After re-reading this post about Joshua Topolsky’s pitch for a “Continuous Client” and the with recent developments of Google’s announcements of Chrome OS and Android 2.3/3.0, I believe we are just on the edge of Convergence Overlook. Google is creating two branches of computing platforms simultaneously: Android and Chrome OS. Even in Beta forms, there is no other company making the level of noise around pure online applications like Google has. Even in the beginning, when the first G1 came out in 2008, there were precious applications available in the Android Market because of the lofty visions of browser-based apps akin to Steve Jobs’ claim in 2007, for the iPhone. Fast forward to the eve of 2011, and Android applications like Google’s Chrome to Phone, Gmail, Talk, Voice, Maps, and even Skype now keep me connected from my PC, Android phone, and my Galaxy Tab.
It is not a coincidence that all of the above services are developed by Google with one exception, Skype. Along with Google, Skype has realized it’s not the device or even the UI that matters, it’s the connectivity and quality of service (QoS). If the QoS is usable and helps productivity, then users will flock to applications that keep them connected seamlessly.
In fact, I believe the OS of the future will be the Browser. Not in its current form however, but with AJAX, HTMLx, RIA, and yes even Adobe products like Air/Flash, the Web will be The computing platform carved into personal and corporate niches using various security permissions. Think about Facebook and Twitter for a moment, online communication is becoming as important and even more so than face to face as a medium that requires almost constant feeding and watering. And we are all complicit given this latest Forrester report that says Americans spend just as much time online as we do watching television.
All of this is making us a more mobile society but also more fragmented personally while being more connected socially. So with this new convergence and a possible blur between our real and online personas, which will you choose? It is already a balancing act for those of us who try to nurture both and I contend that the Continuous Client will not help us any better in the Future. The versions of You and Me and effectively “Us 2.o” still depend on who we really are and who we project ourselves to be.
So is the Continuous Client a computer interface or me and you?