Well, 2012 was a funny old year wasn’t it! Some of my highlights are as follows;
- Everyone sued everyone else
- Apple released a new iPhone (surprise!)
- Samsung released just about every form factor under the sun including the behemoth Note 2 (one of my favourite devices of the last couple of years)
- Microsoft annoyed some and wooed others (about 16 I believe) by announcing Windows Phone 8
- Google bought out an awesome Android handset, for very little cost, but also very little inventory.
- Google released the Nexus 7 which went on to be incredibly successful, and is by far my favourite Android tablet.
So what should we expect from 2013? Well, if I could do that, then I’d be writing numbers in lottery play slips rather than typing this, but.. I know what I’d LIKE to see.
Mobile tech in general..
Whilst I’m always amazed at how fast mobile tech moves along, there are two areas I find myself getting frustrated with;
Cameras and battery life.
I live in England. It is usually sunny for about two weeks of the year. We spend a lot of time in the pub. Therefore, I need my camera to take great low light shots / flash photography. Wind back just over FIVE YEARS ago, and I was able to take glorious quality 5MP snaps with a PROPER Xenon flash. No amount of darkness was a match for that thing (providing the subject was close enough, of course). I’m serious, when I compare the quality of these pictures, with those recently taken with my iPhone 5 – the former wins. The iPhone takes much better video, but for pictures there’s little in it. Did I mention this was five years ago? Yeah… exactly. The same argument is usually put forward for the lack of Xenon flash.. battery life.. which brings me on to my second point.
We discussed this topic on the podcast this week, but battery life NEEDS to get better. Those of you who listen to / watch the podcast this week (apologies for forcing my ugly mug on you!) will hear Jamie tell you it’s about getting new battery tech approved to be safe for consumer use. Whilst I’m sure this is true, lithion-ion tech had to be approved at some point, so it’s not impossible. Where are the promised fuel cells? When can I carry around a little bottle of liquid and top up my battery within a few seconds? WHERE IS THE FUTURE I WAS PROMISED!? *ahem* You see what I mean, anyhow…
so, apart from those two, what else?
I’d like to see a new Nexus phone.
I love the idea of the Nexus phone, and what it represents. Unfortunately there hasn’t been one since the original Nexus One that I really WANTED to own, they’ve always seemed to lack a certain something. I’d like to see Google ship it properly this time. I don’t believe that Google expected it to sell in low numbers, particularly at the price point it was given. If they did, then I hope they’ve learnt their lesson for 2012. Even the relatively disastrous Nexus 7 launch was handled better.
The next iPhone
(god I hope Apple don’t end up calling it that). I love iOS devices, and I love Android devices. Other handsets interest me, but these are my primary platforms, and make up most of the mobile devices I own. I am, therefore, along with most of the rest of the world, looking forward to what Apple have to offer. I hope they bring their ‘A game’ in the camera department, and in particular, to the stagnant, inconsistent look and feel of iOS. No-one is expecting the rows of icons to disappear (at least, if you are, prepare to be disappointed) but there are many areas that must be improved. Game centre looks hurrendous, notifications get in the way of buttons at the top of programs, horrible. iOS does not currently fit in with the obsessive attention to detail that Apple are famed for. This needs to change. In terms of hardware, I’d like to see a choice of screen sizes, even if the resolutions aren’t any different. I don’t care about the arguments for one handed operation. You only have to look at the sales figures for the Galaxy S3 to see that doesn’t bother most people. I love my iPhone, but 4″ just isn’t big enough. (Stop tittering in the back, there).
iPad mini with ‘retina’ display
I loved the iPad mini, i loved the form factor, but I love the retina display more. The ‘lack’ of power didn’t bother me, but the resolution certainly did. Until this improves, I will stick with my pixel packing iPad 4.
I’d like 4G to be more available, and much better value (I’m looking at you, EE). It’s just not enough of an upgrade to warrant the extra cost, particularly when that means giving up unlimited data. (hello, Three!).
Google Now that works properly
What is the point of a voice control app that doesn’t work when the screen’s off? One of the best things about Siri is being able to note something down, send a text, set a reminder, change tracks, play new playlists etc. all without even taking your phone out of your pocket. Why Google Now doesn’t do these things I’ll never know, particularly as these are the features Apple promoted heavily in Siri’s launch ads. This is one of the reasons I keep going back to the iPhone. It’s incredibly useful.
Those are the things that stick out the most for me as a ‘wish list’. Of course, the things I really want, are the things that don’t exist yet, can’t be predicted, and are just as special as they are unpredictable. Who am I looking at for that? Two years ago I’d have said Apple, but now it’s Google. They’re clearly on the war path, with cheap tablets, phones (even with an horrendous launch, and STILL unavailable for sale), and sticking it to Microsoft every chance they get.
Don’t let me down, you lovely big green robot, you..