Things to look out for in 2011
At the day job our "10 things to look out for in 2010" blog post was so successful that we've tried to re-create the magic with a "Things to look out for in 2011" article (apparently there are more than 10 things to look out for this year). I've made another random mix of predictions, though this predicting business isn't really my cup of tea. Here's what I came up with:
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2010 was undoubtedly the year of the iPad, Apple managing to succeed with their touch screen tablet device in a market where numerous others had failed to make an impact. My prediction is that 2011 will be the year that iPad clones bring tablet computing to the wider (i.e. cheaper) consumer market, and in doing so, cement the iPad's position at the top of the pile.
A note of caution though: the current interest in the tablet form factor is reminiscent of the popularity of netbooks a couple of years ago, a market which looks to be in decline. Will the tablet go the same way? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure though - web designers need to ensure their layouts are as flexible as possible to target the multitude of browsing form factors that now exist.
Location, Location, Location
Location aware computing (think Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, etc) has been around a while, but I predict that 2011 might be the year that it really takes off for mainstream users. In part due to the ever increasing ubiquity of smartphones and the spiralling use of mobile data networks; but also as a result of a more relaxed attitude (not welcomed by some) towards online privacy. I say might because there are many campaigners, vocal and powerful, who would like to see a reversal of this relaxed attitude towards privacy.
Watch this space...
Google Chrome OS
Chrome OS, Google's new desktop operating system was one of my predictions for last year. Well 2010 is almost over, and still no sign of Chrome OS! It's currently scheduled for release sometime early 2011, but the more interesting question is how will Google position Chrome OS now that their Android mobile operating system has proved so successful? Many believed that Chrome OS would target the netbook ecosystem, but with touch screen tablet devices proving so popular, doesn't that make Android the natural choice? And with netbook popularity in decline, will Chrome OS's market have disappeared before it has even arrived?
Not my finest work. I can tell when I'm fumbling around for something to say when I use the term "watch this space". Urgh. Horrible word-smithery aside, I think these are pretty safe bets. But only time will tell.
Watch this space...