Examples of great multi-device applications / service?

7 Oct 2011 - 7:16am
4 years ago
10 replies
2073 reads
Gabriel White

I want to put together a set of examples of software and services that are great, interesting (or even plain bad) examples of how to offer a product or service that spans multiple devices / form factors.

Some of the things I've thought of so far include:

  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
  • iTunes

Got any examples that come to mind of great (and awful) multi-platform experiences?




7 Oct 2011 - 7:50am

Omnigraffle and iWork just crossed my mind, which are really usable (and useful as well) on Mac and iPad.

7 Oct 2011 - 7:51am

Ah and another one: Instapaper. It works very well on basically any device and there even is a service for sending the collected content to a Kindle ebookreader.

7 Oct 2011 - 9:50am

Good: Netflix

Bad: Pulse

7 Oct 2011 - 10:41am
Sudhir Kulkarni


It is aimilar to Evernote. Springpad integrates semantic technology to automatically enhance the notes you save with relevant info. This means - if you save a movie, Springpad is smart enough to know it's a movie and it will offer you showtimes. If you save a product, Springpad displays price comparisons and links to shopping sites. 



7 Oct 2011 - 11:44am
Dave Malouf

I can't think of any software that is on more device types than Netflix, but if we look there we'll also find Pandora and a host of other media applications.

What came to mind for me was Twitter. It's not just on different devices, but both inside the control of Twitter and outside the control of Twitter (as in the organization).

Skitch (owned by above mentioned Evernote) is now on Android and pretty hot on it.

Skype is also on many device types.

With the release of the new Touch Apps by Adobe Photoshop has versions that are on multiple devices (even multiple incarnations), PS Touch on Android, Photoshop Express on iOS & Android. Then there's Carousel, Connect, Ideas.

Sketchbook Pro by Autodesk

Google's collection of apps even include multiple incarnations on the same device/platform when you think about search via app or search via SMS, let alone the more traditional apps.

I'll stop there.

-- dave

10 Oct 2011 - 9:03am
Charles Hannon

Kindle is a good example because one of the platforms is their own hardware, but you could also read a Kindle book on iPad, iPhone, Android, etc. Point of purchase is interesting too, since you have to identify where you want the book sent initially.

10 Oct 2011 - 9:27am
Jared M. Spool

Are you looking at things like the flight check-in applications that airlines have for desktop, phone, and in-airport kiosk?

How about applications like an e-commerce shopping cart that supports in-store pickup with a kiosk component?


10 Oct 2011 - 10:43pm

I suppose it depdends on how you define "multi-device" to some extent. 37 Signals Highrise is a somewhat indispensible part of my life, and I use it across laptop/ipad/iphone but it's web based. They released a client for iPhone but that thing crashes every time I try to sync it...so does a web app count as multi-device?

Evernote would be my prime example, and it's already been mentioned. To say my iPad was not that useful until I got Evernote is not an exaggeration.

Salesforce falls into the same category as Highrise, but they haven't released "clients" for it per se.

Skype? I used to use an iPod Touch as a phone to call my mother, except she kept forgetting to keep Skype running. Plus, version 5 for the Mac sucks.

On that not, Facetime.

And, for that matter, Pages and Keynote, both of which translate very well to the iPad...I like them, though I don't *use* them that often.

Boxee, though the number of devices is limited admittedly.

I'm tired. I'm going to watch Fringe.



11 Oct 2011 - 10:11am
Jay Spanton

Great experience = wunderlist

Behaves well and looks the same across deskstop/ mobile/ cloud.  Nice looking also.  Am told works well across Linux/ Windows too.


14 Oct 2011 - 1:35pm
Jochen Wolters

OmniFocus by The Omni Group: Task-managed software with clients for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Great example for how to optimize one application concept for different platforms' capabilities and restraints.

Wuala by LaCie: File synchronization software and service similar to Dropbox. It has more features and more granular control than Dropbox, but its UI is "not quite" as polished and its operation not as transparent. Comparing Wuala and Dropbox based on features and UI would surely make for an interesting and instructive article.

(In case you're wondering: The key reason to choose Wuala over Dropbox is full encryption of all data before it leaves your machine. For many users, that benefit is worth enduring the "lesser UX" .)

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