This blog will look at the concept “Software above the level of a single device”, the fifth of eight patterns as defined by Tim O’Reilly. From all the previous blogs “Harnessing collective intelligence” , “Data is the Intel Inside”, “Innovation in Assembly” and “Rich user experience” we can see that the world of Web 2.0 is evolving at a rapid rate.
The vast increase of smartphones used has brought us into an era of ubiquitous computing. So what does this mean? It means that applications and web 2.0 can now be accessible not only on ones PC but now on multiple devices (laptop, smartphones, tablets etc). You can now shop online on your smartphone on the move and even your tablet! Gaming has also moved towards not only PC but mobile devices.
One other feature of Web 2.0 that deserves mention is the fact that it’s no longer limited to the PC platform.- Tim O’reilly
The PC is no longer the only access device for Internet applications, and applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected. – Professor Jason Watson’s Week 7 lecture
The interactions between many devices is not a big feature in the world of ubiquitous computing, an application that demonstrates this is “Skype”. Skype allows people to call, message, share and see others where ever they are in the world. Skype is accessible on ones PC, smartphones and even tablets. This shows that this application doesn’t just run on a single device, but it runs on multiple devices. If someone wanted to call their mum/dad their mum or dad they can do it from a PC however their mum/dad could answer the call from their smartphone!
Lets look at some best practices that Skype has adopted based on the 7 best practices that Professor Jason Watson’s from QUT pointed out regarding “Software above the level of a single device”.
1) Design from the start to share data across devices, servers, and networks
Skype offers users many functions such as voice calls, video calls, chat and sharing data. Skype was designed to share data across multiple devices. Recently, MSN messenger has merged with skype bring both networks together. Users can now use skype and it’s features as long as they have internet connection on their device.
2) Think location aware
Skype can utilize wireless signals to enable users to call/transmit/receive data. Most devices have wireless/GPS and bluetooth built in, as long as there is internet connection skype can be used and accessible.
3) Extend Web 2.0 to devices
Skype not only can be used on PC but the application is extended to mobile devices as well! You can also link your Skype to the popular Facebook application!
4) Use the power of the network to make the edge smarter
Once a user is logged into Skype on their mobile device even if they aren’t using their phone Skype is still active because it is still connected to the network. By doing this messages can still be sent to a receiver unless the have actually logged out of the Skype application. All personal Skype information are stored on the server.
5) Leverage devices as data and rich media sources
As mentioned before weather on your PC or mobile device, Skype allows users to use the device to access rich media sources Skype offers. This includes: video calling, data transferring, chatting and voice calls.
6) Make one-click peer-production a priority
Skype once installed is simple to use, when chatting or sending data users just have to click the “send” button to send the data to the recipient.
7) Enable data location independence