It seems odd to do a whole series on mobile operating systems then follow end it with this oddly named blog but I wanted to underline the whole thing by just showing where OS is going and 2014 and beyond.
At the end of the day I’ve switched mobile device about twice every year and have various ones for various scenarios of my life. OK, so I’m in the business and i’m also a bit of a gadget freak but at the end of the day I wouldn’t do it unless it was easy. What I’m trying to say is that mobile OS’s have evolved these days to being so similar in many respects that switching from one to the other is now simple. I have a Samsung note 3, sporting Android v4.4 as my every day phone right now but at the weekends I revert to my smaller, more DIY and going out friendly iphone 4S. All my emails are on both devices, all my data is stored on Drop box anyway including all my photos and my appointments and contacts are all kept safe and sound via a google account that syncs to all my devices, whatever they are.
However when we come to the Enterprise world, typically people are using devices for 1 or 2 specific purposes, the devices are often locked down to that and as such the users probably don’t know what OS they have on them anyway. Add to this many businesses don’t have, can’t get or are removing their own OS expertise as it becomes too difficult and indeed expensive to keep up so OS choice is ironically becoming less of an issue in the Enterprise world or at least should do as the whole provision of a mobile solution is outsourced to the right technology partners.
So that brings me to what’s going on in the future then? Well 4G is a driving force as it is the technology that might finally make our mobile devices 100% connected. Once this happens why would we use an app over a good old optimised website? That means we can all use familiar web and database technologies to build anything we want on mobile and not worry about the OS that is using them. Sure we’ll have browser issues like we do now, but these represent a far easier issue than having the wrong OS or app.
We’re already seeing this shift with things like Firefox OS which runs it’s whole operating system within the Firefox browser and as hybrid frameworks get better and better at providing developers the lower hardware levels needed to unlock all the features of a device I think we’ll see a fundamental shift in features and solutions and the benefits they bring rather than a focus on the technology they run on.
So I would ask are businesses going to even care about OS in the future or a solution that just works for them?