What Tech to Expect in 2011
Predicting the Future
It isn't that easy to do. Obviously nobody knows for sure what kind of gadgets we'll see in 2011, after such a interesting 2010. 2010 saw Android dominate, iOS take yet another leap forward, and the launch of Windows Phone 7. Not to mention the release of the iPad, probably the most significant product of last year.
Android and iOS: Where will they go next?
The release of the iPhone 4 was met by critical reception (no pun intended), due to the poor placement of the device's antenna. Despite this, it sold in huge numbers. Android evolved very quickly, adding a ton of new features into the mix, and also bringing a lot to the industry. Gingerbread's enhancements for gaming means that we might see Android finally challenging iOS as the top mobile gaming platform. Of course, many have said that 2011 will be 'the dawning of the age of the tablet'; the iPad certainly gave Apple a big head start in the market, with a second-generation version soon to follow. Android Honeycomb will also make Google's mobile OS much more tablet-friendly, and if this new line of Android tablets has the same success as a lot of last year's Android smartphones, then we might actually see the iPad being challenged.
Although Google has had a few attempts at going social, they seemed to fail (Google Wave being the prime example of this). Apple's failed integration of a mini-social network inside of iTunes, Ping, was also rather amusing. Facebook announced a new messaging interface that is currently being pushed out to users who request it; this gives the user an '@facebook dot com' email address (for example, email@example.com). Once Google brings all of the acquired knowledge from projects such as Buzz and Wave together, we might see them enter the social networking scene with something credible.
In 2010, we saw a lot of huge leaps forward for technology, but I think 2011 will see a more evolutionary progression. Android has become huge, and will no doubt continue to push forward; Windows Phone 7 shows potential and will certainly expand in 2011; Apple's competition in both the smartphone and tablet market will increase, and they might just lose some of their dominance. Tablets will be the main thing to watch this year: by creating a tablet market, Apple has simultaneously summoned competition, and an Android tablet is an attractive proposition.