A not-rainy, nicely cloudy, not-too-cold morning in Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday 10 January, 2023.
Just a short thing today because I am trying to write not faster but, er, shorter. Less. I am trying to write less.
Apps (sorry, applications or programs) and web apps love to have other apps inside them now, as if putting computers in things wasn’t bad enough, now we’re putting apps inside apps.
One reason why apps are in apps now is because if you your app supports apps inside it then you can have a platform and platforms are great because they are a) giant megastructures in oceans that are terrifyingly large that maybe one day might be repurposed into giant carbon scrubbers and be a jobs program for the oil and gas industry, and b) are ways for software companies to make even more money from software by persuading other people to make software that lives in your software. Phew.
All of this means that Zoom has apps now, which isn’t an entirely bad idea. Zoom, the app for ensuring the knowledge worker parts of an economy continue to work when there’s a pandemic, is mainly for making sure that you can see other people, but sometimes you want to type things to other people or try to draw things with your mouse pointer. So there are things like a whiteboard in Zoom. But the smart people who make Zoom realized that Zoom was also being used by people to look at whatever multiplayer Google Doc or Jira or Miro or Mural or whatever at the same time. So Zoom lets you share screens which is kind of okay, but what if you could do everything you wanted inside Zoom? That would be neat!
Look. Here is the Zoom App Dock that inexplicably appeared in Zoom a few weeks ago:
It is not great, partly because the bottom Zoom nav bar already had an icon for “Apps” but its numbers were not going up and to the right enough, so someone had the bright idea to put the Apps In Your Face. FaceApps.
Anyway. Now we’re in the wonderful situation of, e.g.:
And I get what it’s trying to do: it opens up Miro (a web app) inside Zoom, lets you create a new Miro document and there are some hacks/features to let you collaborate in the Zoom window with the Miro app which kind of works, if your guests are 1) logged in to Zoom and not using Zoom as a guest and 2) have installed the Miro app in Zoom which they may or may not be allowed to do based on their organizations policies.
Phew! But all of this is to say that now there are apps in your app and here’s a few observations:
Anyway. Now you have apps in your apps. Not a bad thing? Sometimes done badly? I definitely do not like the sudden intrusion of this Zoom App Dock, though.
A quick one for Tuesday. How are you doing? I’m pretty meh.