Computer operating systems have been moving ahead only incrementally for the past few years, but the radical alternative introduced by smartphones and tablet computers threatens to change all that. Apple’s next desktop operating system looks set to take many cues from the company’s own iOS, used on the iPhone and iPad. And why not? The consistency and application-focus of the mobile operating system makes for a much improved user experience.
But what of the applications? Will they too undergo changes? I certainly think so. Take a look at Google Scribe. This is an online text-editing application, and takes advantage of being able to access an ever-updating data source at Google. It also takes ideas which have come directly from mobile devices, such as text completion. A generation is growing up so used to features like this that it’s almost necessary for them to be made available in desktop applications now.
Google Scribe is great fun to use, and without doubt points the way forward for text creation applications. Type in part of a word, and the likely remainder of the word is completed just a few characters in. It’s amazingly good in its predictions, but then again, it comes from a company which has a copy of most of the web, so it should be able to guess better than most what you’re likely to be typing. Once you’ve typed in one word, it’s even more likely to be able to guess the next. In fact, amazingly, you can type one or two words and then just keep hitting space (to signal acceptance of the suggested word) and a pretty coherent sentence results, made entirely from predicted words. Give it a try, and while you’re at it, include a web URL in your sentence and see what happens.