Are You Ready For The Multiverse?

Building, developing and launching applications used to be easy. When computers were first invented, most applications were run on a mainframe or minicomputer, and the terminals on people’s desktops were “dumb,” in that they didn’t have any actual computing power, they were simply windows to the computer itself. This was great for IT staff as they only needed to worry about the mainframe or the minicomputer, since it was the only processing technology.

But progression and change are a constant. Once desktop computers became commonplace, most applications were built to run directly on your computers – you’d either build something in Visual C++ or Visual Basic, compile it, and sometimes use an installer to make it easier for your customers to install it.

Then things changed again.The web became common and started to get functional. That was the birth of the multiverse! Fairly soon, enterprising developers realized that the web had a lot more potential, and they were able to develop fairly simplistic applications which required forms and data being passed back to the server, processed the data (they pressed into service text processing languages like Perl into service) and then return the result in simple HTML. So apps split into two – you had desktop apps and web apps.

Then, Apple came out with the iPhone, and the model was again upended. Instead of using web applications, where the bulk of the processing was on the backend and the end computer or smartphone was simply a window into that world, Apple encouraged the creation of “apps” – basically applications – which would run on the iPhone. These “apps” were just like desktop applications, pieces of code you would download and install on your phone. In order to get the full functionality of the application, it was preferred that you wrote an iPhone app. This was the beginning of the end of the web-only world as mobile apps grew and eventually became a new channel that one had to cover.

On June 29, 2007 the multiverse was born. Now you not only needed to build websites, you had to build mobile apps. Two platforms. Not so bad, right…? WRONG. The multiverse has become exponentially complex. There is no possible way that you can test every possible configuration and combination of devices.

Or is there?

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