Posts from OAuth

The Always Logged In Experience

Last week I blogged about mobile notifications which I think is a big game changer. There are a few other aspects of the mobile experience that I think present great opportunity. Another one is the always logged in experience.

On the web, you may or may not have a web app open in a tab in your browser and you may or may not be logged into it. But on your mobile, you are permanently logged into every app you have on your device. When you get a notification, you click on it and are taken right to the exact part of the mobile app you want to engage with. No log in is required. That in and of itself is a big deal.

But there is something more interesting. Think about OAuth and Facebook Connect and Sign In With Twitter and other similar techniques for signing into and connecting to apps. When you have lots of apps on your mobile device and you are permanently logged into them, there are a host of opportunities that open up which are harder to execute in the current web app paradigm.

Imagine you are building a mobile app that connects to the Facebook platform, the Twitter platform, the Foursquare platform, and the Google Maps platform. Assuming your users have all of those apps on their mobile, you can quickly and easily do the connections directly on the mobile device. And then you can pull data from those apps to create new experiences for the mobile users. You can create cross app notifications and other data driven experiences for users.

Like with mobile notifications, I have not done a deep dive on where we are with all of this stuff. Is there a mobile implementation of oauth that doesn't require a browser session to do the auth? Can one app deliver notifications that take the user to another app?

When I was at the music hackday a few weekends ago, I noticed that it was easy to build something interesting by simply snapping together a few web apps and then building some light glue between them. I suspect it will be even easier to do that on mobile and the era of "meta apps" that deliver functionality across multiple apps is upon us. And I think that has the potential to create some new startup opportunities.

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