It’s been a fascinating period, technology-wise. Form factors have changed and parts we thought were fossilized have been dusted, given face lifts and are back looking smarter than ever.
A quick recap:
Apple decided to make the iPad smaller, so we have a smaller tablet, the iPad mini now. And they’ve brought back the 4:3 aspect ratio (everybody else sports the cinematographic 16:1 these days). And by the way, this is not a bug (they say it increases display area very significantly). It’s also got a great tag line depicting the experience – “there’s less of it, but no lessto it”.
Samsung’s decided to make the phone a little bigger – let’s welcome the new phablet Galaxy Note II. Oh God! they have also brought back part II of the stylus and it looks cooler than ever (the newly christened s-pen!). So much for Steve’s quipon the best pointing devices in the world…
Amazon has decided to put a custom amazon shop in everyone’s home and called it the Kindle Fire – and priced it at zero margins – maybe they reasoned supermarkets don’t price for the use of their shopping carts! If this move succeeds massively (and it does seem to be happening), maybe the company should call itself the Amazing Amazon?
Google showcased its beautiful chromebook at a fraction of the Mac air’s price. From a feature and capabilities standpoint, it could very well be called the cloud book (and it comes with lots of Dropbox space too) – and interestingly rather than adding, they’ve left stuff out (their new architecture allows them to knock off the fan and also become much slimmer) and decided in favor of a Samsung chip. A new ecosystem brewing here?
Microsoftprobably deserves the biggest space. Newly architected hardware( the surface), a new OS which promises a seamless operation between form factors – they are certainly headliners this year. Very interestingly, they brought back the keyboard. Instead of opening out a new genre of computing machines, have they collapsed the PCs and Tablets into one category now?
This seems to be a most interesting period in the timeline of personal computing device innovation. Computer-human interaction has increased, home-work life is blurring, SoLoMo technologies bring context like never before into the picture – and these innovations reflect the evolving times. The question of whether we will adapt to an-always-online, always-visible world or whether we will make the devices adapt to our requirements (and free up our time and lives because of the increased context and on demand nature of these innovations)is of course a matter for debate – as always…