What features in your favorite software do you think will show up in other apps in the near future?

"The future's here, just not evenly distributed" quipped author William Gibson—and nowhere is that more true than in software. Features show up in one app, and then end up becoming a new requirement for that category, and every similar program ends up copying the feature over time.

Command palettes were a core part of developer tools for years before they became the new must-have feature in productivity software.

What features in your favorite apps today do you think will eventually be a new standard and show up in other tools across the industry?

ybbond's avatar

internal linking stylized as [[wiki-linking]]. a feature that actually has been around for some note taking app (offline like Bear, or online like Confluence / Notion), but in the future will be listed as major feature for app's store listing description.

for media player app, maybe share to instagram. Spotify has done it long time ago, then Apple Music, then recently Netflix.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ybbond )

Wiki linking is a huge one, especially paired with backlinks. The concept goes back forever, and if anything two way links were part of the original ideas behind the web. And wiki systems have had them for years; Wikipedia lists backlinks, and you could always run their software on your own. It just took Roam Research’s clever implementation and marketing to get wiki linking to take off.

I wouldn’t have thought of music sharing as a new thing but you’re right: The story style of sharing is unique. Stories themselves have become a new digital “thing” as well, something that for better or worse every social platform now wants to have.

1 point
siddxxvii's avatar

Zapier Integration or app integration will become default in coming productivity apps. Especially integrations with slack, Microsoft teams etc

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @siddxxvii )

Ohh good call. It feels like a default in my mind, so then it surprises me today when new software comes out that doesn't support integrations. At a minimum an API that deeply ties into the core app functions feels like something every business software needs to include.

1 point
NBNite's avatar

Universal "push" buttons.
Rather than a chrome extension or plugin for an individual app, I think the ability to select something (a piece of text, an image, PDF, etc.) and push it to an app of your choosing in 1 interface will become much more widespread.
The Slack's and Airtable's of the world have begun including automations to push information to other apps.. I'm hoping it's only a matter of time until this is standard in software. Many automations require 1 physical action to trigger and having the ability to quickly trigger actions at your fingertips across any software would be incredibly useful.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @NBNite )

Ohhh that’s a great call. It is funny how many times you end up having to rig up some extra step just to trigger a Zap (e.g. having an extra column in a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and having Zapier watch for changes on that column specifically before running the Zap). A customizable “run” button that could run a Zap or call any webhook would be amazing.

Zapier’s Chrome add-on is a partial solution for now, but making that a new default feature everywhere would be game-changing.

1 point
maguay's avatar

Kanban boards are a big one here for project management apps. What started out as Trello consumerizing a project management flow from Toyota factories turned into one of the default task visualizations seemingly every project management app now has. Even Todoist now has kanban boards. They're already ubiquitous now so perhaps that's a poor example—but I would not be surprised to see them start showing up in more places. Imagine kanban views in Finder or Explorer? Seems crazy, but not impossible.

Dark interface modes are another one. They went from something common in developer apps, then to a default feature in writing apps, and now with OS-level support they're a new must-have for almost every type of app aside from games. Yet they're still largely missing from web apps, so that's one feature that still needs to spread a bit further.

Collaborative live editing is another must-have that's almost ubiquitous, but still has a ways to go especially with desktop software. What Google Docs did for document sharing Airtable has done for databases, Notion for notes, and on and on. Figma most recently has done that for vector based design. But there are still gaps. You can't collaboratively edit photos and video, for instance, or work on separate sections of a tax filing application at the same time. Almost every app in Adobe Creative Suite needs real time sharing—or a Figma-style competitor.

1 point
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