The software market has been growing for years, already having features that make it extremely powerful, but, in my opinion, it needs a better structure.
Software: the common name for operating systems and apps
Today software, as a group of digital abilities that you get turning on your device, consists of systems, which are interfaces defining how you see and feel the cyber-world, and apps, which are our digital tools, enabling us to experience and make use of the world.
The point is that what for years have been working natively on a device, now is getting online. This makes that we can both use software via a web browser without installing it onto a computer and natively on a device when there is no an internet connection. Nevertheless, very often the latter use the former.
Software is currently scattered all over the Internet
An entity, which you run on your device is no more only a native program. Very often it is a comprehensive infrastructure, which, connecting to the internet, make use of plenty of various technologies to enable you to stream music, movies, virtually spend time with friends and more.
Everyday there is more and more such software available for our devices. Some of them we use via an internet browser, others we install through an app store and others we download from producers' websites. Whatever form we talk about, the software lives in the Internet and as for now it is chaotically scattered all over it.
We should categorize software in a different way
Nowadays, when the number of apps out there is so large, the large amount of their categories makes it difficult to browse and search for new ones. Since today official app stores are the main resources for getting apps, the way they categorize them defines how effective it is to find the one we need. Because they do this by very general names of industries the apps belong to, browsing them is neither intuitive nor it gives any pleasure.
Rather than treat each app as a different software, in my opinion, we should focus on their job itself and treat all apps from within the same category just as its various interfaces. This way, rather than categorize them by industries, i.e. "music", "medical" or "lifestyle", we should do this by the work they do: "music streamer" for music streaming services, "movie streamer" for those that stream videos and "word processor", "graphics editor" or "project manager" for those that, respectively, enable to process text, edit a graphics and manage a project.
Creating such categories, the tools that users need, and not an interface itself, would become the ultimate product. This way we would not have to browse through thousand of apps blindly, but through several from within a particular category.
Each place concerning software has its specific purposes to serve
Analyzing all places users have to interact with during the process of getting and using software, one can realize that the whole process is messy and non-intuitive. If one look closer to this, one can see that for doing the same activities, various apps requires different steps. Because of that, for many users just logging into a new app, which very often requires to find, learn, download and install, sign up and buy it before, may be a challenge.
All the steps before the start of using any app should be the same, therefore it requires a normalization. From my point of view, each place we have to interact with during the process of getting software has its specific purposes to serve, and naming thm is the first step to make it unified and thereby intuitive.
A general space with software for searching for new apps
Because each official app store is tied to a particular operating system and contains apps only for its environment, it is hard to make a general search.
Apps' web commercials for learning about, and buying, particular ones
From the very beginning websites have been documents providing users with information. Apps' websites goal is to provide users with an introduction of them.
Native installation interfaces for searching for specific ones and installing them on particular systems
Installing apps via official installation interfaces like App Store and Google Play is the safest way of working with software and finding specific ones is easy and convenient.
After all, we all live in common Metaverse
After all, above all devices and operating systems they are driven by, we all live in common Metaverse and the operating systems are just its interfaces that define the way we see, feel and thereby experience it.
The key determinant of to what extent we feel the commonality is the number of apps available on all of the interfaces. If we can seamlessly start a job on Mac and finish it on Windows, then, in fact, we do not feel any switch. Otherwise, using two different operating systems, we feel like we are in completely different environments and this is wrong because it is a false impression. We all live in the same.
Hence, since the ones that define how truly we see and feel the Metaverse are apps, they are what we should focus on in order make the commonality visible. And in my opinion the aspect that affects our perception is the way we get and distribute apps across different operating systems. From my point of view, if we unify the way users get and developers distribute apps, enabling to make it from single place regardless of using OSes, we will "open" the Metaverse making it existing not only implicitly but explicitly as well.
The ideology behind today's official app stores seems to be wrong
The very first assumption I made when I started thinking about the industry of getting and distributing apps was that this is illogical that we use an app to buy and install apps.
The fact that for getting some kind of items, another item of the same kind is used is, to some extent, against the nature of things. In fact, it is like we would somehow buy cars from a car rather than from a showroom or get ovens from an oven rather than from a home appliance store. Hence, the platform used for getting apps should not be an app.
In general it indeed may be right to require apps to be installed through a native interface like it works on iOS or Android. Nevertheless, the interface should not be an app itself. It, in order to be mechanically in consonance with the above theory, could work on the system implicitly.
The way software is being got across different operating systems escalate isolation
I believe that the way that users get, and developers distribute, software across different operating systems defines how the platforms, and hence computers and their users, cooperate with each other. Moreover I think that how it works today, i.e. on each platform we use both different store and different installation interface, in my opinion, exacerbates an isolation between them, makes it difficult for users with different OSes to cooperate and causes that they focus on choosing a suitable software, rather than on the job they have to do itself.
From my point of view, if we would normalize and unify it - the way we get (and distribute) software - we would blur the line between operating systems and implicitly open and merge a working (and playing) environment, already divided onto smaller ones, defined by different operating systems, into a global and general one. We can do this by giving users a tool for searching software available on all desired by them platforms, helping them out to find apps that work on all operating system they use.
