despite the age of the cloud and constant connectivity, it's astonishing how poorly services interact from one device to the next. apple and the ios ecosystem strive to keep their experience "consistent", while google focuses on "open". yet, the very same apps are available in multiple play stores across these antiquated boundaries.
while product inconsistency is still a good thing, the time has come for applications to build for a connected experience.
i long for the day that my favorite sites, services, and apps
communicate across platforms. after all, i don't need the same @
mention notification from twitter on my android phone and my ipad and my mac. and i'd
love for my three star levels on angry birds or my achievements on temple run 2 to carry over from device
evernote is one of the few exceptions, for whether you log on from your pc or ipad mini -- your notes are waiting for you in an interface optimized for your device. rdio is pretty slick as you can not only take your music across devices, but you can control the output of another device (e.g. my ipad is plugged into my stereo, and i just changed the song from my android).
what it comes down to is a closer relationship to the user, which means a log-in. stop tying my relationship to your service to my device, but rather to me. this necessitates a log-in funnel at which traditional services might cringe. between a quick conversion and a lasting experience, i'd sacrifice the low hanging fruit.
a tighter funnel with more engagement is where it's at. try raising funding based on downloads. try upselling your users when you make them start from scratch from a new device.
flurry, the leader in mobile analytics and related eye candy, put out a great piece on app usage. on average, just 35% of users will still be engaging with your app after 90 days. i'd argue that's because you've siloed their experience to a single device.
what is your favorite service that doesn't simply connect with your device, but connects with you?