As 2012 is in the books, much has been written about tech and consumer application developments over the last year - and what's coming in 2013. A good review of what happened in 2012 can be found on Techmeme's headline stack: top headlines and 'biggest' stories. In thinking about how my digital behaviors have changed over the last year - not much stood out as fundamental shifts. And it's not because I am bored per se... it's because my behaviors were mostly incremental advances on already existing trends. For instance: - yes, I use mobile far more than laptop / desktop - yes, I consider Facebook to be more important as an identity mechanism than a social environment - yes, I use Twitter and Facebook as my portal into news and content - yes, my fitness world is filled with data and synced across my mobile device - and yes, I could lose any of my devices, would financially be upset, but ultimately wouldn't care much because my life is synced in the cloud: photos, contacts, notes, files, emails, apps, etc
So what was fundamentally different for me? The appification of software... and I don't mean mobile apps - I mean traditionally boxed software that was expensive, painful to install, impossible to sync, etc. I purchase Aperture via the MacOS store while on vacation last week. It downloaded over hotel wifi (Disney World's wifi, for what it's worth, is excellent) and was available on all of machines. Thats a far better, easier experience than we used to live in.
More importantly - there is zero friction in purchase. And that pertains to expensive products (Aperture is ~$75) and to inexpensive products (apps, games, etc). I find myself purchasing more often because it is easy, fun and works across my devices.
Example: the one part of Windows that I loved was the native locking of window sizes. It bugs me that Mac doesn't have something like that. Enter MacOS store - download BetterSnap Tool for $1.99 (a top 100 grossing app) and it's solved.
While we move from laptop and desktop to mobile, so does the software experience... even if we are still on laptop and desktop.