Lots of New Technology on Horizon
The world of technology moves so fast that it is difficult for the average person to keep up.
Propelled by the coming of the holiday season and the many new technologies on the horizon, the second half of 2012 is poised to be one of the busiest periods ever for new products. Here’s a sneak peek on a little of what to expect.
Apple will have a lot of new products this year. The company has already announced new laptops. The new operating system for the Mac, called Mountain Lion, is expected to be available as early as next month. The price of $19.95 for the update has already been set.
Mac users may want to consider it just because it will be an easy way to add voice dictation to a Mac. You talk, and it will type. Apple also promises tighter iCloud integration and other new features.
Apple says its mobile devices will also get a new operating system, iOS 6, sometime this fall. It will have more than 200 new features. It will be a free update that will run on all newer versions of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Although nothing official has been released by Apple, new iPhone hardware (iPhone 5?) is also expected to make its debut sometime in October. The new iPhone is expected to have a larger screen and a new adapter. I’m sure that other surprises also await us in this phone.
With tablets being wildly popular, it is not surprising that many manufacturers will have new tablets available for the holiday season. What is a bit surprising is that the newest tablet hardware manufacturer is Microsoft, a company that is much better known for its expertise in software.
Microsoft recently unveiled a new tablet called Surface. This will be Microsoft’s competitor to the iPad, equaling it in size, weight and other specifications. Microsoft has a few surprises up its sleeve.
The Surface has a built-in kickstand for doing things such as watching movies. It also has a really cool magnetic cover that comes in an assortment of bold colors and doubles as a keyboard.
It is expected this fall, but the all-important feature that needs to be competitive with the iPad, the pricing, has yet to be announced.
Microsoft’s new tablet will run a variation of Windows 8, the forthcoming version of the company’s flagship operating system. Windows 8 is also expected this fall. The traditional Microsoft OS release date is in late October, usually about Oct. 23.
Windows 8 has an entirely new interface called Metro, which consists of large colorful squares that represent tasks. It will support touch screens on computers as well as on tablets. So come fall, we are sure to see a barrage of new touch screen laptop and desktop computers.
Surely Amazon will not sit idly by and let Apple and Microsoft duke it out. Although no announcements have been made, Amazon is sure to release the next version of its Kindle Fire tablet in time for the holiday selling season.
Rumor has it that when that happens, Amazon will sell the current version for $150. This could put some welcome pressure into the pricing set by others. Amazon is also likely to release at least one new version of the Kindle e-book reader to compete with the new Barnes and Noble Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight that can be read in bright sunlight as well in the dark.
This fall, we will also see updated Windows 8 smartphones with the new Metro interface. I reviewed one of the new Windows phones recently and found it to be very capable and easy to use. With the updated version that is coming, it should be a viable competitor for both the iPhone and Android phones.
This year will also bring other new smartphones. Samsung is making big moves in that arena. Its Galaxy S III is currently being released by American carriers. If you haven’t seen it yet, you will. Samsung is planning a huge marketing campaign, including ads during the upcoming Olympics.
With a 4.8-inch super HD-AMOLED display, this phone will appeal to all ages. It has a wealth of new features for sharing and photo shooting. It will have NFC-enabled stickers, called “TecTiles,” that users can program to automate common tasks.
For instance, you could put a TecTile sticker on your nightstand to turn your Galaxy into a preprogrammed bedside alarm clock. This Galaxy will also have Google Wallet for making purchases with your cellphone and voice recognition that will compete with Apple’s Siri.
As you can see, we are in for a lot of changes, and obviously there will be a lot of competition. Right now, it looks like we will have some great choices. If the competition keeps the prices down, we may all be winners.
Contact Sandy Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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