Categories
Apps Editorial Operating Systems

The Illusion of platform choice. Part 3

In part one we examined Mobile Platforms & Desktop Platforms. In part two we examined Web Browsers. Today we will examine the ‘Universal Platform’, what it is, how it works and how we can get it. The ‘Universal Platform’ can be achieved two ways, through the operating system layer, or the apps layer.

What is the ‘Universal’ Operating System Layer?

The ‘Universal’ operating system layer is empty, impartial, it does not give preference to any one interested party. It is simply the layer that interfaces with the hardware and provides sockets for the Apps Layer. During initial setup of your device the OOBE (out of box experience) would be like this.

Industrial and UX Design by Modality Design

  • Unbox your device
  • Boot up shows hello screen
  • Choose language screen
  • Connect to Network screen
  • Select from a number of service providers (like Google Play Services) but from other potential service providers such as Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon and so on.
  • Sign into that service provider. Each Service Provider has access to the ‘Universal’ App Store, more on that below.
  • You are then presented a list of app categories.
  • For each category such as Launcher, Browser, Email, Calendar, Music, Movies, Social, Games, Productivity apps and so on, you then select from a grid of randomized Apps or search for the ones you want.
  • If this is your second time setting up a ‘Universal’ device then you can choose to install the same apps you selected last time. It will know this based on a backup from your service provider.
  • After app selection is completed your device will startup with all of the apps you chose and none of the apps you didn’t:)

What is ‘Universal’ Apps Layer?

The ‘Universal’ Apps Layer is made up of the Launcher and then the apps on top of it. This collection of the Launcher and the apps on top of it make up the majority of the user experience. It is also the direct result of market choices that the user has made. This collection should be easily retrievable during the second setup process.

What if we don’t have the ‘Universal’ OS Layer?

If we didn’t have the ‘Universal’ OS layer & setup process then you could install a Launcher of your choice that acts as the OS Layer. The launcher would need to backup a list of all of your previously installed apps and simply reinstall them on your behalf during your next device setup.

Example: If you had an Android phone with Microsoft Launcher, the launcher could remember your app list and preferences for setup of another device such as another phone, tablet or PC.

What if Android became the ‘Universal’ OS layer?

In order for Android to become the ‘Universal’ OS layer a few things would need to happen.

  • The Services layer would need to be modular-ized and thus optional in order to utilize the Google Play Store.
  • The Google Play Store would need to be broken up into only Apps and de-branded to be come a “Universal’ App Store.
  • Games would be supplied by other ‘Game Centric’ Stores
  • Movies & TV would come from Entertainment Stores.
  • E-Books would come from digital book stores.

The Break-up of the Google Play Store would create market opportunity for new players to compete and thus have a healthier and more competitive market place. Your personal data would then be decentralized and each vendor who provides a service would need to protect your data for fear that if they transgressed you could simply choose one of its competitors.

This of course is no short order and would be difficult. Platform De.Central is dedicated to articulating the vision of Market Choice, Data Privacy & being Platform Agnostic. We will examine issues related to these three key tenants and have a little fun along the way, we are glad you are along for the ride.

By Platform De.Central