Portable appications not just web applications

So I came up with this a while ago but never got around to posting it - on looking at it now I think maybe it would be more appropriate to call them distributed applications not portable applications, however I’ll run with the name I started with.

I’ve been thinking about the trend lately to build things as web apps rather then desktop apps - or the create web apps which attempt to replace desktop apps.

I love alot of the new apps coming out - but I think people are missing part of the point.

The cool thing with the spead of the internet is the possibility of ‘portable’ applications not just web applications. What do I mean? Well I think there is an opportunity for applications that are portable (or distributed)

  • in that you can access your data anywhere from any computer. This also requires that applications are portable in that they run on multiple platforms. This class of ‘portable’ applications includes web applications but it also includes desktop applications which store data on the web.

Mozilla Firefox is heading this way with their Weave project - which lets you store your settings, bookmarks, etc in the cloud, Chandler (which I’ve blogged about ) also fits this category.. Technologies such as Adobe Air show a lot of promise in making these kinds of desktop apps easy - especially desktop apps that are an extension of a web app.

Personally I’m a fan of both desktop applications which distribute your data - partly because I so often crash my web browser so having an application running seperately can be more useful. And also I find that applications which sit in the background  work better as desktop apps - such as time trackers, or twitter clients - they can sit in my windows status bar (or equivalent) rather then being a tab in the browser.

Hopefully we will see some great portable applications in the future :) I’ve certainly got a few ideas I’m playing with. Let me know about any portable apps you’ve found or ideas for apps you’d love to see!