We have seen so far an evolution that has steered users into an app to get services. I mentioned few days ago how much time we spent in apps when playing with our smart phone (85% of the time).
Now it is interesting to see Uber that is developing widgets that can be placed inside other apps so that it becomes possible to call on its services without leaving that app.
In practice Uber is offering third parties a piece of code that can be very easily integrated in their app letting people to call a cab directly from the app.
The advantage for Uber is that there are more places from where a user sees the Uber name and can directly call for its services.
The advantage for the app owner is that it can track what the user wants to do and it can exploit that knowledge by offering more customised services.
It looks like everybody is winning: the user has a shortcut to call a cab, Uber has more probability that its services are used and the app owner gains additional insight on the person using its app.
But, as I said, there are wheels within wheels.
Inconspicuously, we are drawn into a web of "convenience" that is tailoring a world for us to perceive. This convenience in the end is limiting our choices, even though it may seems it is easing life. It looks a bit like the Japanese "keiretsu", a tangled web of not written agreement among companies operating in different market sector that pool together to create a world enveloping a customer like a cocoon. You go to a restaurant and you get that brand of beer, that kind of exposure to linen for the house and so on. Nobody is really forcing you but it gets so convenient to just lay back and follow the prompts that in the end you are like a puppet with somebody else pulling the strings.
Of course it is not just Internet or the web. Our world, through ads and de-facto monopolies is built to make us live in a golden cage. And we like it, so we should probably not complain.
On the web, however, everything becomes easier. The blending of atoms and bits go straight to our mind. I remember the time when it was forbidden in a movie to show products of a given brand with the brand clearly displayed. Now movies are a quilt of ads.
The world is changing rapidly and I have the feeling I am lagging behind....