Monday, January 3, 2011

Looking forward again

I've just completed my annual exercise of looking at the new technology devices/applications I have adopted during the just completed year. I don't think it's as expansive as last year, but quantity may not be the indicator of the extent of the platform shift we are seeing as fingertip held computers exploded on the scene last year. At last count 700,000 'smart phones' were being activated each DAY based on the Apple, RIM and Android platforms. Gone from the conversation, but still trying are are Nokia, MSFT and Ericsson. Each frantically trying to carve out a reason for existence in a market which is passing them by.

Here's the cosmic new list:

1. I became an Apple fanboy. First it was the ultimate convergence device the iPad. It united my TV viewing, news reading, and communications. To the dismay of my wife, they united at all hours in my bedroom. Jobs is right, the device is magical and his comments on the introduction when he said that he's not sure how it's ultimately going to be used, gave great insight into how an entrepreneur's passion can win...over the bean counters.

1a. The applications on the iPad, with its gesture based control, are magical too. Of special note are Star Walk for astronomy, The WSJ, NPR, Google Voice and my favorite, DoodleJump. Of course, Findmy phone willbe the one that will save my bacon.

2. After a brief fling with a Samsung Android device powered (though the right word is crippled) by Verizon, I adopted the iPhone. It's really extended the internet to my mobile fingertips and, unlike Blackberry usage, it's now 80% web/application based, rather than 80% mail used. Ever notice how folk in elevators now are buried in their screens and no longer look at shoes?

3. Facebook Social graph introduced in April and has transformed the application into a platform which is integral to the success of a host of follow-on applications. So far, I've enabled 22 applications to interact with my Facebook social grid. It looks as if the 'social dial tone' is the operating system of this decade.

4. Played with many applications in Google Labs. The list expanded from 5 pages to 7 pages of tools, trifles and applications

5. Dropped using the Kindle as the iPad implementation is good enough

6. Installed Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Amazing to see how a version 9 of anything can be so replete with bugs as to be practically unusable.

7. Began using bar codes to get more information/prices on items. Scanbuy Redlaser and TheFind are the three I use most often. They are so different and each has its strength/weaknesses.

8. Watched my daughter create an outfit, get comments from her friends, then purchase a pair of shoes on PlumWillow

9 . Geo location based capability is no longer unique many of my applications have them and if they don't they shortly will. Leading the list of most useful is Yelp's implementation.

10. Donated my daughter's Nintendo DX. Fingercomputing, and it's drive towards 'permacheap' applications and functionality has obsoleted this device.

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