2011 was one hell of a year in tech. Google released its Panda update, nixing crappy content, devices got smaller and cloud computing got off the ground. All of these things hit the tech community hard and set the stage for the tech world of 2012. Here’s a rundown of some of the major changes and what it will mean for 2012.
Bad Content Gets the Boot
Google released both its Panda and Fresh updates last year so no one would have to put up with out-of-date, horribly written spam-posing-as-content anymore. Panda looks at all the content on a website and determines how relevant it is, how well it’s written, whether it’s unique and whether it’s surrounded by advertisements. Then it uses that information to try to figure out if it actually provides value for users or if the page is just a scam to try to make money or fool Google into raising the site’s rank. Fresh makes newer content a higher priority for Google, making sure that new articles and blog posts float to the top of search rankings and that old ones get buried.
Bulky Computers Fall By the Wayside
Big, non-portable (or barely portable) computers have seen their day come and go. Now’s the time for smaller products that combine all of the myriad devices we used to use into one sleek form factor. Watches, notepads, alarm clocks, cameras and laptops have all been consumed by smartphones and tablets. No one wants to carry around a laptop when their phone can do everything they need. Tablets and touch screen smartphones give us additional levels of interaction with our devices, too. You can perform gestures like pinching and zooming to manipulate web pages and pictures and with apps like Apple’s Siri you can just tell your phone to schedule an appointment or find information on local restaurants and it will do just that. It may be difficult to enjoy your favorite movie on an iPhone, but televisions are getting sleeker and smarter, too. There are a ton of TVs out there that directly access to your Internet connection and can stream Netflix, Hulu and Amazon video on demand, doing away with set top boxes and home theater PCs.
Storage and Computing are Outsourced
When we started making the switch from desktop and laptop computers to smartphones and tablets we made some sacrifices, namely in terms of power and storage capabilities. We still expect the same performance in many of our day-to-day activities, though. Enter cloud computing. With the cloud, you don’t have to worry about storing your files on whatever device you’re using or about having enough computing power to perform your task. The cloud can benefit everything from video games to medical software. Doctors can access their schedules, patient records, paperwork and more from phones, tablets, laptops or desktops and get the same functionality. Patients, too, have the growing ability to view medical billing information and make payments no matter where they are. Cloud gaming is starting to take off, too. Imagine playing one of the latest blockbuster games on an iPad. The cloud gaming service Gaikai lets you play games like Dead Rising 2 in your browser, on your iPad or even on a smartphone.
With all the innovations in tech from last year, we’re going to start seeing a brand new world soon. It may take some time to adjust to all the new goodies being offered everywhere you look, but all of it will make the world more accessible and faster.