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What Will Win in 2014: Mobile, Wearables, and Developers

         

It’s that point of year when quite a lot of pundits sharpen their pens and make predictions on what they suspect might be trending for the approaching 12 months. Predictions are frequently in accordance with what came about the earlier year, particularly relating to technology, and this year’s predictions for sure practice that methodology, with only a few large surprises or outliers. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to extrapolate technology traits and logically plot the place they may go within the subsequent year, however it’ll be attention-grabbing come the tip of 2014 to peer which predictions have been proper and which of them had been wildly off the mark (and there’s all the time quite a lot of of these!).

Wearables

Devices like Google Glass and the sensiblewatch simply barely had time to pick out up steam in 2013, however many pundits agree that wearable technology might be one of the most strongest traits to watch in 2014. Google Glass actually began the buying energy of the wearables market with a vengeance, and plenty of persons are taking a look ahead to buying their replica of this sensible gadget, together with sensible TVs, good watches, and good dwelling technology.  Key applied sciences right here will embody connectivity, extraordinarily refined picture attractiveness, and NFC. NFC – close to container conversation – can be utilized between two devices so they may be able to “speak” to one another with or with out touching, regularly at shut vary. There’s relatively a number of functions of this technology already in the market, as an example, zero-contact cost methods, e-ticket smartcards, mobile funds, digital wallets, public transport, field places of work, and extra on the horizon.

There are totally different colleges of notion on how a lot customized data is secure to share by the use of NFC; in my opinion, I’m for sure on the aspect that claims “as little as that you can imagine”. However wouldn’t or not it’s good to have all of your saved networking knowledge (title, e-mail, phone, industry card, resume, previous jobs, LinkedIn profile, portfolio of labor, articles, and so forth.) in a single handy hub that may be immediately ported over by the use of NFC to any individual you’re speaking to? You might want to have totally different ranges of shareability on this as smartly: most likely one degree for networking contacts, one degree for chums, one stage for household, and so forth. As a substitute of doing the trade card dance with guarantees to electronic mail extra later, you want to simply use an app to your NFC-enabled sensiblewatch to straight away switch data; no muss, no fuss.

Wearables confirmed up at IDF 2013 within the keynote given on Day One of IDF 2013 by new Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and new President Renee James, touching on such subjects as datacenters, ultra-mobile devices such as tablets, phones and wearables, and “lifestyle computing”. One of the biggest confirmations of whether or not wearables will really take off in 2014 will happen in just a couple weeks at CES, which is scheduled for January 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The really big showstoppers are sure to be there, but wearables are slated to make a big splash as well:

“…wearable computers may not achieve huge commercial success so quickly, said Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research.”We’re in the very early days with wearable computers in terms of experimentation,” he said, pointing out how companies are still defining the right usage models, the right physical size and where exactly people would wear these things. He called the current first wave of wearable devices disappointing, but has no doubts that companies will figure things out. “Long term, wearable computers are definitely going to be a component among the things that we have because they will augment our life,” he said. “It will help us get through the world, navigate commerce, airports and social situations.” –  “Will wearable technologies steal the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show?” iq.intel.com

Mobile

If just one field of technology could be said to have ruled 2013, most industry analysts would agree that mobile development and mobile form factors would take the first prize ribbon. Mobile PCs, mobile phones, and tablets are expected to continue to increase, especially touch-enabled form factors. According to the quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report from NPD Display Search, mobile form factors are not going anywhere:

  • The mobile PC market is expected to increase from 367.6 million units shipped in 2012 to 762.7 million globally by 2017, driven by touch-enabled form factors
  • The majority of this shift will come as tablet PCs begin to replace notebook PCs this year as the dominant mobile PC form factor, and touch becomes a key feature in mobile PC adoption.   
  • Notebook PC shipments are expected to decline 10% over the next four years, from 203.3 million in 2013 to 183.3 million in 2017, but there will be pockets of growth. Shipments of notebooks with touch capabilities are expected to grow 48% Y/Y in 2014.

As long as tablet PCs continue to offer users what they have continually been choosing in their form factors – great design, robust battery life, and quick response – this particular market will continue to grow.

