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It’s hard to believe the calendar has already flipped to July. Time flies when you’re staring down at your iPhone all day, I guess. But what better time than the year’s midpoint to take a look at some of the more interesting tidbits and trends from 2011 thus far?
WWDC Shakeup - Jamming in the iCloud
I am like everyone else. I believe in death, taxes and a new iPhone announced at the WWDC every year. But not this year! Instead, we were treated to the rollicking arrival of iOS 5 and the iCloud. Very clever, Apple! Now I don’t just want one new iPhone, I want three new things and I can’t get any of them right this second.
It’s not easy to discuss the effect of the WWDC announcement without actually seeing the new gear in person but given that the iCloud feature set compares favorably to other cloud storage systems from Google and Amazon, that should at least make for an interesting fall tech season.
Hmm, does this mean taxes and death are out for 2011 as well?
Show of hands: who remembers the dot-com bubble? Wasn’t it fun watching all those fly-by-night web companies disappear before you had time to bookmark their web page? Pets.com? Good one, Internet. You got us.
But oh here we go again, maybe? Capital has been flowing into apps like crazy this year and results are decidedly mixed. Color picked up $41 million as it hit the ground and suddenly all that money seems for naught with press for the once-darling app having submarined. I guess co-founder Bill Nguyen wasn’t kidding when he told VenttureWire back in March that the company’s plan to make money wasn’t yet complete. Might want to work on that.
Instagram raised a slightly less eye-popping $7 million back in February but lord knows what will happen to the cash supply once iOS 5 hits and Apple’s own camera software can actually do some of the things these photo apps were developed for in the first place.
Is it too soon to call the app landscape a dot-com bubble repeat? Absolutely, but let’s see if a few more investors don’t burn millions of dollars like they’re Heath Ledger’s Joker before we call it off, just the same.
iPad 2 – could be better, could be worse
Oh, the iPad 2 came out. Yes, that was interesting! There were all those endless rumors about what features it would have and what it would leave out, but in the end opinions seemed mostly favorable with a caveat that the iPad 2 wasn’t exactly a huge leap over the original. But still, have you seen one in action? It’s fast and light and pretty dang cool. And of course, with its release we could finally start talking about iPad 3 rumors. One of which is apparently that it might actually release in the fourth quarter of this year. iPads for everyone. All the time.
iFashion is real and possibly terrifying
Probably my favorite news to follow so far in 2011 has been the continued emergence of tech fashion. In one corner you have cufflinks inspired by the light in the MacBook, and in the other you have a prosthetic that you can put on your face so you can use your iDevice without touching it with your fingers.
It goes without saying that we live in a rather magical time when your coffee shop could be filled with people wearing bird-noses and I hope this trend continues in the second half of the year. I want to see someone try their hand at a tech-savvy tuxedo. Sure it’ll be out of my price range, but I want to dream big!
Party time: apps spark a run of mini social networks
Time used to be, you could use Friendster to keep in touch with…okay, I never used Friendster. But certainly there was a time when Myspace was all you needed. And then Facebook was all you needed. But now app developers are making it harder to stay on one social network.
Sure most of these socially-spirited apps link back to Facebook and Twitter in some way, but many music and photo apps like SoundTracking, Shnap! and 8Tracks, work alarmingly well on their own. As if tech addiction wasn’t difficult enough, checking five or more apps a day is really taking its toll.
Not that I’m actually complaining. Apps like those mentioned above do a great job exploiting areas that the bigger social networks haven’t covered adequately enough. If this niche social network thing continues, I just hope they keep catering to things I like.