The Mobile World Congress (MWC), typically attended by every major manufacturer except Apple, came and went with no earth shattering implications this year. While there were plenty of smartphones launched, there was nothing really revolutionary. Indeed, most of the launches were updated versions of previous smartphones with minor tweaks in hardware and operating systems.
We have to keep an eye on the future of devices because it can give us a glimpse into what apps will best fit the market soon. According to most observers, the future trend will be toward wearable technology. This means screens will be getting smaller and video applications will be more crucial as the “Dick Tracy Video Phone” becomes a reality.
Currently, the state of the wearable world is that technology is more or less confined to smartwatches and various devices for health and fitness. However, with Google’s recent announcement of a new operating system called “Android Wear” and Intel’s recent entry into the smartwatch and wearable computing fields, the wearable industry is about to become very interesting.
In the meantime, though, here is what is happening in the near future with Android and iOS.
Samsung Galaxy S5
This is the new flagship product for Samsung. It features a 16MP camera with a very fast autofocus and a design that is purportedly water and dust-resistant. There are no real advances here, but it is a very nice phone with elite specs.
All New HTC One
Despite the pretentious name, the All New HTC One is an attractive product. It is keeping the 1080p camera from the HTC One but the display will be slightly larger: 12.7 cm. It will also have dual cameras on the rear.
Like Apple, Google seems to have settled into a pattern of one smartphone release per year. The Nexus 5 has been such a success that Google really has no reason to release Nexus 6 before the Christmas shopping season.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
This is another phone with very little solid information other than a projected fall launch. We are guessing it happens in September at the IFA Berlin, better known to those who speak English as the “Berlin Radio Show.” Possible innovations: a “bent” 3-sided display and a design that is resistant to both water and dust.
Motorola Moto X 2
Motorola was bought out by Lenovo, but that will not stop them from putting out another Moto X phone. Moto X was a pleasant surprise last year; it could be a pleasant surprise this year. We’ll see.
Apple is ready with its iPhone 6. The screen could be as large as 13.97 cm. It is also rumoured to have a much better camera, iOS 8, Sapphire display and an A8 processor. As always, it is difficult to pry any info out of Apple, so we will probably have to wait until their customary fall launch period to find out what they have in store.
CarPlay is Apple’s latest attempt to maximise the high-end market. The system will be in cars from companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. We will see if either company gains dominance in the “battle of the dashboards” or if Apple stays on the high end and Android develops technology for the middle and below.
General trends will be that Apple will continue to create new iOS options for upper-end consumers while Android makes some smartphones more affordable and gets them into the hands of more consumers on the middle to lower end. We think wearables are going to be a big future trend, but probably down the road a year or two.
What It Means to App Developers
For now, it means more of the same. The last two years were the years for quantum leaps; 2014 is more a year of status quo and mild tweaks. Top end smartphones are getting better cameras while more inexpensive smartphones are hitting the market to bring in even more consumers.
Some questions you should be asking yourself:
If you come up with a great idea in response to any of these questions, call 1300 650 253. Let’s turn your idea into a money-maker.