I see this normalization as a general space with software, one for all operating systems, which gathers and lists software for all of them, where one can search for apps available on all desired ones. A place which enables to discover, buy and install apps, there where it is possible, giving users a choice where they can do this.
Searching for new software should be easy for, and open to, everyone
Applications are an essence of any computer. This is why completing an ideal software stack is so important. And this is why it should be easy.
But it is not. Since each store with apps like App Store, Google Play or Microsoft Store is a commercial product and is tied to particular company and environment, the business requires it not to focus on the matter of software itself or on providing truly the best apps in general. Instead, it requires to focus on providing the most profitable ones, in order to earn as much as possible, and only to those who use a particular environment.
This is why I believe that the Software (as a collection of apps) and browsing the Software should work similarly to the way the Web (as a collection of documents) and browsing the Web work. I believe that similarly to the Web, it should exist independently of an existence of App Store or Google Play, as well as it should not be commercially tied to any company, focusing on users not an income, and should be open to everyone, whatever environment they use.
In my opinion, if we would create the Software as a network of apps, both web and native, treating current app stores just as installation interfaces of native ones, we would make searching for them easier and open to everyone, exactly like the way of searching for and using any document on the Web is easy and open.
The way software have to be distributed is messy
The industry for years has been teaching us that using different operating systems, we live in completely different worlds. In my opinion, all developers, regardless of an OS they develop for, live in the same, cyber world and operating systems are just interfaces, defining how we see and feel the world. But the world is one. Hence, in my opinion, deploying apps into each installation interface (App Store, Microsoft Store, Google Play), we, in fact, upload it into one place - into the cyber world. I believe that in the case of software, which is an essence of any device, there should be a single interface, which enable to maintain all things concerning deployment from there. We need a single, public, not tied to any institution space for distributing apps. Creating a normalized way for getting apps across different operating systems would blur the line between the OSes for users. Get distributing software normalized, would blur it for developers, creating one, general, open world for everyone.
It works as if each operating system was a different world
whereas we all live in the same one, regardless of using OS. But the fact that for each system we use a different distributing interface, makes flase impression that it is not like that.
Being found by users is difficult
Especially when the app is new, it takes months to get to the top of the store and be discovered by a user.
Selling apps is divided across operating systems
Nowadays there is no any general marketplace for selling software. Whereas there are solutions focused on music or movies, there still is no any modern approach to software and the matter of selling them across various operating systems.
Owning apps is different than it was before
In fact, rather than buy, we lend them out. In my opinion, we need a solution that would be a response to the fact, exactly like in the case of music and movie industries.
Their amount is enormously large
There are millions of apps out there. People does not use only one app from a particular category. It is not, but should be, taken into account in the way app stores work today.
The way producers have to direct users to download their app is disordered
A concept of simplification of placing download links on apps' websiteThe fact that on a website, where the app is being introduced, they have to place several links to various stores, in case of each of the producers locating them in a different part of the site and using different design, makes the process of getting the app very chaotic and non-intuitive for users.
Whereas it may indeed be right that each operating system has its own installation interface, in my opinion, there should be just one, central and general space with software, which is responsible for directing to a proper one, optionally, if using such an interface is not required, enabling to download the app directly from the space.
If we normalize the users' installation path, they will not have to learn on each website how to get the app. It will be standardized, hence intuitive and, after some time, easy.
We all should have a choice of where and how we buy, install and distribute software
In my opinion, this is the power of ultimate solutions - they are not associated with any specific company, they are general and their only purpose is to serve people, not to make an income.
I think that already existing solutions where we can search for an inspiration are protocols - for example email or web ones. Using any operating system, mobile or desktop, we are not forced to use any particular interface - neither a particular internet browser nor a specific email service - to make a use of the amazing technologies. We are free to choose Safari or Google Chrome to browse the Web and free to choose Gmail, Apple Mail or Hey for sending emails. In my opinion, this is the power of ultimate solutions - they are not associated with any specific company, they are general and their only purpose is to serve people, not to make an income.
From my point of view, the software industry (i.e. the process of getting and distributing apps) should work as such a protocol, with Microsoft Store, App Store and Google Play on top just as interfaces. This way, the industry would not only become commercially-independent of any corporation, but also, similarly to the Web and emails - it would implicitly create one, great and general environment (called Metaverse), where operating system just defines how we see and feel it, exactly like internet browsers, which just define how we see and feel the Web and email services, which influence how we see and feel an email communication. After all, they do not determine their existence themselves.
Exactly like today the app stores gathers all options (applications) for browsing the Web (internet browsers) and sending emails (email services), the general software network should gather all options (app stores) for installing, buying and distributing apps.
On the other hand, I think that the way that nowadays the system works on computers is not perfect. We do can choose whether we will install or buy an app from the Internet or Microsoft (or App) Store, but there is no a platform, which bonds the options and introduce them in consistent form to users. And, from my point of view, that makes a mess.
Hence, exactly like today the app stores gathers all options (applications) for browsing the Web (internet browsers) and sending emails (email services), the general software space should gather all options (app stores) for installing, buying and distributing apps, giving all of us as a choice of where we can do these activities, aggregating all the options on a single platform.