Adobe just demo’ed Apollo.
To my understanding, Apollo is a platform that is available on major operating systems, which allow web-apps to work as “real applications”. I understand this is similar to the “offline apps” feature that is being worked into Firefox 3. From Adobe Labs:
In laymans terms, it’s the web without the browser.
This is interesting for a number of reasons. In the most recent years we’ve seen the rise of such web-apps as Google Docs (spreadsheet & word processor), various sticky note/todo-list services and a myriad of other more or less useful services. Personally, I’ve recently switched to using Gmail as my only email client.
Writing / re-writing these services to take advantage of a runtime such as Apollo would give a number of benefits; each app would/could be a standalone “application” instead of requiring a browser. Each app would work offline, simply queuing whatever actions were taken to then synchronize them when going online. Finally, they’d get the ability to read/write local files, which could be used for a number of things. It could be a major push for web-apps, one that would finally cross the boundary problems of being web-only. I think it’s the next big thing for the web.
I, for one, would love to have a quickly launched, offline-ready Google Calendar app handy instead of being limited by connectivity and a browser. You?