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Get ready for the ‘Internet of things’

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Real estate apps for the iPhone and other smartphones are all the rage today, but similar apps are about to revolutionize the use of other devices like printers that will boast their own operating systems and usher in the "Internet of things." The past few weeks have been an exciting ride in the world of "apps," those little chunks of functionality that do things for you on your mobile phone and your iPad. What's this mean for real estate? First, there are a couple of developments on the "Internet of things" front: Google's announcement of its App Store for Chrome OS is the biggest news. The App Store for Chrome OS will allow developers to market and sell Web apps to users of the new operating system that Google is developing for netbooks and other devices. This will be like getting an icon on the desktop of an OS. Obviously, the specific impact of this initiative will depend on how many people use Google's free OS. But the dee...