Don’t Forget the Cyclical Nature of Trends in Software Development

On April 24, 2013, The readwrite web site published an article by Brian Proffitt: The New API Gold Rush. We think this post is important. If APIs are re-emerging as a necessary feature of software product offers, then the “universal client” moniker for the web browser may be up for a challenge.

What’s driving market interest in APIs is the explosive growth of interest in small, smart mobile devices (SSMDs). Sure these devices provide buyers with lots of ways to use the Internet and multi-tenant cloud services. But the devices, themselves, are highly branded at the hardware and software levels. Therefore, vendors need to provide partners with APIs to port applications over to their platforms.

We think this trend will continue to build momentum over the near future. We also think it’s likely that the kind of highly individualized computing experience of the mid 1980s, when the market for PCs was in explosive growth mode, has already started to recur around SSMDs.

We’ve gained useful first hand experience with two of these devices: the WindowsPhone 8 (HTC 8X) and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1. We can say, conclusively, with regard to the Galaxy Note 10.1, some of the important PlayStore Apps required a substantial rewrite to work. For example, we grappled for over a week simply to get the Wall Street Journal App working correctly on the tablet.

We also experienced a lot of issues when we attempted to use the Galaxy Note with a Bluetooth keyboard manufactured by Belkin. The keyboard communications issues not only impacted the usefulness, for us, of the entire device, but also the individual software components — meaning different browsers. Of course, browsers are the cornerstone of “universal client” computing. So when browsers aren’t working right with keyboards, then some important obstacles are at hand.

Brian Proffitt’s article reports on today’s hot market for APIs. We think this trend will continue.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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