Birchtree
By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.

For the First Time in 15 Years, the Most Exciting New Apps I Use are Web-First

"Planner" apps are getting a lot of attention in the productivity space right now, and the general idea of them is that they can be your calendar as well as your task manager all in one place. They often sport a bunch of integrations as well to pull in data from other sources so that your work is automatically collected in this one place. Some even have basic note-taking features, and basically all of them have collaboration features built in to make working with a team easier.

A couple of these that I've been poking at include Sunsama, Akiflow, Motion, and Routine. And while I'm not prepared to drop my Things + Fantastical setup that I've been using for years, I do think that what these apps are doing is exciting, and it feels like it's just a matter of time until I am using an app like these (even if that app is made by Cultured Code or Flexibits).

What's interesting is that of those four services, only one of them has a mobile app (Sunsama). Additionally, none of these are native Mac or Windows apps, they're built for the web first.

I just think it's interesting to see a new category of app gaining momentum, and it's doing it all on the web (with Electron apps for Mac and Windows), rather than on mobile devices. Given the past 15 years where all software innovation seemed to have moved over to iOS and Android, I think it's notable that a lot of new and innovative apps start their lives on the web these days, and then come to mobile later. I don't particularly dig this other category, but we see the same thing with crypto projects, most of which are often not possible on iOS, and would not even be allowed due to App Store rules if they were possible.

Many of these apps won't make it, but that's not the point, the point is that after a decade and a half of every new and exciting app I came across being mobile-first, now the most exciting stuff I see is desktop-first, and really web-first, with mobile apps "coming soon".

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