Heads-up: Mobile is rocking your world

Tear a smartphone away from the Web and you’ve stripped away its soul. My “phone” has now become one of the primary ways I interact with the Internet.

I wrote those words in a post from early 2010 – and my feelings have only intensified since then.

Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com, speaking at HAR’s MLSCloud event this week, summed it up best when he said that mobile usage is booming because we primarily consume content. PCs are for producing, which we do far less frequently.

It’s a change that I was only beginning to sense when I sat to write down that post nearly 18 months ago.

The web is becoming ubiquitous. Consumer behavior is shifting. The work place is becoming mobile.

Consider the following:

Mobile has untethered us. I just got back from a two-day planning retreat – and dragging my 7 pound laptop down to the Bay Area still felt necessary. It was, after all, a work trip. But it stood largely unused on the table for most of the time. The reality is my iPhone and the apps I had installed accomplished most of what I needed to do.

The cloud has lightened us. I just moved my entire “Home” folder into Dropbox. My important files are now available to me anywhere, in any instance. There’s nothing on my local machine now save for media; photos, music, video. Amazon’s CloudDrive or Apple’s soon-to-be-launched iCloud will presumably take care of that in short order. Thin clients like the Chromebook are just over the horizon.

The web has empowered us. It’s been over a month since I reformatted my work computer. I still haven’t installed MS Office. Google Apps takes care of 80% of my document needs. Gmail is my goto email client. Tools like Rapportive give me a richer social environment to communicate that the desktop would struggle to emulate.

New devices increase accessibility. I watched this week as Steven Sinofsky unveiled the next version of Microsoft’s OS: Windows 8 at the D9 conference. Its tile-based UI borrows heavily from Windows Phone and is deliberately touch ready. Microsoft clearly sees that future growth is in tablet devices and simplified computing experiences. More importantly, it got me excited about a product coming out of Redmond for the first time in a decade or more.

What does this all mean?

Take a moment to watch this video.

The sheer magnitude of change is what’s noteworthy. What felt like a trickle in 2010 is now an oncoming rush.

The places we work, the way we work and the tools we user to perform our work are changing before our eyes. Still, the real estate industry remains head-down, preoccupied debating yesterday’s arguments.

The issues need to be resolved, to be sure. But take a moment and see the bigger picture. Don’t be surprised when you look up and everything has changed.