It would be difficult to miss the skyward drift of storage and software over the last few years. “The cloud” is where you store your music and other files, and back up your computer.
But a wide range of web-based applications — from Salesforce to Google Docs — are taking advantage of widespread broadband and increasingly cheaper storage to put desktop clients on notice. Users like the flexibility of accessing their apps and data anywhere, and collaborating without having to send file versions back and forth.
Not every class of software has kept pace.
Creative tools have traditionally been laggards, only offering desktop client solutions while word processors, spreadsheets, marketing automation, and more have made successful leaps to the browser. But that’s changing. The likes of Aviary (with 50 million active users, and the official picture editor for Flickr), Pixlr (acquired by Autodesk in 2011) and Picnik (acquired by Google and integrated into Google+) have paved inroads into the amateur photo editing space, opening up the way for professional design and prototyping toolsets like Flite Design Studio, Flinto and Macaw.