Archive for the ‘Predictions’ Category

Tech-predictions and wishes for 2010

I thought that we at the TwilightShadows might as well do one of these too… And since I’m a MacHead, let’s start with some Apple related predicitons and wishes.

  1. Just as everyone else I’m hoping for the Apple Tablet. This is a device that by now has to come out weather Apple want’s to build it or not. Come on Steve, give us a Tablet! The eReader category is slowly taking off, but I seriously think it need someone like Apple to work out how that space needs to look, work and think. The reason is, Apple is pretty much content agnostic in many ways. Google wants to sell ads, Amazon wants to sell books, Apple is a hardware company, they want to sell the Apple hardware-software experience. Sure, content might be tied to the iTunes Store, but anyone can sell stuff through that. Wether you like it or not, Apple did whip the music/MP3 business as well as the smartphone industry into shape. It doesn’t really matter if you like iTunes/iPod/iPhone. Without them there would be no Microsoft Zune, no Palm Pre and probably no Android, at least not as we know it.
  2. The second thing I hope for from Apple is iPhone OS 4.0. I think this is a pretty fair bet for this summer. In it I would like to see some app multi-tasking allowed. Especially concerning music-playing apps like CBS Radio, Y! Music, SHOUTCast and Spotify. For these it makes sense to be able to run as back-ground processes, and they are not helped by push-notifications. I also wouldn’t mind a more flexible lock-screen of the types found on some Android phones, with some Web 2.0 widgets etc. running. When it comes to the iPhone hardware I think they might actually baffle us. We’ve been given better and better versions of essentially the same hardware now since the original iPhone, it’s time to revise the design a bit. Though arguably, it is just a touch-up needed, the real improvements could just be in software. For all the talk of Apple as a hardware-company, they’ve always seem to have viewed the iPhone as a software driven platform.
  3. iTunes Store music subscriptions, and e-books. And why not, audiobook subscriptions? At any rate, I think 2010 will be a big year for the iTunes Store, that will change the game in the eCommerce industry once again.

When it comes to other predictions they are more sporadic. I think we might see the next gen gaming consoles demoed, though not released. I think Google will continue to dominate the world, and if they as promised start to implement some of the new technologies such as GPS-based search, Google Goggles (please Google, make a version for the iPhone! Please!) and Voice search, things will become really interesting! (I know they already use this to some extent, but a wider use and more mashing of various Google services.)

The irony with the search thing is that it may bring Microsoft and Apple closer together! The Bing app (it’s been removed from the Swedish store. Does anyone know why?) for the iPhone is actually a very good looking app, and it seems to work pretty well, though for me it has been much more crashy than the Google app. I think that Microsoft in their heart of hearts realize that Windows Mobile is dead. They still keep at it because no one wants to be the one to tell Ballmer it’s over. And a quick look around will inform anyone that right now the platforms to be on are Android and iPhone. Sure Nokia might make a comeback, Palm could find traction and if hell freezes over Windows Mobile 7 could revolutionize things (ok, unlikely, but I wanted to throw it out there…), but all that remains to be seen. For now, it’s Google and Apple. Now, in the choice between developing for Apple or Google, I think there is much less shame from Microsofts POV to go with Apple. After all, they’ve made Macintosh software for years, since 1983-1984 actually, and for the Apple II before that. Granted, the quality has varied quite considerably, but when they actually try to do it well, it tends to be pretty solid. If I were MS, I’d drop the Win Mobile platform and go 100% iPhone with Live, X-box integration and Office 2010. They could own the mobile office space if they team up with Apple and do it right.

Other than that 2010 will be the year of two things. The first is eReaders. We will see plenty of new eReaders, and it will be the Wild West for a while, ’til standards start forming. It will be a very intresting development to follow, and I think the Kindle has shown the correct model, ie. built-in internet and a store, but I also think the Amazon DRM and proprietary format shows what we do not want. We tried that with the iPod and music, and it sucked! This will be where someone is still to find the right balance between protecting authors (or should that be publishers…?) and usability (what if I want a new eReader, do I need to buy all my books again?). This is where Apple could be instrumental, should they choose to put their thinking-cap on once again!

The second main thing is GPS. Now I know GPS has been around, and been touted. But I think it will go even further. Things like Gowalla and Foursquare are just the tip of the ice berg. We will see more social integration with the internet in your pocket through devices that know where it is, what you do, and where your friends are. This has risks of course, but also benefits, and I think that given time, we will work out a nice balance between privacy and public life. (Just don’t let Facebook do it…)

Those are some of my main wishes/thoughts/ideas for tech in 2010. What are your thoughts?

Tobias