Why Apps Talking To Each Other Would Be Awesome

Apps are usually designed to be insular. They may be able to send files back and forth with other apps but it’s a manual task. Why don’t our apps communicate automatically, pulling relevant information from each other? I think one of the best things we could do would be to make a standard way for apps and devices to talk to each other. Imagine:

  • Your text editor can get information from your internet browser
  • Your calendar can get information from your friends calendar
  • Your computer can turn on/off any connected device.

The chances of all of our digital devices from any company talking to one another is slim so I will focus on apps in the same ecosystem. Every platform should have a set of rules for making data available to other apps. I don’t just mean apps of the same type. I want to have my calendar be able to grab my daily word count and create a history of when I wrote, the topic and how many words I wrote.

Examples

I want my cloud storage to be able to easily pull any files/changes made from any app regardless of integration. Automatic syncing of everything, The apps just need to make the file structure work with the guidelines.

I want my messaging app to talk to my cloud storage app to automatically get links to things I’m talking about. (Just write .Dropbox to have it pull the file for you.)

Be able to easily transfer data between apps. (Like switching music streaming services.)

Activity trackers that automatically record what you did on the device.

Information managers that could automatically harvest your browsing history, not just from the web but your RSS feed/newsreader/social media.

Apps like 1Password able to store your login/password when you sign up inside an app. Though platform makers would most likely not allow this. Or maybe this would be a special type of information that requires clearance before you can grab.

You’re writing a review of an app and your text editor goes out and gets the links to download the app. It also gets the developers website and the price.

What if it hooked into your virtual assistant so you could press and hold on a link and then say, “I want to check this out later.” It analyzes the link, figures out it is a movie and stores it in the movies you want to see list.

Create A New Market Of Apps That Only Interact With Your Data

This would allow a new area of app development. One that you only use to interact with the data from your other apps. An activity tracker is the easiest to imagine but what about an app that analyzes your writing across all apps and shows you common grammatical mistakes you made? What about an app that tracks all kills you make in every video game you play? What about an app that suggests books you read based on interests in the movies, books, tv shows you watch/read across all apps? This is all done automatically, you give permission to the app to access data from the apps you want and it pulls all the data in automatically.

Final Words

A framework like this would allow a whole new area of software makers to really take advantage of the data you create. Think of it like the connecting of your digital world. Security would be a real concern but with users able to set permissions I think the good would far outweigh the bad. As I have said many times, I really think computing needs to be shook up. The traditional models have all just evolved and been made to work with mobile/the cloud. We need someone doing something truly different.


Agree? Disagree? Comment Below.

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