The future of web browsers and the user device ecosystem

    It was always strange for me to see how different devices of the same person interact with each other. In fact, we are still at the same level when we sent files to each other via Bluetooth. I’m glad that this problem started to be solved somehow recently, for example, maybe you remember the presentation of Palm’s WebOs (HP) and the Touch To Share function, there was a moment when one device touched another and the web page seemed to flow between them, in this video more clearly.

    In the latest presentation of Apple, where they introduced the new iOS 8, Continuity technology was shown., allowing applications to see other user's devices and exchange information with them. You wrote something in the mail client on the phone, you are tired - you can continue from the same place without saving to drafts.

    All this is very cool, but practically does not make life easier for ordinary web developers. Is there any solution?

    Now almost all browsers allow you to synchronize between devices through their services. For Chrome, this is a user on Google, for Safari - iCloud, Firefox uses Firefox Sync, but in Yandex.Browser it is a Yandex account. Synchronization is very convenient, on all devices the same passwords, tabs, bookmarks, sometimes even cookies. Some go even further, in Chrome you can choose as your printing device - your mobile device. And Yandex.Browser has a quick call function that allows you to “quickly call the numbers found on the Internet."

    As you can see, browsers make full use of the possibilities of working with user devices, as with a single ecosystem. But I, as a web developer, also want to touch this. Then I thought, what if the browser had some kind of JavaScript API, with which I could learn about the user's devices and perform some actions (of course, only with the permission of the owner).

    The main directions that open thanks to this:
    1. Knowing which devices the user is using can help sites improve their User Experience (offering to install an application for your device type)
    2. Expanding the capabilities of one device to another (on laptops there is no accelerometer or GPS)
    3. Simplification of scenarios in which the user needed to interact between devices (analogues of the same quick call from Yandex.Browser)

    In fact, only a few methods are needed:
    1. Api.getDevices () - get information about user devices
    2. Api.connect (device, mode) - establish a connection with a specific device (request the necessary access rights)
    3. Api.send (device, data) - the basic method for sending any data to the device
    4. Api.receive (device, callback) - the basic method for receiving data from another device
    5. Api.push (device, message, data) - it is also possible to send a push message with data.

    You can come up with real scenarios ad infinitum, that's what occurred to me.

    Store scenario
    Suppose you fill out a product card on Avito or EBay. At some point you need to upload photos of the product, well, if you did it in advance, but if not, then of course you can try to photograph what you need on the laptop camera. But imagine if the site, next to the file download button, also offers to use the camera of your smartphone? You just press the button, take out the phone, take photos, and they automatically appear on the website. Simple and convenient.

    Ticket Script
    I’m always a little afraid to leave my mobile number on websites, even if it’s an air carrier, it seems to me it would be much easier if the carrier could send me an electronic ticket without asking me for a real phone number:

    And a bunch of other features, for example: managing web games and videos services through a mobile device, expanding the capabilities of the screen (in maps in panorama mode, display a panorama on one device, and a map on another), etc.

    If you develop the idea further, you can give access not only to the ecosystem of devices, but also to applications. Open an address from a computer through Foursquare or a navigator, or maybe in Why not.

    I would be glad to hear from you examples of how such functionality would be personally useful to you. Perhaps if the browser developers see that many people need it, then we will see the implementation in the very near future.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Are you interested in this opportunity?

    • 48% Yes, I would use it in my projects 110
    • 54.5% Yes, as a user I like it 125
    • 22.7% No 52

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