Saturday, 1 January 2011

My Tech Hopes for 2011

Happy new year everyone. With the new year I've been thinking about what tech I'd like to see in the coming months. Here are the top three on my wish list.

Android Tablets
I'm hoping that early this year we see Android become a lot more friendlier to the tablet form factor. There are a few stumbling blocks at the moment, the biggest for me so far has been the price of these tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab
For example I loved the look of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and I really wanted one, but with the cost so high I just couldn't warrant buying one. The Android OS is not really ready for the larger form factor yet, I think this is why manufacturers have kept the android tablets quite small so far. Finally the apps, which are not yet ready to cover the larger screens of tablets, both in terms of screen resolution and of functionality.

So the future? From what I hear Google are working to make the next version of Android (Honeycomb), tablet friendly. What I hope to see from this is a better GUI and have the Market distinguish between phone apps and tablet apps, so that people aren't installing stuff that looks terrible on the larger screen.

I'd like to see manufacturers remove the "phone" part from these tablets. I don't want a huge phone, I want a device to browse the internet via wireless and have the option to buy a 3G version. I'd like to see more tablets with the same screen size as the iPad, I think that Apple got the size of the iPad just right.

I hope they make the price point right, in my opinion it needs to be in the region of netbooks and in competition with the iPad prices. I think most people will accept paying in the region of £300 - £400 for a tablet.

Android Market
The New Android Market
I think all Android users know that their Market is lacking vs Apple's App Store. Although nice improvements have been made in the last month or so. They've overhauled the Market app with a new GUI and introduced long descriptions for apps, related apps and more pictures of each app. The problem that we have is that all of this is only avalaible on the device. There is no way for us to browse and choose an app to install from our PCs.

I'm really hoping that Google push hard to introduce an Android Market that is accessible via the web browser. They've been talking about it since the last Google IO conference but it's yet to make an appearance.

With a browser accessible Android Market I hope to be able to find apps much easier. When I look at an apps details, see higher resolution pictures and You Tube videos. Then have the ability to push the app to my phone via the data connection like how Chrome to phone works.
I think with a better Android Market it will get more developers on board with Android. After all developers want you to install / buy their apps. Making it easier to find and view apps before installing / purchasing is in everyone's best interests.

Internet TV
I'd like to see more TV channels and movie rentals start to move over to the internet platform, delivering on demand content over broadband. I think that the three main options that will be available to people are Apple TV, Google TV and Boxee. Not sure which will end up being best of the three devices, but so long as you're getting the content from a website / service provider it shouldn't matter which device you choose.

Boxee Box
I already have Boxee and its really great to use, although a bit limited right now. Streaming content from the BBC iPlayer and Channel 4 on demand directly to the TV is really nice. You can track what content you've already watched and subscribe to channels to be updated when new content is available. What Boxee is missing at the moment is the likes of LoveFilm in order to rent or buy films and play them instantly over the internet.

The other alternative for internet TV is games consoles. The Xbox 360 already has an on demand movie rental service and access to Sky Player. The Playstation 3 has the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and LoveFilm. Could consoles be the gateway to internet TV?

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