2013 is wrapping up and it has quickly become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, year for Android. This year gave us Google Play Edition devices, Android 4.4, a new Nexus 7, the Nexus 5, the Chromecast as well as a host of new phones like the HTC One, Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z and LG G2. But what will next year bring? Will it be the furthering advancement of smartphones or will Google and others dive into a new realm of mobile computing? Below I list my predictions for 2014
1) Wearable Devices
The smartphone essentially merged several pieces of technology together in one compact device. We no longer carry pagers, PDAs, or watches because we now have all of that in our phone. Google has made a huge splash with its Glass project. Glass has garnered a lot of media attention, both positive for its innovation and negative for its potential privacy issues. Nevertheless, Google is pushing forward with it’s bold strategy and has already spawned competition from other companies like Microsoft and Recon Instruments.
Smartwatches are also expected to explode in 2014. While the smartwatch is not new, you can expect Samsung and Apple to be fighting over that territory. Samsung has already released it’s Galaxy Gear to mixed reviews. It’s limited implementation and function, coupled with an outrageous price tag has kept Samsung from out doing cheaper alternatives like the Pebble. Don’t expect Samsung to slow down any and with rumors of Google getting involved, you can expect 2014 to be the year of the smartwatch.
2) Nexus 10
Their are still 7 days left for Google to announce the latest edition of its 10″ tablet for 2013, but I won’t be holding my breath. The Nexus 10 is sure to be released in the first half of 2014. The first model wowed us with it’s gorgeous display and front facing speakers. Early concepts leaks have the latest Nexus 10 resembling a flat screen TV, with its sharper edges. Whether or not those images are real is uncertain. What is certain is that Google will have to up its game on the display to convince people to upgrade their device. That might make the Nexus 10 the first 4K tablet to hit the market.
3) Motorola will bounce back
I would not have said this last year, but 2014 is going to be big for Motorola. The acquisition by Google is starting to pay off. We already have a practically skinless interface, as well as the fastest update schedule of any OEM. What we need is Moto to be successful and start leap frogging other manufacturers. If Motorola can prove to the industry that fast updates equals increased sales, you might start to see a positive shift in customer loyalty. What Motorola needs is a hit. So far the Moto X hasn’t been the light at the end of the tunnel that they needed. A strong advertising campaign (not with Verizon) might just be the ticket to Motorola success.
4) Samsung and HTC will fight it out
HTC bounced back with the release of the One, a phone many critics say is the best Android handset of 2013. Unfortunately their success didn’t measure into actual dollars and they continue to lag behind Samsung. HTC won’t take this lying down and rumors of a newer version of the One are starting to circulate the web. Samsung is also planning the next big thing. Rumors are buzzing that Samsung might just ditch the plastic and go with an aluminum body. The biggest gripe with the GS4 (other than Touchwiz) is its cheap design. While tech critics might balk at Touchwiz and the plastic body, the consumer has decided with their wallets that they don’t mind them, as the GS4 was a huge success for Samsung.
5) Google evolves past mobile technology
Google made headlines recently about acquiring Boston Dynamics, a robotic research company that has had success with quadruped based robots (seen in the picture). This isn’t the first robotics company Google has acquired. They also own Redwood Robotics, which specializes mechanical arms for manufacturing and Meka, a robotics company that specializes in a humanoid robot design for human interaction.
What does this mean? Your guess is as good as mine. Google has been very tight lipped about its plans for these companies. I expect Google to announce something by the end of next year. Hopefully it won’t be followed by an Android revolution that enslaves mankind.
What do you predict for next year? Let us know in the comments below.