Apollo… i’m confused here

I’ve been thinking a lot about Apollo these last days. What is it about and what can we do with it…

The question I asked myself when I took a first look at Apollo is what is so revolutionizing about this. Most of the things I saw I have seen before by other third party software like Zinc for example. Sure those are not cross-platform and in most cases not free to use next to flash or flex, but I did not see anything to make Apollo stand out on these third party software except for it user-friendlyness.

Secondly why would I use it. I don’t use those other products why would I use Apollo? I really don’t see the advantage of bringing applications back to my computer. It’s like going back to the 90’s when internet wasn’t as big and “good” as it is today. All the programs and games had to be installed. When switching different computers you were always missing something that was on the other computer. Is Apollo a step back then? I do believe it is. I thought we were heading to an area where we were having no user based computers, but terminals where we all could access our data online. But instead we gonna end up missing all our programs we had installed on our other computer.

Bit of sarcasm in that last part, but I’m confused about Apollo. What are the advantages???

6 Comment(s)

  1. On Mar 20, 2007, Waldo Smeets - Adobe said:

    If you only look at Apollo as an environment to run a Flash app on the desktop, Apollo indeed doesn’t introduce anything new (it has OS integration, drag and drop, applications running in the background etc).

    However, Apollo is much more than that. I’ll try to highlight the features here:

    - Once a user has the Apollo runtime installed, installing new applications is extremely easy (straight from within the Flash Player, like the current Express Install feature to upgrade your player or install Adobe Digital Editions).

    - Apollo will take your online applications offline; including all the data that are loaded on the fly (remember those times where your online banking desktop app allowed you to prepare new money transactions even when you were offline, let’s say in the train?). It will also tightly work with Flex Data Services from this perspective.

    - Apollo does not only support Flex applications, it also supports HTML/AJAX content and integrates both into a single environment

    ..and indeed, it’s cross platform (singel development model for cross browser, cross platform, online and offline).

    Why you’d want to build these applications? Are you using tools like RSS Readers, MSN Messenger, Video Players or more advanced desktop tools to work with photos, data or video (or whatever else you do with Flex)? Apollo will suddenly make it extremely easy for ‘regular’ web application developers to now build such tools based on their existing web skillset, without the need to learn a new development language. And guess what… you’ll still be able to use your application online too!

    Real world customers that I am talking to want this, including enterprise desktop tools for online banking, trading etc (did you see the eBay demo?). Next to that they like the ‘desktop presence’… not being hidden somewhere behing a browser…. the brand becomes an icon on the users desktop.

    With Apollo we make sure that you don’t have to worry any longer whether you are online to use the tools that you prefer… we bring them offline to you.

  2. On Mar 21, 2007, Niels Bruin said:

    I also thinking a lot about how to use apollo in real live applications. But I also see some advantages like Waldo.

    For example some unexperienced users can’t find applications as easy as we do. I’ve got an uncle who is 75 year old, and i’t hard to explain where he can find his webmail, google maps, online banking and some other applications he wants to use. Now I can install apollo for him and bring the applications as an icon to his destop, so he can find his applications much easier, and he doesn’t get confused to the features the browser got. In this way you avoid “the paradox of choise”.

    Have you ever build a desktop application? I don’t. That’s because I don’t had the skills to build a desktop application. Now you can build your desktop application with the skills you allready have; Flex, HTML, Ajax. Webdevelopers can build the next generation desktop applications.

    You can easy make online applications available without giving the user browser access. Most libraries have some book search application online. They want to use this in the library too, but have to secure the rest of the browser access. Now they can hide or erase the browser, and put their apollo icon of their online application on the desktop. I also see good possibilities for the intranet.

    All the desktop application build with apollo are cross platform. I’m very happy with that as an osx user. I don’t have to wait till an osx version of the software comes out. Also it would be great if there comes a mobile version of Apollo.

    Java 34 mb -> Apollo Alpha 8 mb (OSX)

    Yeah I think Apollo could work, and I can’t wait to see more applications build with it. You just have to believe in it Gerben! ;)

  3. On Mar 21, 2007, Ramesh said:

    Apollo is essentially a desktop platform that brings a lot of teh ncieness of teh web onto it. Basically, run things on a desktop, that would have so far run on a server. And in doing this, bring the web closer to teh esktop by enabling simpler access to resources and services on the web. And this access is available programatically- which enables building applciations/solutions that bring both teh desktop and the web together.
    Adobe Apollo and Pramati’s dekoh are platforms in this direction. A cross-OS desktop platform for the web. Pramati’s dekoh (http://www.dekoh.com) goes a step further and does this leveraging present days Java standards- one can write a desktop application using Java and servlets. It goes even further by making this platform zero-install. Will get automatically setup on first access (where, one would have normally located, downloaded and installed.. just as is needed for Adobe Apollo). Ontop of this zero-install zero-maintanance deskto platform for apps written in Java, dekoh also includes a lot of collaboration and sharing functionality available as APIs This enables bringing the desktop closer to the web. Very effectively bridging the gap between desktop and web. Need to see how Apollo compares on this front.

  4. On Apr 3, 2007, Gerben Robijn said:

    I did not have time yet to respond to your comments, but I did find an article that represents my view somewhat: lifehack.org

  5. On Apr 11, 2007, eerkmans said:

    I agree that a browser interface “around” a flash/flex RIA is confusing. You’re using two systems at the same time.
    The apollo/eBay demo is a really good example of how a confusing and cluttered website can be transformed into a smooth customizable application.

    I see a big future here, where online applications like eBay and flickr make their API’s available so that independent designers/developers can build their own interfaces to their services.

    But on the whole I have to agree with Gerben, I don’t see the point of moving online applications offline. I’ve moved all my RSS feeds to my google homepage, so that I can view them from any computer I log on to. You can put all your bookmarks on del.ici.ous, and all your photos on flickr. Going offline again means you’ll need to drag your own computer with you anywhere you go.

  6. On May 5, 2007, erno van 't glansei said:

    Another view on this topic: http://diveintomark.org/archives/2007/05/02/silly-season

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