The next leap of technology.

A few days ago, HP announced the tablet version of the WebOS – the TouchPad. WebOS is a great operating system for the mobile. Since the takeover of the Palm company, HP has wasted no time to put the acquired resources to place. Across the Atlantic ocean, Nokia has announced the partnership with Microsoft to ship Windows Phone 7 in the Nokia phones. Though a lot to be done, WP7 is a great OS in the making. Back to North America, Honeycomb was well received for being a great android OS for the tablet version, and many indications point to the fact that these slick features would be made available to the smartphones also. And iOS, as always, is the undisputed king of mobile operating systems around.

Now what’s common among all these operating systems and others I’m yet to mention? The user experience. Every manufacturer, be it the computers, smartphones, tablets etc know that usability has become the primary criteria for their successful business ventures. A good example is the Symbian platform. Even though it is a good OS, symbian failed in the category of user experience. The latest updates have failed to address this matter. As a result, their numbers among the hands of the users are declining drastically, and so is their desperate steps to join hands with Microsoft. RIM realized this fact too well, and has come up with Playbook that has the potential of a great device with a smart OS. Thus, there’s a general shift towards making the products more user-friendly than adding features.

But this trend has a side-effect. There would come a day when all the smartphone or computer operating systems would be equal in terms of user experience. And there is, I believe, a limit to how much more user-friendly a device can be made. Also as is evident in the present competition, the difference in features among the competing devices would be negligible. At that time, it would be a matter if taste of the users. That might lead to even-ing out of the competition, leading to lesser profit generation, finally ending up with lack of willingness among the producers to make these devices.

Or it could be that some new innovation can up the ante for any company. I believe that right now companies should look to look for new ideas, out of the box, that could spice up their devices and thus bring about change in the technological landscape. There are many examples in the past which validates this point. Take for instance the iPhone, which brought in a whole new way of how people see and use the touch phones. Apple also brought in the PC – personal computing revolution, which changed the entire world. Google and facebook has changed the way people use the Internet.

But the current trend is to copy what others started and add on some new features. Android, at it’s infancy, was very similar to iOS. And then it was made possible to make it available to a whole variety of the masses and thus gaining wider acceptance. Sony are using the android platform to push their PlayStation engine into the phones. Microsoft has made a brave effort to provide a different user interface for the smartphones, but still has lots to do to catch up. Nokia-Intel’s Meego project is on very similar lines as that if the android. There are many others to indicate that real innovation is stagnant, and all these companies are trying to do is make their product more attractive.

I guess we should now be looking at various ways technology can leap forward. Maybe there would be a time when people would be groping in air instead of on the touch screens. There maybe a time when the devices can do things just as we think about it by reading our mind. Maybe a combination of the technology used in Kinect, Pranav Mistry’s Sixth sense, and a mind reading technology could the hit the shelves of mobile stores one day. Maybe afterall we would be interacting the way the guys at Microsoft dreamt of, in their video of the world in 2019. Whatever it maybe, the times ahead may or may not be awesome, but I personally would look towards Apple for the next leap of technology. 🙂

Galaxy S update woes

Samsung announced that they had achieved the goal of selling 10 million Galaxy S before the end of 2010. It itself is a great achievement considering it faces stiff competition from iPhone and the myriad android devices around. But Samsung has failed in achieving one other thing – android updates.

With android being upgraded many a time in a year, it is a challenge for Samsung to provide the required update after applying their skin over the vanilla version.  Apple can do this very easily as they have only few types of devices to update, and the software through which they stream the update is great. Samsung, on the other hand, have got many different versions of Galaxy Ss to cater to, let alone the other android devices they sell. And their software is pretty unheard of (kies). Their biggest challenge is to stream the update to many galaxy Ss around the world. Moreover, every time they stream an update, the update would be plagued with many bugs. It gives an impression that they are under-staffed.

But HTC, as is reported, are doing a fine job in update streaming. So why not Samsung? I got the upgrade to froyo a month ago on my galaxy S. And now I regret doing it. It’s buggier than the previous eclair update. I have been experiencing many lags and reboots for the past month. And I’m eagerly waiting for the 2.2.1 froyo update for my phone, which from the things as it seems, will take ages. At this rate I really wonder when the Galaxy Ss around are going to taste gingerbread.

I guess the only way around is for Samsung to start giving vanilla updates to the galaxy s, as it seems integrating samsung’s layer over the android is taking a lot of time. Otherwise there would be 10million frustrated galaxy s users. 🙂