Something definitely different is happening. When people refer to cross platform they are often talking IOS to OSX. They are definitely two different platforms but IOS is built on the foundation of OSX.
Cross platform is really about an application truly crossing platforms. It is about Windows applications running transparently on the Mac. It is about IOS applications and OSX applications running transparently atop Android. The applications look identical one platform to the other and one well ported app will run identically. The better this is all done, the better are the results of implementing a good cross platform system.
Systems that are Designed to be Cross Platform
Many systems that have been designed for Android can’t run in a vacuum. They could but the result will be substantially less than impressive. Learning will be harder and it won’t be as apparent the apps are sometimes only minimally designed properly.
You tend to see this more with apps that were designed with cross platform in mind. Although one can find a lot of choices for good cross platform systems some are compromised. As an example, Chaos Control, a task management system for iOS and Android, although a full GTD system, could run much better.
Another task management program called Conque can be considered a downright disaster. This is not the idea behind a good cross platform system.
Well Built Systems
One of the better known cross platform suites, Todoist, has been met by rave revues. It is totally consistent from one platform to the other. It is considered one of the best task management systems from one platform to the next. Learn Todoist on Android and you can easily run it on the Mac.
There are many such programs, like Ticktick, which has a very consistent user experience one platform to another. Architected somewhat similarly to Things 3, it has a huge benefit in the it can work cross platform. It’s considered an easy to use system much like Things 3 but unlike Things it can cross the great divides.
The Beginning of Major Android Systems Ports from IOS/OSX
The most significant aspects of Cross Platform ports of excellent IOS software to IOS is underway and it harkens a dawn of a new age in which the platform is liberated by the software. The first most significant port was 2do for Android. 2do for Android looks identical to 2do for IOS and OSX. There is some of the 0ther software that has made it’s way from the Apple ecosystem to that of Android such a Todo another productivity task management system.
However, we are about to see some of the most significant Mac software make it’s way to Android fully opening the platforms to use the best platforms available.
Day One for Android
Day One is currently working on their beta of their very popular journaling system Day One. In the final stages of development, the software that will make it’s way to the Android platform will be 100% compatible with it’s Mac brethren while at the same time totally tuned to the Android environment. This a major step. A significant player is stepping into the cross platform waters with a tried and true application that will blend into an ecosystem that will no longer be all about Apple.
Day One Android every bit as Good as anything Else in the the Day One Stead
Day One Android is first class software. It runs ideally with everything else in the Day One lineup. In beta, I have found not one flaw with the software and I can say it is fast. As we move towards multi-media in our work the power that can be obtained by an Android unit with this finely tuned software certainly will not be outdone by any other platform capable of running the software.
To remain as competitive in this space as Day One, you would likely have to think about going cross platform also. The app syncs seamlessly into a flawless ecosystem with all the advanced journaling capabilities Day One is known for.
Imagine now working with an iMac, an iPad but for some reason there is that Android phone you’ve always been fond of. Your diary is critical to you and you use Day One frequently. There is now nothing to prevent you from buying and trying that Android phone.
Imagine further, if you will, you’re the only one in the family who has an Android and you write your diary on Day One Android. You’ve always wanted to share aspects of your diary with some of your family members but there was no way doing that till you all started using Day One. Now the experience is seamless. Walls fall down. You don’t have to fall down buying what you feel is that silly Apple toy your family uses. You’re writings can finally fit into that world.
Day One Android by Bloom Due, to it’s Visibility, Sets the Course
To be clear, it’s not that cross platform isn’t happening in every area, significant or not. However, some of the best software made resides in the Apple ecosystem. It is likely few have not heard of Day One and Bloom the development company responsible for the marketing of the software. With their considered effort to move Day One to Android and absorb this platform environment into Day One, this is dramatically significant. It is significant from more than one angle.
First and foremost, this is a move by one of the most meaningful Journaling software companies to breach this ground. Now we Mac users who happen to be Journalizers have at hand the best software on the market for this. You cannot say, in this case, Android is inferior. More precisely, they have crossed the bound and made their software, for all intents and purpose in the Journaling camp the software to buy for various reasons.
Secondly, the move sets a precedent. This can be done with the variety of benefits that come from doing it. As the oft quoted Nike ad says, Just do It. Thus, now that a major player has done something as significant as this, others will likely follow. The new guys on the block are cross platform to a large degree and if you don’t do it you could easily find yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
Thirdly, lock in is not such an issue. You don’t have to have an iPhone to feel safe. A recent report though said that teenagers and young people in North America like the iPhone simply because of iMessage. They can easily message each other because the system is all the same and Apple has said they won’t port iMessage to Android. Blackberry did this and look at the good it did them. Yet now it does sit on every major platform and if you were to decide to do something different than imessage there certainly are a wealth of options.
Apple does need to compete on the merits of their platforms and not locking. Traditionally this has backfired in everyone’s face. Something like this is fairly trivial to the I.T. department whereas a good platform, open to functionality will win the day. If the iPhone can run whatever the messaging app which is the flavour of the month more competitively, iPhone will win or it could be someone else. Function, Benefit and cost are analyzed as a whole which will lead to a recommendation. If I.T. doesn’t have the money for 10,000 iPhones while at the same time the iPhone is coming up weak in another area this will win the day. Cross platform helps to ensure the best is in place; the platform the user wants to use while at the same time they are not deprived of solid function.
Apple has little to Worry about As Long as they Don’t Put on the Wrong Eye Glasses
Although there are some programs that provide cross platform function in the Journaling space only a few are complete however, their interfaces are very poor. As an example Penzu would fall into this category as the interface is very poor.
Then there are the products that almost complete the loop but they really are mediocre. Journaly is one such product but it doesn’t run on the iPad and thus it is less than what one would want. It doesn’t work very well at this point either.
There is Diario which has a much better interface but doesn’t run natively on the Mac. I trust this will change with time and it will be spruced up to be more fun to deal with.
Finally, there is Journey which is an award winning program but although Journey runs very nicely on the Mac System there currently isn’t an IOS only port. Access to the server is by the server. Still, for many this was a comprehensive program that runs nicely cross platform.
With Android Day One there is now a program to set the standard. Once the Android port is released, there will be a full fledged, cross Platform system that runs beautifully and consistently in all the environments . In essence, Day One currently would be your go to, high end journaling application to record and reflect on your life. If you are serious about dynamic writing this would be your prime tool to choose from.
Since you’re writing about yourself no matter what the level, it behooves you to choose nothing but the best and that which works for you the best. If there was another program that had all of this functionality, you could say it is also a highly competitive space. Not yet.
I’m going to leave you with this clip from the “First Wives club” as a metaphor for don’t lock me in and you have to be brave. It is inspirational if nothing else and sometimes when we take on something that asks us to reflect on who we are you have drawn that metaphorical line in the sand but the outcome of doing it can and should be very rewarding.