Voxer revives a shambling technology to power its desktop offering
Flash used to be big. It was used to make games. It led to the creation of many poorly-designed restaurant websites. It allowed people to stream videos over the World Wide Web. Then it fell out of favor as mobile devices, many of which didn't support the tech, became popular. Now many of the same functions are performed by apps or Web technologies that work across many platforms without carrying the same baggage as Flash.
That hasn't stopped Voxer, a voice messaging company, from reviving the technological zombie for use in the desktop service it is launching today. Despite all its faults -- the constant updates, the stuttery playback, the battery drain -- Flash is still the best tool for the job. (Well, this job, at least.)
"Live-streaming is hard," says Voxer COO Itamar Kandel. Mobile devices have access to many native technologies that facilitate the process, he says. "Doing the same thing on the Web is hard, but once we figured out that we could use Flash everything else was much easier."
Introducing a desktop product is meant to help Voxer promote its business service to customers who have been clamoring for a desktop offering "from day one," Kandel says. "Companies have both mobile workforces and people in the office, and if you're sitting in front of a keyboard you don't want to use a small device with a tinny speaker if there's a better device right in front of you."
Voxer users weren't the only ones hoping for desktop access to previously mobile-only services. Earlier this month I complained about not being able to use a variety of apps, from Couple and WhatsApp to Snapchat and Glide, on my laptop even though I spend most of my day in front of the keyboard. Today's update to Voxer's service won't solve those problems for me, but it shows that at least one communications company thinks it better to be mobile-first instead of mobile-only.
Even if it does require using a technology that's become little more than a shambling, undead husk that can barely remember what it felt like to be alive.