What about the mobile ecosystem that provides that ying to this yang? Mobile app development is just starting to hit its stride, and as users demand more and more apps to meet a wide variety of needs this will only continue to grow.  Keeping in mind that this is a very young market that is barely getting started, here are just a few numbers grabbed from 2013 statistics:

  • There are 641 new apps in the App Store per day – and more than 19,000 new apps every month – ReadWriteWeb
  • Google last reported 700,000 apps in the Google Play Store, which made the app store tied with the Apple App Store at the time in quantity of apps – InsideMobileApps
  • DragonVale developer Backflip Studios and Supercell, developer of Clash of Clans and HayDay, raked in a combined $100 million for their freemium titles DragonVale and Clash of Clans.
  • Flurry estimated that a record-breaking 17.4 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas Day, along with an equally record-breaking 328 million application downloads. Studying the data from December 25 – December 31, additional records were set, now for the highest number of device activations and app downloads of any week in history. Over the holiday week, Flurry estimates that over 50 million iOS and Android devices were activated, and 1.76 billion applications were downloaded.  –  Flurry.com
  • Apple’s current App Store count lies at the 775,000 apps mark (with more than 300,000 native iPad apps) and a total of $7 billion paid to developers for their apps. Those apps are available to users in 155 countries around the world. – TheNextWeb

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Google CEO Eric Schmidt states his claim that mobile is the “trend to follow” for 2014, and that people with connected devices (aka tablets, smartphones, and the above-mentioned wearables) will have an advantage over other people:

“The trend has been that mobile was winning, it’s now won,” he said. “There are more tablets and phones being sold than personal computers. People are moving to this new architecture very fast.” He continued, “The biggest disruptor that we’re sure about is the arrival of big data and machine intelligence everywhere. The ability to find people, to talk specifically to them, to judge them, to rank what they’re doing, to decide what to do with your products, changes every business globally.” –  “Eric Schmidt says mobile has won 2014”, TheVerge.com

Developers

I’ve written a lot about developers in this space this year, and there have been a few trends that stick out that I think will continue in 2014.

Motivation: The sense of achievement and not profit is what really drives developers (although nobody’s going to turn down a check). I’ve talked to developers who have literally been up for three days straight to figure something out, simply for the love of programming. According to a recent survey, creativity and a sense of achievement are what make the difference for 53% of developers, while the most important goal for 33% of those surveyed is simply gaining knowledge, having fun, or making strides towards self-improvement.

Platforms: iOS and Android won the day in 2013, and I believe that this trend will continue in 2014. In fact, SiliconAngle found that Android, iOS and HTML5 are the top three platforms chosen by developers across all the regions where the survey was conducted.  In North America, 67 percent of developers use Android, 62 percent on iOS, and 55 percent on HTML5. The survey revealed that three main things affect developer choice, and that is Speed and cost of development, revenue potential, and the ability to reach target consumer.

Developers choose Android because it is faster and cheaper to develop apps for this platform, but if they want bigger revenue, they’d opt for iOS. I see this changing in 2014, with more and more developers switching over to Android and HTML5 as their platforms of choice, and with the tools that Intel has provided for Android and other mobile platforms, it’s exciting to imagine the possibilities.

Rise of the Indies: You don’t have to be attached to a big name studio to really make a success of yourself; on the contrary, 2013 saw independent game development take on a life of its own with a much lower entry barrier as far as revenue needed for success. Independent game development and smaller indie teams are making steady gains as seen in a survey from the Game Developers Conference; 53% of respondents identified themselves as “indie developers”, and 51% of these had been developing games for less than two years

Cross-platform mobile development: If you’re familiar with the term “don’t put your eggs in one basket”, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that cross-platform mobile development is only going to increase in 2014. A report titled “Cross Platform Mobile Development Tools Market Analysis and Forecast” published by Smiths Point Analytics studies that the marketplace for move-platform mobile building instruments exceeds $1.6 billion presently, and is anticipated to succeed in $eight.2 billion through 2016: “Builders are taking a variety of pass platform construction strategies and a success builders will fit the best instruments and strategy to applicable necessities and use instances. With the complexity of mobile app construction persevering with to develop, the instruments companies’ skill to scale back construction time and elevate utility attain is producing vital alternatives. This new development in mobile utility construction will even lend a hand gas and extra open and affluent mobile app ecosystem.”

What’s your crystal ball prediction?

From wearables to mobile app construction to the upward thrust of the unbiased developer, there was once a powerful push to interconnectivity that used to be the overreaching theme of 2013 – and what I consider would be the persevered push into 2014. What’s your prediction for the place we will be able to go in 2014?