Strap yourself in, they said. It’s going to be a wild ride, they said.
Considering the changes technology I saw in 2013, I don’t blame anyone for predicting extraordinary growth for technology in 2014.
From the maturing of fledgling technology, to the release of never-before-seen gizmos and gadgets, some realized, some still in the wings; here is a list of the predicted tech trends for 2014 and their stages of completion:
The iPhone and iPad Get Bigger
Where Samsung’s 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 and 5-inch Galaxy S4 are selling fast, Apple’s 4-inch iPhone 5s is the weakest(I use this term very loosely) of the smartphone litter. While not small, the 9.7-inch iPad is still smaller than its 10.1 and 10.6-inch opponents.People naturally expect Apple to introduce the iPhone 6 in 2014 with a display that’s somewhere between 4.5 and 5-inches, the present standard of “normal” sized phones and an alleged 12-inch iPad.
While there have certainly been rumors, there has not been anything official from the company.
So Have they? Not yet.
The Era of smartwatches
2013 saw a number of commendable efforts to build a marketable smartwatch, but each of the current devices either lacks something special or is way too expensive. In 2014, naturally, there’s a high expectation for Google and Apple to enter the smartwatch market in a big way what with Apple’s ability to leverage Siri and Google’s Google Now. Samsung was expected to step up its game with a follow-up to the Galaxy Gear.
So far, Google has given us gorgeous smartwatches, and so have Sony and Samsung. Apple smartwatches however, remain ‘rumors’.
Windows 8.2 back with the ‘Start’ menu
You never know what you have till you lose it. Did you miss the start menu? I certainly did. After eliminating the Start menu in Windows 8 and replacing it with a pseudo Start button that only takes you back to the home screen in Windows 8.1, Microsoft is expected have its “welcome back” moment in 2014. The new version of Windows, is expected to bring the real Start menu back and allow you to run the new-style apps in their own windows on the desktop. The windows 8 UI will still be there for users that want it, especially tablet users.
There has certainly been a lot of buzz about it but the keyword in all these rumors has been ‘may’. So let’s follow the news, but put this in the maybe pile.
Curvy, High Resolution Smartphones
2012 was for 720p displays. 2013, 1080p became the new standard. ZDNet Korea predicted Samsung’s Galaxy S5 having a 2,560 x 1,440 display, expecting them to set the new standard, at least until 4K phones. It came with a 1920 x 1080 display (not quite as we expected). So for high res displays, it’s a not yet. Also, some of 2014’s flagship phones are expected to be curved glass. After years of rumors, LG and Samsung released phones with curved glass in late 2013, with the LG Flex even bending slightly to avoid damage.
I don’t expect every phone to go curve in 2014. But It’s a definite yes-trend, and there’s still time.
Laptops with USB Power Delivery
Since most smartphones use the microUSB cables for charging, it’s easy to borrow one, dig one out of a drawer or buy a replacement. But, if you lose your laptop charger, you’ll have a much harder time finding a replacement and the cost is only the beginning. Enter USB Power Delivery, a new standard that is expected to allow gadgets as laptops and large tablets to get both power and data over a single USB connection. CES 2013 showed a demo laptop getting power in and sending HD video out over USB.
Rumors supporting the release of USB powered laptops are all over, some even going as far as saying they’re slated for release later this year. True or not, this still goes to the maybe pile.