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    There’s this cool thing that the author mentions, and which I wrote about a while back in a comment here, and it caught my eye because my experience of it back when the convergence thing was just getting hot (this was back in the early Windows 8 days) matches this 100% and I wanna add my voice to the cheering crowd:

    Low customer demand. I definitely get that the idea is appealing, and customer demand may be wrong (the faster horses problem). However, it could simply be many companies are working on an idea that seems feasible, realistic, and desirable – yet is impractical and undesirable on the market. […] It seems likely to me the allure amongst the kind of people who talk about phones online is different from those who buy phones.

    In my experience nobody involved in this anywhere except at the bottommost layer and whose job literally depends on it coming true (e.g. developers and UI/UX designers working on convergent UIs) believes convergent interfaces are a good thing, and nobody wants them. You can see this most visibly in enterprise applications, where virtually everyone has backpedalled on their convergent UIs since 2013 or so.

    Nobody can say it out loud because it would make you look negative and un-innovative and that doesn’t sell, and because many companies that sell hardware for professional use (i.e. “real work”) also sell consumer hardware, and convergent UIs make things easier there (it opens the way for mobile apps on things like convertible laptops, which is good because most consumer apps are now developed primarily for mobile platforms, so you can go all developers, developers, developers, developers on half the budget).

    But there is a widespread understanding not only of the fact that nobody wants this, but also of the reasons why. The industry sends mixed signals because some product management teams do want to push CUIs (either strictly for PR reasons, or for legitimate business reasons in some target demographics) while other product management teams – particularly the ones with existing paying customers ;-) – push back, but that’s about it.

    IMHO this is going to get settled the way it got settled with IoT. IoT is now a two-layer industry. There’s one layer that consists of IoT devices with a real, long-lasting market, which are things that you actually want to connect to the Internet and it’s a good idea (independently of how poorly it’s implemented in terms of e.g. security). Then there’s a second layer that consists of gadgets nobody wants except to play with and/or review and nefarious DRM restrictions (e.g. water filters that phone home just to make sure you’re not using “counterfeit” filters), which primarily serve to pad (aspiring) executive resumes, funnel VC favours and money and so on. The same thing will eventually happen here: there are going to be a handful of scenarios where CUIs make sense, and they will be well-supported, end-to-end, and then there are going to be hundreds of other cases that are basically there only because some manufacturers can ship good laptops but missed the phone/tablet train and they hope they can still get a piece of the action, the way they do in Redmond.

    Edit: oh yeah! I love how the author mentions KDE Connect, as an excellent example of a sane approach to this problem. Linux wasn’t free of attempts at convergence back in the Windows 8 days. Most of them slowly faded out of use because almost nobody wanted them (although lots of users loathed them). The PinePhone and friends keep some of them alive, much to the bewilderment of everyone who wonders who, and more importantly why, would ever use those things on something that isn’t a tablet, for things other than looking at memes (which is a valid and respectable market, what backfires is attempting to develop serious apps by UI guidelines meant for meme-browsing apps).

    In the meantimed KDE Connect is universally loved and uncontroversial. Everyone who sees it instantly likes it, despite its quirks, and although it started as a KDE project, it’s used outside KDE as well.

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      I love how the author mentions KDE Connect…

      …holy crap, finally someone has made a sane way to have computers and cell phones talk to each other? I’m sold.

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        It’s pretty close to what iOS and Mac OS devices do already. That said, since I switched away from Android for $reasons and use Linux on the desktop for now, I would really like KDE Connect for iOS…

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      Rather than creating yet another “standard” for convergence, it would be cool if regular open source productivity apps would be ported to Android.

      LibreOffice on Android just they way it currently is would be sufficient.

      Most tablets already support plugging in Mouse+Keyboard.

      So with regular productivity apps available, you could just use them with an “El Cheapo” USB Mouse+Keyboard.

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        I’ve never heard of “continuity” before and oh my god thank you.

        The biggest* problem with the Free desktop right now IMO is the poor support for OOTB continuity. The This-Device configuration of most distros is usually really solid, but the continuity is a PITA to configure.

        *there are probably others, don’t look too deep into “biggest” please.