2013 key technology retrospective

Here are some of the developments in technology that caught my attention in 2013.

iOS 7

Featured fantastic advances that brought iOS to the forefront of mobile OS market. (Can you tell that I am an iOS developer:)?). The design aesthetic, the ability to easily and reliably (finally!) integrate with iCloud especially for developers, Airdrop to share with data with people around you, iTunes radio, a more advanced Siri, Core Motion advances including M7 and camera advances including face and smile detection.

iPhone 5S and iPad Mini Retina

This phone rocked with its 64bit capable A7 processor and the M7 motion co-processor with fast networking and LTE along with a better camera. The Touch ID was a bold attempt in finally bringing fingerprint based technology to the mass market and it works quite well. With the iPad Mini Retina, Apple did the impossible – pack the same processor and power as an iPad Air with the Retina display into the mini iPad footprint. Need I say more?

M7 Motion Coprocessor

The M7 deserves separate mention because of its step counting features and activity monitoring in the iPhone 5S without burdening the A7 and draining too much battery. No additional devices to purchase for these features. New iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina have the M7 but only Activity monitoring is enabled in them.

If you own an iPhone 5S, you may support the author(me) by checking out these 2 cool new apps designed exclusively for the iPhone 5S utilizing the M7 motion coprocessor. They track your steps indoors and outdoors without GPS, record your walking history and enable you to reach your daily step goals with no other devices to buy other than your iPhone 5S. Read about them by clicking the links below

BeWalking

10k Steps

Glass from Google and wearable technology

It is undeniable that the Google Glass is a fantastic technology and will be more available to the masses in 2014 and beyond. Sure, there will be privacy concerns etc. but wearable technology is IN! Lets also get more bags with solar panels and jackets with lightning connectors and start using them, really!. I worry a lot about the EM fields that these devices(phones, computers) generate and look forward to innovative devices that provide protection from these fields like the Pong cases for iPhone.

Pebble

Pebble did it ! They started as a Kickstarter project and they were able to mass produce a full-featured smart watch for a reasonable price. Sure, there are more apps and upgrades desired but nevertheless it is a fresh and innovative product. The last release of the Pebble OS supports iOS7 notifications and more features.

4k Displays

With the new (and powerful) Mac Pro supporting upto 4 4k displays, this is quickly becoming the new standard for advanced graphics displays. 4k tvs from Sony, Samsung and LG were out there and personally, I am waiting for their prices to come down a bit in 2014 and beyond. 8k displays soon? Believe me there is a spec out there.

Full frame DSLR within the reach of the prosumer

With the Canon 6D and Nikon D610 priced as low as in the 1500s (body only), there is hope that this was the year these cameras are putting this technology within the grasp of the consumer. 2014 may usher a sub $1000 full frame DSLR? Maybe:)

Mac Pro

Amazing features like compact design, graphics, 4k display support out of the box. Pricey but worth it if you need the graphics and processing features that this machine uniquely offers in a durable, compact design backed by Apple.

Voice Recognition becomes standard and more useful

Google voice and Siri as well as Xbox One all deserve a mention.

Other notable tech events/happenings in 2013

First lab grown meat burger was “produced” and eaten.
3D printers became more mainstream and cheaper.(esp. when a Makerbot store openend near my apartment).
Crypto currencies like BitCoin accompanied with all the advanced mining hardware and volatility were certainly more in the public eye.
Smart gadgets including the Nest learning thermostat, Jawbone speakers and Philips app enabled bulbs etc. More devices with built in smarts coming our way in 2014.
Sony Playstation PS4 and Microsft Xbox One put gaming on a new level but with limited available games. I played Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4 and it was quite an experience. On a 4k display (note PS4 does not support 4k yet) it would be out of this world. Maybe in 2016:).
Ouya Android based gaming console(another Kickstarter project) broke into a market dominated by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
Lastly, crowd funding stood out (again) as a force in 2013 and will continue too in 2014 and beyond.

Happy holidays and a happy new year!

And thank you for your support! See you in 2014!

–Gary Saggu

Select fall, winter and holidays new gadget(tablets, gaming consoles) release dates

Note: This list will be updated frequently…

iPhone 5S, 5C – Available now

iPad Air – Available now

iPad Mini 2 with Retina display – Available NOW (update from Nov 12, 2013)

Ouya Gaming Console – Available now

Pebble Smartwatch – Available now

Sony PS4 – Release date November 15, 2013

Microsoft Xbox One – Release date November 22, 2013

Nikon D610 – Unbelievable full frame DSLR – Available now

These are great choices that any techie or not would love to find as a holiday gift.

– Gary Saggu

http://www.garysaggu.net

http://www.garysaggu.com

Essence of the October 22, 2013 Apple event and the unveiling of iPad Air

– iPad Air is out (on Sep 1, 2013 in stores and online). Features – A7 64 bit processor along with the M7 co-processor with faster processing and graphics with an eye towards battery saving, only 1 lb heavy and about 20% thinner.  Looks like a larger version of the mini footprint with its slightly square edges.  No fingerprint touch id Frown in this version. Comes in silver and space gray.  Expanded LTE coverage.  Larger pixels for the back camera.  Faster WiFi with Mimo/dual antennae (lookout Amazon Fire which has had this technology for sometime).

– iPad Mini is out at the end of November.  Powerful, new A7 processor and Retina display are the major things that stand out.  Also, it has all the other features of the iPad Air in a mini footprint.  Basically, packs the same power as the iPad Air in a convenient mini (now with Retina) package.  This model will truly rock! Might finally move to the mini after this release.

– Macbook Pro lineup is upgraded with the latest Intel chips namely Haswell and Crystalwell architectures and Iris as well as Iris Pro graphics.  Slight price reduction as well.

– Mac Pro is coming in December. Mini drum shaped, polished aluminum casing and quite a design I must say.  Pure power and runs cool.  For the professional with multi-core CPUs/GPUs.  More on this in a separate article.

– OS X Mavericks is out today and is FREE.  I was quite happy to hear that. And so are Apple apps – KeyNote, Numbers and Pages (yes) for new purchasers of Apple devices.  Mavericks features Maps, calendar with Geo location awareness, tagging, fantastic power saving features and more.  Available as a free upgrade to even users of Snow Leopard.  But do check the recommended hardware specs from Apple before downloading on the older machines.  I will write a separate blog on the over 200 new features of Mavericks.

Overall, it was quite a satisfying event and Apple did give away a lot of free goodies.  Looking forward to ordering my iPads (one of each please).

Looking forward to all the potential and a much greater audience for 64 bit code.

Gary Saggu

http://www.garysaggu.net

http://www.garysaggu.com