Give Wired Magazine the credit for coming up with the term ‘Apperating system’ as it applies to the home screens and general navigation on smart phone devices. Writer @ryantate did an excellent job in his June 2013 article, explaining the concept of a ‘software platform that sits between the operating system and the apps, capturing an enormous share of the user’s attention.’
Facebook Home (built on top of the Android platform) is a prime example and one that people are beginning to hear about. From the article Mr. Tate adds “With Facebook hogging the top billing, users are less likely to turn to competing apps like Google+ and Google Voice. So while Facebook Home is, on one level, just another Android app, it also represents a hefty dose of anti-Android. It’s a brilliant bit of business jujitsu: Google spent billions of dollars on Android, between the software and the hardware, but now Facebook has swooped in and stolen the customer experience right out from under it, adding a software layer that will put Facebook’s ads front and center while pushing Google’s to the bowels of the system.” BTW I particularly like the reference to ‘business jiujitsu’ – well played Mr. Tate.
But there are more of these platforms coming on line and I was surprised to think of Dropbox.com and Amazon’s Kindle Fire platform in the context of an ‘apperating’ system but it makes total sense. That Dropbox could act as a cloud-based hub for content created to be accessed anywhere and on any device for which you have internet service is just…cool. Yes I am aware the iCloud offers this option as well but apparently it is not as easy to use as Dropbox.
Just last week I received a notification offering the opportunity to sign up for an alpha release of Aviate – and its own offering in the smart phone home screen takeover battle that has begun (whether you know it or not.) The pitch from Aviate went like this ‘Aviate is an intelligent home screen that organizes and surfaces information at the perfect moment. Sign up and be the first to get Aviate on your Android phone.’ The idea is that Aviate’s version of a smart phone home screen will be ‘Simple, Dynamic, and Contextual’ – meaning it will adapt to you and your surroundings. I signed up just because I was intrigued enough to want to know more. Not just how does Aviate work but how will it be monetized? I am not certain the creators of the Aviate ‘apperating’ system have quite figured that out yet but I bet they have a few ideas.
In order for a new system like any of the above to be truly contextual, people will have to adapt, adjust, and accept having their GPS turned on all the time. The tide has turned for me since the NSA and US government appear to have the ability to find me anywhere anyway, why would I worry about being tracked via GPS?
How about you? Would you consider embracing a major change in the way you use your smart phone and the way you interface with its content and apps? The options are growing every day.