basic precautions or make simple judgments. They're treating us like babies who, in Steve Jobs words, can't even understand a simple file system. I don't like that. I decide when to create a version and why. I don't want an OS that does it for me at random intervals. Such files simply clutter a hard drive and figuring out what's in them is more trouble that they're worth.

    Also, I wonder if iCloud will do much that services like DropBox don't already provide. More people may hear of multi-platform synching, but that's happening anyway.

    Apple is really late to the store-and-synch party, much like they were with ebooks. I just hope they don't play nasty games, particularly with iOS, to keep us from using DropBox rather than iCloud. When Apple moves into an area late, they have a tendency to try to kick existing competitors out. We saw that with ebooks and in-app purchasing.

    Not that their in-app purchasing scheme did Apple any good. It just made publishing books and periodicals via HTML 5.0 popular.

    As you can tell, I'm not a fanboy. Apple is run by adults. We don't have to gush over their every move. They can benefit from criticism.

    Reply
  8. Editor@InklingBooks.com

    You may be "getting hooked on Lion’s versioning and auto-saves." They're the main features I'd like to see stripped out. They do badly what applications like Scrivener do well. Apple's geeks seemed to have decided everyone wants the sort of versioning geeks use. Not so.

    It is also part of a pattern. Increasing, Apple seems to regard its users as too stupid to take even the most basic precautions or make simple judgments. They're treating us like babies who, in Steve Jobs words, can't even understand a simple file system. I don't like that. I decide when to create a version and why. I don't want an OS that does it for me at random intervals. Such files simply clutter a hard drive and figuring out what's in them is more trouble that they're worth.

    Also, I wonder if iCloud will do much that services like DropBox don't already provide. More people may hear of multi-platform synching, but that's happening anyway.

    Apple is really late to the store-and-synch party, much like they were with ebooks. I just hope they don't play nasty games, particularly with iOS, to keep us from using DropBox rather than iCloud. When Apple moves into an area late, they have a tendency to try to kick existing competitors out. We saw that with ebooks and in-app purchasing.

    Not that their in-app purchasing scheme did Apple any good. It just made publishing books and periodicals via HTML 5.0 popular.

    As you can tell, I'm not a fanboy. Apple is run by adults. We don't have to gush over their every move. They can benefit from criticism.

    Reply
  9. Editor@InklingBooks.com

    You may be "getting hooked on Lion’s versioning and auto-saves." They're the main features I'd like to see stripped out. They do badly what applications like Scrivener do well. Apple's geeks seemed to have decided everyone wants the sort of versioning geeks use. Not so.

    It is also part of a pattern. Increasing, Apple seems to regard its users as too stupid to take even the most basic precautions or make simple judgments. They're treating us like babies who, in Steve Jobs words, can't even understand a simple file system. I don't like that. I decide when to create a version and why. I don't want an OS that does it for me at random intervals. Such files simply clutter a hard drive and figuring out what's in them is more trouble that they're worth.

    Also, I wonder if iCloud will do much that services like DropBox don't already provide. More people may hear of multi-platform synching, but that's happening anyway.

    Apple is really late to the store-and-synch party, much like they were with ebooks. I just hope they don't play nasty games, particularly with iOS, to keep us from using DropBox rather than iCloud. When Apple moves into an area late, they have a tendency to try to kick existing competitors out. We saw that with ebooks and in-app purchasing.

    Not that their in-app purchasing scheme did Apple any good. It just made publishing books and periodicals via HTML 5.0 popular.

    As you can tell, I'm not a fanboy. Apple is run by adults. We don't have to gush over their every move. They can benefit from criticism.

    Reply
  10. Editor@InklingBooks.com

    You may be "getting hooked on Lion’s versioning and auto-saves." They're the main features I'd like to see stripped out. They do badly what applications like Scrivener do well. Apple's geeks seemed to have decided everyone wants the sort of versioning geeks use. Not so.

    It is also part of a pattern. Increasing, Apple seems to regard its users as too stupid to take even the most basic precautions or make simple judgments. They're treating us like babies who, in Steve Jobs words, can't even understand a simple file system. I don't like that. I decide when to create a version and why. I don't want an OS that does it for me at random intervals. Such files simply clutter a hard drive and figuring out what's in them is more trouble that they're worth.

    Also, I wonder if iCloud will do much that services like DropBox don't already provide. More people may hear of multi-platform synching, but that's happening anyway.

    Apple is really late to the store-and-synch party, much like they were with ebooks. I just hope they don't play nasty games, particularly with iOS, to keep us from using DropBox rather than iCloud. When Apple moves into an area late, they have a tendency to try to kick existing competitors out. We saw that with ebooks and in-app purchasing.

    Not that their in-app purchasing scheme did Apple any good. It just made publishing books and periodicals via HTML 5.0 popular.

    As you can tell, I'm not a fanboy. Apple is run by adults. We don't have to gush over their every move. They can benefit from criticism.

    Reply
  11. Editor@InklingBooks.com

    You may be "getting hooked on Lion’s versioning and auto-saves." They're the main features I'd like to see stripped out. They do badly what applications like Scrivener do well. Apple's geeks seemed to have decided everyone wants the sort of versioning geeks use. Not so.

    It is also part of a pattern. Increasing, Apple seems to regard its users as too stupid to take even the most basic precautions or make simple judgments. They're treating us like babies who, in Steve Jobs words, can't even understand a simple file system. I don't like that. I decide when to create a version and why. I don't want an OS that does it for me at random intervals. Such files simply clutter a hard drive and figuring out what's in them is more trouble that they're worth.

    Also, I wonder if iCloud will do much that services like DropBox don't already provide. More people may hear of multi-platform synching, but that's happening anyway.

    Apple is really late to the store-and-synch party, much like they were with ebooks. I just hope they don't play nasty games, particularly with iOS, to keep us from using DropBox rather than iCloud. When Apple moves into an area late, they have a tendency to try to kick existing competitors out. We saw that with ebooks and in-app purchasing.

    Not that their in-app purchasing scheme did Apple any good. It just made publishing books and periodicals via HTML 5.0 popular.

    As you can tell, I'm not a fanboy. Apple is run by adults. We don't have to gush over their every move. They can benefit from criticism.

    Reply

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