As we look at systems that work independently in their own silos the point of the discussion here will be to talk about the strides that have been made in cross platform capability. These strides have occurred within Apple’s own domain and IOS is talking nicer to OSX and vice a versa all the time. This is happening based on open and defacto standards that allow for this functionality.
Further, we are seeing applications running identically on the different platforms or if they’re not then we are seeing the integration of different applications that integrate and leverage upon each other. This is a world of difference from what we ever had before. There was certainly the beginnings of this functionality actually going fairly far back but the lack of standards and the belief that the market could be controlled worked at one time successfully to a more or lesser degree. I say both in that if there was too much control going on the consumer was happy he could make things work together but angry that he couldn’t bridge the gulf between systems on different platforms. To a degree, some of the things that were going on verged on market domination and monopolist practices.
In Europe, which looked less favorably on this kind of activity than North America, fines were of a stiff nature. However, let us put this behind us and know that even if the activity still exists it won’t go far as the consumer and the market have sharpened up dramatically and they want not to be locked into one vendor and at the same time have their vendors talk nice to each other. Manufacturers too have seen the light and have whole heartedly moved in this direction. Microsoft stands out as one of the most resounding cases in point. They are putting their products on anything and everything where it makes sense leading to a happier consumer.
To Begin with…
I’ll be exploring cross platform integration significantly as we go a long but to start with I thought the simple but extremely important task of taking notes stand out as an area that can majorly benefit. All day long everyone is jotting some or many notes which contain important information. This information was often stuck in the past in a wall that surrounded the application making porting one of the few options to move this information across platforms.
This has changed. There are many apps that are now fully cross platform for note taking. Evernote and OneNote stand out as two of the most major players in the robust note-taking market and they both pretty well work on every major platform out there:
This allows people to choose their platform of choice and attend a meeting that are held all the time. Note taking in a meeting, in a classroom to just the person at home who needs to send off to someone arriving a list of items they could pick up if they wouldn’t mind.
The Heavy duty …
Some note taking one might call quite heavy duty and requires the integration of a variety of objects for it to make sense. This is where you call in the big guns those primarily being Evernote and OneNote. This is where you really see the power of cross platform and the benefits.
To work flawlessly, these apps have to written to have identical functionality. Not all apps pull this off fully but in the case of these two they do. The benefits are of course dramatic. Anyone can really arrive with their device of choice and depending on the situation a certain Notetaker will be assigned the task of being the keeper of notes for that evening.
Because these apps provide full cross platform functionality, if someone needs to incorporate information that resides in anothers Blackberry, Windows phone or Android into their own IOS phone it is not a problem. All can flow.
The full world is definitely not like this but it’s amazing how many apps have joined this club and are joining the club. For the vendor, it’s doing the opposite of what they were worried about. Not only do they stay in the game butt they have whole, new markets to tap into.
The Lightweights which are just as important….
In between these heavy duty, cross platform notes takers rests what I would say is two more tiers of note taking. They are:
- the intermediate that do not display all of the functionality of the heavyweights but have a number of components that make them more than ,..
- the lightweights which are really more textual in nature and meant to be quick by entry and easy to read,.
Looking at cross platform development note taking itself is very critical as a lot of extremely important information is store in these notes which includes the lightweights, I would go so far as to say could notes not operate in a flawless cross platform manner you would be stopped at the starting gate.
MetaNota, SimpleNote and Evernote
Evernote is a fully cross platform system however, for some people’s needs it might be a touch of overkill. The argument though could go in the other direction. Keep everything, no matter how small, in the same app.
Yet, for some, Simplenote, an app that has been around for a long time, goes the mile in meeting a lot of people’s needs. It is fully cross platform too.
An Interesting Combination
Still yet, there is a combination that is very simple to put together and is nuch more along the intermediate note taking needs however is very simple in it’s implementation.
Metanota, a fine Notetaking app, connects into both Simplenote or Evernote. Depending on your tastes you have this combination of either the middle/Simple or middle/powerful. It works extremely well and very fast.
One Wonders about Apple
Will Apple sit on the sidelines and let this evolving trend evolve without it. Apple likes to show panache and what better way than by making their note taking solutions cross platform.
Microsoft has taken this on whole hog with OneNote and the thing they have received in return is accolades from the tech analysts. For some users, when they see this, their response is simply this is the way it always should have been. The market is not simply primed for this but the expect it.
For Now we have Lots of Choices but a very Easy One to Work with is MetaNota, SimpleNote or Evernote
Your notes to yourself and to others included in an email are often very important. Although the information might be simple textual information, what lies with in that Note might be extremely important. It shouldn’t be left just to say sit in the Apple world. Many people that you work with use other devices and our nirvana would be to see all these devices easily sharing information.
For this, I like the MetaNota, SimpleNote, Evernote approach. It isn’t ideal for all my information but it is an easy way to keep your notes cross platform.
I can think of so many other players that could benefit from that. If you look simply at the Apple world we have some great solutions. Yet, there are more that suit different styles and needs. As an example, why not migrate Together or iDocument to say Android. All the sync’g can be done via Dropbox and one of Dropbox’s major future roles might be managing these connections. They are already doing it with open protocols whereas Apple has a tight lid on the game through iCal.
Fruux; the dark Horse in this Derby
Finally, let’s remember Apple is by far the only game in town. Fruux, an open source standard built on standards such as Caldav and Cardav can easily play in this game bringing all kinds of disparate items to bay. It’s not easiest of the services that exists to learn but the important thing is it’s there to be used now.