You may not be able to tell, but we have already entered the multiverse. It was born back in 2007.
Remember the days before the multiverse when all you had to do was build a Windows desktop app, and that Windows desktop app was all you needed in order to be successful? That 90% of the market used Windows and all you needed to do was to envision, build and test apps built in Visual Basic or Visual C++? Ah, those were the days.
You built for Windows and that was it. Maybe Mac OS if you had a more artsy app, and Linux if you were more hard core tech. Like some kind of back end server app.
Along came the web, and then things split along two lines – you had desktop apps and Web apps. Even then, web apps were fairly simple. At the time, some forward thinking companies simply decided to give up on their desktop apps and move straight to the cloud and be web only (notably Salesforce, one of the first SaaS products out there). For the longest time, all you needed to worry about was desktop (mostly) and/or web. And the web itself wasn’t very complicated.
Things were settling down. Maybe things would just move to the web, and on any client, we’d be back to a universe on web. No such luck for beleaguered IT folks.
Fast forward to the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, not even 10 years ago. That was the end of the web only world, as mobile apps became a new channel that one had to cover. This was the beginning of the platform multiverse, which has since exploded into multiple versions and flavors of Android, Windows Phone, not to mention Tizen and who knows what else may come down the pipe (Xiomi’s xOS anyone?)
June 29, 2007 the multiverse was born. Now you not only needed to build websites, you had to build mobile apps. Two platforms. Not so bad, right?
Then when Android phones hit, October 22, 2008, a new mobile platform was added to the multiverse. Android, being open sourced, unlike iOS, suddenly multiplied into hundreds of variations and versions. A true multiverse of platforms. This also precipitated an explosion in devices. There may only be a 6 iPhone versions, but there are literally hundreds of different Android phone form factors out there, from every manufacturer under the sun.
What’s a developer to do? You have to attempt to support most everything that’s out there – so you attempt to manage the multiverse of platforms and devices. No small feat. Two platforms and two devices blew up into 3 major platforms (and tons of minor platforms in Android versions) and hundreds of devices. But that’s not all.
Browser Wars, Redux
Additionally, since then, markets all over the world have radically changed. Since 2008, some have exploded and some have contracted. While your home market may be doing poorly, there are huge numbers of new consumers overseas who may be clamoring for your products. But your site/apps are all in English for an American market – when there may be huge demand in Asia or Europe for your product. Enter the next phase of the multiverse: multilingual and multicultural. Not only did you have build web and mobile apps, they had to be translated and localized for other markets.
You cannot ignore international markets anymore. Even SMBs, no matter where they are, are looking to enter global markets. In our interconnected world, anyone can sell to anyone, anywhere. So why ignore a potential market? Especially if they are huge, like China.
So the multiverse expands : multi-platform, multi-device, multi-lingual, multi-cultural – we are in the middle of the biggest proliferation of devices, platforms and languages the software world has ever seen. Not only that – you’ve probably heard the phrase “the big used to eat the small, now the fast eat the slow” – how do you improve time to market while at the same time, deal with the complexities of the multiverse for your app or site?
More than ever before, you need help to respond to the multiverse.
Join the multiverse today. We can help. We’ve built and tested both mobile and web apps for every platform and device, in 80 languages worldwide.
So you want to enter the multiverse? C’mon, lets go.