At the Mobile World Congress 2014, experts talk about next generations of hardware and software that will be mind-blowing, no more, no less. They believe ordinary users will be breathtakingly impressed by the new features making their life easier, healthier and more fun.
All is not Gold that Glitters
The word “revolutionary technology” is employed far too often nowadays, mainly by the agents interested in a big financial game, but is it really justified for ordinary users? In the majority of everyday situations, the free paraphrasing of one of Asimov’s characters remains true – “the robots that were great for my grandpa are still good for me”. New doesn’t obligatorily mean better.
It seems the majority of consumers still need big screens, as well as not so many difficult-to-grasp, mind-boggling introductions in the mobile OS. In general, innovation got bogged down. Radically different form factors and wearables will surely play their revolutionary role, but a bit later, as it seems from the current perspective.
Hardware Vs Software?
Nowadays, tangible progress can be observed in software only. The needs of every particular smartphone owner vary a lot; in future, they will change according to the context and should be attended to accordingly; in this case, software running in the cloud has bright prospects. It can adapt to the particular context, the specific user, and non-characteristic usage requirements. Thus, the new terms “adaptive mobile operating systems” and “adaptive applications” seem to be appropriate.
Need for Navigation
One of the modern burning problems for smartphone users, not properly attended to by the new OS versions, is a handy way to navigate through the numerous apps. The consumers eagerly wait for the new user-interface paradigms arising. The application development must come up with some new solutions to grapple with the app mess in an easy and comfortable mode.
An adaptive mobile OS of our nearest future would arise in the situation when mobile OS providers, like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, will have to learn more details about consumers from their smartphone usage habits, online behavior and versatile internet journeys, without infringing on their privacy rights. They must improve or totally change our daily experience with the vital digital gadgets.
The narrowing of the scope of communication in the tandem “person-smartphone” (as an ordinary user does employ a very tiny bit of a smartphone’s capabilities and apps stored there) can be broadened by an adaptive mobile OS that will take into consideration the context of user behavior, its day-to-day regularities and unusual breaks in the schedule, in order to anticipate their current needs. It will learn from changes and mistakes to make a better guess – an ideal working mode, isn’t it? It even sounds frighteningly similar to human behavior…
There are some tentative attempts already, for example, by Aviate, an Android launcher recently acquired by Yahoo, but it still has a long way ahead. As for Google, its Android Wear software is a good example of a new adaptive OS; now let’s wait for their next step in this direcrion.
Ubiquitous computing will surely advance one day and change our lives; but it should be for better, not for worse. Here, a chilling philosophical question might arise in some critical minds: “Are we so predictable, just like machines, to be calculated, processed in digits and finally governed by software which will know every single private detail about us?”
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