April 11, 2014Published by: Drew Benvie

Why apps will become obsolete

Phil Libin Evernote

Apps were a revolution  when smartphones started to get big. Now we are facing an era of digital and social interactions on TVs, watches, cars, devices that don't have screens at all (like lights bulbs, pedometers and fridges).

We are also spending less time in each app, doing the open-refresh-scan-close cycle with app after app again and again all day long, and this means apps 'don't make a lot of sense any more'. These are the words of Evernote CEO Phil Libin, who spoke at the F.ounders event in New York last night alongside Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey.

Libin's vision for the future of digital is compelling and a must-read. Here is an excerpt from Forbes' write-up of the talk:

...We went from desktop computers to laptops, and then to smartphones and tablets, and now to wearables and connected devices. We use desktop computers, or laptops, for two to three hours, and we use smartphones for two or three minutes at a time, 50 times a day. On computers with long session lengths it makes sense to use powerful software with files and databases. On phones, it makes more sense to use apps for our two-minute interactions.


But when we move to wearables, session length will drop from two minutes to two seconds, Libin said. The challenge will be figuring out how to make someone productive for one second at a time, 1,000 times a day. Apps are irrelevant in the world of wearables, because "when any given interaction is a second long, you definitely don't have time to think about apps," Libin said. "It has to be more of a service."


"Evernote and other companies that make this transition will have to be a service that's just there," he said. "The right design in augmented intelligence is stuff you don't notice. It just sort of works."

Mind-blowing stuff isn't it. Evernote's all about making you smarter, and wearable technology is helping us get there too. Digital implants and tattoos are already here. Seeing where we go next will be an exciting experience no doubt about that.

Image courtesy of Forbes

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