The Next Killer Feature for Web Applications
Every week we come across another new product with realtime collaboration at its core. Two weeks ago it was Airstory. Last week it was Dropbox Paper, and this week Invision’s Craft. Some of these applications intend to disrupt current major players, and others are built from the ground up to address an unsatisfied need. Regardless, these innovative apps are hugely exciting. Not just to validate our vision of a realtime web, but excitement around people finally getting the tools they need to collaborate, regardless of where they are in the world. Tools to unlock the massive creative potential of humanity, without the restrictions of physical location.
The last five years have been hugely exciting for web development, not just because of the blistering pace of technical innovation but the mind-blowingly feature-rich apps being built on top of it. Let’s take a look at some of the recent announcements:
- (2013) Microsoft adds real-time coauthoring to its Office WebApps suite
- (2013) Cloud9 IDE adds realtime collaborative editing to its product
- (2014) Google adds realtime multi-editing to its note-taking app, Keep
- (2016) Figma adds “multiplayer mode” to its core product
- (2016) Microsoft adds realtime collaboration to its web-based Powerpoint app
- (2016) Apple introduces realtime collaboration tools in its popular iWork suite
Already, realtime multi-editing capabilities are major differentiating features in many different types of applications, from word processing to diagramming to design tools. As web technologies make entirely new categories of applications feasible, these apps are embracing what people already expect from the modern web: communication, sharing, and collaboration. There are upstarts attacking the established desktop software that has dominated their industries, yet stagnated for so long. The one killer feature shared between all of them? Realtime collaboration.
The pace is quickening. We’re seeing rapid expansion in realtime software across many industries. As more products build in this functionality from the beginning, users will begin to expect it in all the software they use. What will your application look like in three years? Will it meet the expectations of ever-demanding young users? Will it help or hinder the growing numbers of distributed teams? We’ve lowered the barrier so you can add realtime collaboration to your app — no more making excuses. Soon enough, your users won’t let you!
Contact us today for ideas on how to include realtime collaboration in your app.
Originally published at Convergence.