1 Mar 2012
I’m a few thousand feet in the air as I write this, trapped in the center seat on an evening flight home. The plane is dark, but I’m surrounded by illuminated faces, each lit up as the passengers around me work or play on a laptop, tablet, or phone. After an hour or two, I realize just how, well, varied the devices are.
The diversity almost comes off as a bit contrived: I turn my head and count a couple Nokia smartphones, more than a few iOS devices, a Windows netbook, and a couple Mac laptops. I get up to fetch some water, and on the way back to my seat I notice a child guiding furious birds across the screen of his iPad; on the opposite aisle seat, a man swipes through his vacation photos on a PlayBook, while his wife drafts an email on an Android phone.
I couldn’t have dreamed of this Web when I started my career, but it’s the Web I want to build for. We all hold the promise of access in our hands, these miraculous little devices ensuring the content we want is nearby. And the means of accessing that content is almost secondary to my fellow passengers: these glowing faces work in clients both web-based and native, browsing sites both device-specific and responsive. A thousand flowers have bloomed, and we can pick the ones that best suit our work.