The soul of your device

The soul of your device

This year has conclusively proved that apps make our phones. Or for that matter, hardware is as good as the software that runs on it. This idea is likely to be enhanced as we get ready to welcome apps which would make use of technological advances such as 3D touch, while others would ‘enhance’ capabilities of non-conventional devices such as televisions. Business Standard looks at what we could expect in 2016:

A Happy New Year for gamers

Gamers are expected to rejoice the coming year. Popular gaming franchises are set to announce games for mobile platforms, so one can finally move away from endless running games and graduate to RPGs and adventure games. Of course, with the upgradation of games, one has to upgrade their phones to run the games seamlessly

A matter of OS

If this year saw the rollout of Windows 10, next year would see Microsoft adding more capabilities to the operating system (OS), especially after they put Continuum in action via the Display Dock and the Lumia 950. Likewise, Apple is sure to add some more magic to its OS X 10.12 (code named Fuji), especially in terms of user interface. With the growing popularity of various flavours of Linux and the game-centric SteamOS, it’ll be back to the Nineties (and multiple OSes) all over again.

The mobile’s soul

It’s confusing to buy a smartphone. There are just too many choices – from hardware to the OS the phone runs. The broad choices are Android and on iOS. Next year would see a wider rollout of Android Marshmallow, while iOS 10 is likely to be unveiled in June. And to top it all, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in Delhi last week that the name of the next version of Android (which should start with an N, by convention) might be decided after an online poll.

On cloud nine

We’ve had cloud apps and cloud storage for long. But this year saw many cloud services seamlessly integrating with user interface to back up/pull data from the cloud unobtrusively. With data services about to get a boost with the launch of Reliance Jio’s 4G services this December, more and more apps would seamlessly integrate with the cloud. And with cloud storage prices at reasonable rates (with many freebies thrown in), people are sure to bite the bait. Also, streaming services such as Apple Music (which debuted this year) would ensure we keep most of our media online.

Health is wealth

Fitness and tracking apps have been around earlier but 2015 saw them being more tightly integrated with gear such as fitness bands and pedometers. Garmin, Tom Tom, Fitbit and even watch majors such as Timex have jumped on to this bandwagon. With Swiss watchmakers announcing smartwatches, 2016 might well see the debut of fitness apps from storied companies.

Apps get personal

Concierge and lifestyle apps surged this year, with each trying to outdo the other. We’ve had a surfeit of apps fetching groceries to putting us in touch with a plumber. With Facebook Messenger and Uber deciding to tie up, we expect more such integration taking place in this space. Besides, we’ve also had concierge apps and personal assistant apps. Apps are likely to get more personalised in 2016.

Work across multiple devices

Both Apple and Microsoft have built in capabilities on their software talked about starting something on one device and seamlessly moving on to more devices to complete the task. Google has had something similar for documents for years. The coming year might see more software getting the same capabilities. This, in tandem with the cloud, could revolutionise productivity.

Shopping becomes versatile

Shopping on your mobile phone was all the rage in 2015 and with many apps offering 3D trial rooms for clothes and jewellery, the trend is sure to rule the roost in 2016. With a new shopping app cropping up every few days, it won’t be a surprise, if we’re flooded with dozens of such apps in the coming year. What needs to be seen is whether some apps can set themselves apart from the others.