Following on from my previous rambling about blogging is another aspect I wanted to write about.
There is a new breed of app, well two actually to help create content or store data. The rise of the single purpose app that does a single job very well, is elegant to look at and is well featured. Then, there is another kind that becomes a platform where it can do the single purpose app but also, through api or similar, be other things. I should add when I say ‘app’ I refer to desktop, mobile or web applications.
The single purpose app – prime examples would be Triptease, the travel review site I mentioned last time or Letterboxd for film. A new mobile app I discovered is Todo Movies which is a visually stunning method of recording films you want to watch – useful for someone like me.
Key platform apps might be Evernote and Wunderlist. Now Wunderlist was originally a task list manager and very good one too. More recently though, they have developed a Safari plugin that creates a button on websites such as IMDB, giving a task to todo list for films. It also links into Amazon to create a wish list there. Evernote has expanded vastly from a note taking application to a platform for organising content, character recognition and recently even a blogging platform via Postach.io.
From a sustainable point of view, platform apps are likely to appeal to more to investment. Users will enjoy single sign on for services although they maybe slightly more complicated to use. Single purpose apps have a simplicity of doing one thing and are often beautifully designed tools that were perhaps originally devised to itch the developers own scratch for something. Ultimately, these apps may be less sustainable in the future but its hard to say at this point.
Twitter is an interesting observation. It started off as being an update service for people’s thoughts but it soon became instant messaging for some and news feeds for others. Twitter now is shaping into a media hub of sorts with its’ own photo sharing (and filters), video with Vine and, most recently, music discovery. They are definitely owning short form content and fancying their chances against Facebook and Tumblr.
Social networking is beyond the scope of this post, but it’s something I’d like to write about. However, this is about apps and platforms. I wonder if some of the single purpose options get acquired by the bigger players. A recent interesting acquisition was the Mailbox app by Dropbox – a prime example of a good simple purpose being bought up by a platform and potentially makes a lot of sense too.
I have no answers here, just observations. Maybe I’ll settle on something and if I do, I’ll write about it.