To better understand the trends in mobile technology, you have to evaluate what is really happening. First of all, the internet is evolving. Ok, I do realize I am not breaking any new ground here, but what really is the internet? If I were to ask someone this question 10 years ago they would have said, “Well, you sit down at your computer and open up this thing…. and… etc..” The key here is that the definition of the internet has changed. We are now viewing videos, social networking, storing our photos, etc… pretty much everything on the internet. The internet has enabled all of us to do exactly what it was meant to do – CONNECT!
Now virtually EVERYTHING is connected. For a long time the hold up was mobile technology. We simply did not have processors strong enough to handle our demands. Think about it, I used to have a computer that had a Pentium 3 processor. That thing was AMAZING when it came out. I now have a chip in my phone that is more powerful. It is true when they say that there is more computing power in the iPhone than there was in the first space shuttle. IMPRESSIVE. Read more about it from DoubleDay.
It has not been until the release of the iPhone that we really had the capibilites of being mobile. Once the iPhone caught on and everyone HAD to have it, mobile technology changed entirely. Before the iPhone all we really had was the BlackBerry which only offered a large screeen and a keyboard really… in fact MSNBC points out just how much BlackBerry is struggling.
Devices such as the iPhone brought about a whole new form of computing and changed the definition of a computer. Now our phones have more power than our original computers. When someone wants to go to the internet they grab whatever is closest. In most cases we are right next to our phones and end up reaching for those. When I am sitting in front of my TV before I go to bed at night, I just reach for my iPad because it is a very easy way to view the web.
So… now that we have talked about the gap that we experienced with hardware, we can begin to talk about mobile technology. Mobile technology didn’t take off until hardware caught up.
A computer is now in many different forms and yes, your phone truly is a computer. The greatest example is the Droid Bionic with the laptop dock. Read about it from Motorola. All you do is plug your phone into this device and it becomes a computer. FASCINATING.
Another interesting product is the Asus Transformer. This essentially treats the screen as one part of the computer and the keyboard as another. It blows my mind with the ingenuity. The keyboard is more than just a keyboard. It charges the screen so that you can continue functioning mobile when you are done with the keyboard. It also includes additional usb ports and a touchpad.
Computers are clearly evolving. Applications are going to take advantage of this! HTML5 could become the mobile standard for developers. It has not been fully ironed out as to all the features that it will have, but certain parts are standard. An example is that in the past HTML code would never have to sync with a GPS or an accelerometer. Now that computers are including these new tools, the code is catching up.
More and more hardware enablers as I call them are going to change apps. My definition of a hardware enabler is just a fancy term for a new slick hardware gadget. An example is that marathons have included chips in the shoes of the athletes for many years. This is a way for the officials to accurately record times. In the future you could see an app which tracks family members in the race so you would be able to cheer them on at various parts of the race. The statistics from all of the runners can be loaded in real-time to an app where you can get all kinds of crazy numbers for you to compare states etc. This is more than just a GPS.
We are going to see more and more blending of technologies in regards to applications. Applications are going to replace websites. In the future it is going to be a website that looks one way when you are on a computer and one way when you are on a mobile device, yet it will be written in the same code and there will be no reason to have to write code in HTML, Java, Objective C, etc, separately as you do currently. The web will be unified.