This is a thought piece for web developers.
Between my tablet and my smart phone, I don’t really pick up the laptop as much as I used to – not by a long shot. The big monolithic desktop sits back in my office, and sees even less of my face than the Laptop.
It’s a new age – we’re on the go more, we’re at the desk less – and what about that office? Do we need it anymore? We’re finding out now that the more you actually sit at a desk, the sooner you’re going to die, so really we don’t even need the office anymore.
As I go from place to place, I see less and less upper management who even have offices, and more people working from home anyway.
So back to this computer based web browser – how long will we continue to develop for it? And at that point, who exactly will we be developing for?
Who can’t get away from the computer, probably ever?
Maybe writers. Graphics editors? I can see them doing their work on tablets. Video production? Maybe. Programmers? Guys, we programmers might actually be the last ones to abandon the computer. The only people who will probably stay on the laptop are those who benefit from the keyboard / mouse, and those who absolutely need that giant screen – or possibly two screens.
So what will become of the web browser now? “Mobile First” is actually a goal for many companies who have popular websites. Now when you pull their site on a web browser, you get a responsive mobile version of the website – for the most part.
In 2014, internet access did a flip – there are now more people accessing the internet via mobile technology than by fixed internet access. The mobile devices are everywhere.
So when will web developers basically become mobile developers? Will we even retain the concept of the mobile browser on mobile devices?
All we are really interested in these days is the transfer of information, and yes browsers are good at that, but so is Facebook, and other social media.
When will we break away from the idea that the browser represents the content of the internet?
There have been times when I have learned plenty by skimming a topic in twitter – without ever clicking on a link and going to a web page.
My RSS reader does me the same way – and RSS itself – just a standardized way of delivering information – not unlike REST – which most of the other apps are using to move information around.
Just stuff to think about. As a developer – where are you focusing your time? Are you learning (a) mobile technology yet? Are you paying attention to the way the landscape is changing?
And Even More Than That Is Changing
Even within the realm of mobile development itself – things are changing fast from an application based experience to a more holistic view of data moving around within the mobile device, not so much connected to the app that it originated from – becoming a more streamlined and connected experience. You can now interact with apps via the (OS) notification they produce, without having to go to that app.
These shifts in thinking are even more likely to spell doom for the browser as an entity and will certainly keep us developers and engineers on our toes. Just stuff to think about – time to prepare. Have you ever taken a Java class?