As far back as 1999, some smart guys predicted that mobile would become the primary focus of development in only a few years. Although it has taken a bit more time than expected, the era of mobile software has arrived at last. Why did it take so long? The answer is surprisingly simple: mobile software needed a critical mass of users to develop before it could take off. The process of accumulating mobile users probably started with the release of the first iPhone back in 2007, but today, it has reached a large enough mass to trigger all sorts of chain reactions.

Back in 1990 (yes, you read that right), Bill Gates gave a keynote talk at Comdex titled “Information at Your Fingertips.” Let’s be honest—for 20 years, we pretended we really ...

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