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Tech Predictions & Trends for 2012

In case you haven’t noticed we’re living in the future. Technology continues to change almost every aspect of our lives. With 2012 upon us, let’s take a look into the crystal ball and predict some trends for the coming year:

The Tablet Market Gets Tighter 
While Amazon’s Kindle Fire is making a play to take on Apple, the iPad is still the king of Tablet Mountain. In 2012, more people will own tablets and more and more tablets will replace laptop and desktop computers. Google’s Android Ice Cream OS will dominate all non-Apple devices, with the tablet-optimized Windows 8 nudging it’s way into the market too. Microsoft is rumored to be working on an iPad killer (both from a price and performance standpoint) but when the iPad 3 comes out it won’t matter.

Dual-core Processors Become a Smartphone Standard
The iPhone 4S wasn’t the first smartphone to sport dual-core processors (that honor goes to the Motorola Atrix and the Bionic Droid) but Apple – and naturally the iPhone – is the gold standard that all phones will be compared to. The bottom line is that people do more with their phones and expect more from them. And any manufacturer that’s making a phone in 2012 without a dual-core processor, well, shouldn’t be making phones. And don’t be surprised to see some phone makers up the ante even more, Nvidia recently announced quad-core processors for tablets and smartphones.

Technology Continues to Kill Technology
Why carry multiple devices when you only need to carry one?  As smartphones like the iPhone 4S continue to replace other devices, expect things like the digital camera market to shrink significantly. In fact, it’s already happening. Remember the Flip video camera? They stopped making it back in April 2011. Why? Because of the smartphone.

If you want another example, look no further than the optical drive – they’ll start disappearing from laptops. Why? People are downloading things directly to a machine or to the cloud. Devices are getting lighter, why be weighed down with an optical drive when you never use it?

Mobile Phone Plans Change and New Communication Providers Emerge
Service providers like AT&T and Verizon continue to revise their phones plans to take advantage of their customers and help their bottom line – as Skype, Google Voice and Wi-Fi continue to take a bite of providers profits. New providers will also emerge, in addition, look for partnerships like the one Walmart and T-Mobile forged this past year to spin off prepaid plans and other services.

You’ll Finally Open a Facebook Account
The last few hold-outs that haven’t hopped on Facebook yet, will finally have to sign up. Why? Many web services (like Spotify and Turntable.fm) will require that you have a Facebook account to use their service. It makes sense, it’s easier to stay connected to the userbase this way and it’s an easy way to nix fake accounts and abusive users.

Google Wallet and Mobile Payments Become More Common
Using your smartphone to pay for something will become more common in 2012, as NFC chips become more of a standard in smartphones. In fact, the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, has built in capability for peer-to-peer connections there will also be more apps that utilize the tech.

HTML 5 Finally Comes Out of the Closet
HTML 5 will reinvent the web as web devs start to really grasp and utilize the language. In fact don’t be surprised if you see HTML 5 start to take the place of apps. Need further proof? This past November, Adobe announced it would no longer support or develop its mobile Flash Player because of how well received HTML 5 has been.

The Cloud Gets Control
Think outside the box. In addition to more people adopting the cloud for storage of their music, movies and other media, we’ll also see processing move to the cloud. Look no further than the iPhone 4S and the cool things you can do with Siri. When you ask Siri something, Siri in turn sends your voice request to Apple’s data center, in turn your request is processed there and the reply then sent back to your phone.

Google Googles did the same thing a year before and it’s been recently revealed that Google is working on a competitor to Siri that will do the same thing as the virtual assistant, Google’s new secret project is codenamed “Majel.”

Apps Continue to Dominate
Apps continue to make our lives better – and they continue to replace other forms of media, like games and websites. App development will continue to grow and apps will continue to get better.

Of course, no one can predict the future, but industry analyst echo what is we’ve mentioned here. Do you agree with our predictions or have your own?

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posted by DMA Jordan in iPhone News & Tips,News Blog and have No Comments

Google’s New Netbook: Introducing Chromebooks

As a possible replacement to standard computers, netbooks have received little fanfare. The smaller, more lightweight and less expensive laptops are a smart alternative to less mobile desktop machines and even some laptops. The small size make them perfect for travel, or just for looking up a recipe in the kitchen.

The popularity of Apple’s iPad and netbooks produced by lesser-known hardware manufacturers hasn’t made it easy for consumers to embrace the concept behind netbooks. That will change, however, if Google has anything to do with it, starting with the announcement of Chromebooks.


Google’s Chromebooks pack a lot of power into a tiny machine.

Polishing the Netbook
Chromebooks are netbooks with the Google (Chrome) OS running on them. The first models, machines made by Samsung and Acer, are basically updated versions of CR-48 netbooks that Google sent to about a thousand beta testers. How do they work? Put simply, everything you would normally keep on your machine (i.e. all of your data) lives instead on the “cloud.” You use web apps to access your data and store everything remotely. So, if you should lose or damage the Chromebook, you don’t sacrifice any precious data.

Each Chromebook runs Google’s Chrome OS, a browser-based operating system that uses mainly web apps. The Chrome OS also includes an improved file manager, notification system and integration with Box.net for cloud storage, and both Netflix and Hulu for entertainment. You use your Google account to log into the service and because of the way the OS is authenticated by Google, when you log in, there are no updates, viruses or any other aggravating issues you may encounter with your usual PC. To sweeten the deal, Google plans to offer offline versions of some of its more popular apps this summer (including Gmail, Docs and Calendar), so users aren’t constantly tethered to the web.

Trying to understand the cloud? Watch an introduction to Chromebooks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVqe8ieqz10

Meet the Contenders
The Samsung Chromebook releases on June 15, 2011, in the U.S. and throughout most of Europe, with its wi-fi version selling for $429. There’s also a $499 option that includes 3G, plus Verizon is providing 100 MB of data usage for no additional charge for the first two years. Acer’s machine ($349) releases the same day. However, the Samsung Chromebook appears to be the more robust of the two, based on initial specs:

Samsung Chromebook
- 12.1-inch display with 1280×800 resolution and 300 nit screen
- Dual-core 1.66 GHz Intel Atom processor
- HD webcam, noise-canceling microphone
- 2 USB ports, 4-in-1 memory card slot, mini-VGA port
- Full-sized keyboard and clickable trackpad
- Weighs 3.26 pounds

Acer Chromebook
- 11.6-inch HD Widescreen display
- Weighs 2.95 pounds
- 6.5-hour battery life
- World Mode 3G model available in the future

A Chromebook For Everyone
It’s not only consumers that Google is pursuing with Chromebooks. Businesses and students also rank high on the list of potential users. Google has even set up a plan where businesses can pay $28 monthly per user to get a Chromebook and software support, while students receive the same service for a $20 monthly fee. Google manages the operating system updates and provides warranty service for the hardware.

Sure, there are cheaper netbooks and tablets but nothing as integrated as what Google is planning. And considering Google’s web expertise with data and software synchronization (anyone use Google Docs?), it’s easy to see the potential appeal of these new Chromebooks.

Like Apple’s iPad and iPhone, it’s games, productivity apps and – even more importantly– ease of use and additional features that will most likely drive Chromebook sales. No wonder, then, that the Google development platform is white hot. Digital Media Academy offers an incredible 3D Game Development for Google Android Devices Summer Camp. The course, taught by industry and app development professionals, is one of the most popular that DMA offers. If you’re looking for a way to enter the exciting world of Google app development, this is it.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments