Backpack: Too Bad It's Not Mobile
Backpack's kinda nice... for a PC app. You know, so much effort being put into a dying platform, it sorta makes you sad. Really, it's too bad there's not a mobile version baked in from the start. Networked to do list, calendar, notes, images and file storage all baked into a simple interface? Sounds like a really useful thing to have while I'm away from my desk, no? I guess these guys don't think so...
I love that they sorta considered the whole mobile thing, but decided against it. From their "manifesto":
Need to post a to-do item from your cell phone or Blackberry? Email it to Backpack and it will be converted into a to-do item with a checkbox. Want to send yourself a text note along with some images and a file? No problem - send it all in a single email and Backpack will post the note, thumbnail the image(s), and attach the file(s). Clean, quick, effortless - and familiar. ...
With Backpack, everything's in one place: online. You can access it from a modern web browser (IE 6+, Safari, or Firefox) anytime. Home machine or work machine or friend's house? Doesn't matter. PC or Mac? Doesn't matter
It doesn't matter... as long as you're using a computer. Want to check that to-do list after you sent it from your mobile phone or Blackberry? Ooops. I guess that's not in the "manifesto." Hmmm. Not much of a revolution after all, is it? It might have been easy to make a mobile version, but this stupid AJAX fad just makes their web pages more non-standard and all that much more impossible to re-use, so they decided to skip it. Well, maybe they'll get to it someday (I'm sure it's on their to-do list somewhere... way down at the bottom), but I doubt it.
Personally, I think it's insane. If you're a startup right now and you've got limited resources to get apps developed, creating Yet Another Web Service is just moronic. It's like developing client/server Visual Basic apps in 1996. The *real* revolution is taking off already and they're messing around with last decade's technology.