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A Social Review of 2014

As we wave goodbye to 2014 and look forward to 2015 I find it fascinating to review how technology has changed and evolved society throughout the year and speculate what the future may hold. So heres 5 things to remember about 2014 and a few predictions for 2015.

5 things from 2014

1. 2014 was the year of the big social crazes! Who didn’t neck nominate? and I can’t believe anyone avoided the Ice Bucket Challenge? If you’re interested heres mine!

2. Data security and privacy has been right at the forefront of our newsfeed. The year started with 4.6 million snapchat accounts being compromised, followed in April by the target heart bleed fiasco which exposed the payment details of 40 million target customers. In September 5 million gmail passwords were released on a Russian bit coin forum. 145 million accounts were stolen from eBay in May; several celebrities learnt why they need to have good iCloud passwords and most recently Kim Jong Un and North Korea hacked Sony Pictures in an attempt to prevent the release of The Interview. if there’s one thing to be learnt by all of this it is that data is still not secure online and companies have a long way to go to ensure that our data is protected.

3. The CIA joined Twitter in June – but they can neither confirm or deny that this is the case.

4. In September Apple launched the latest iPhone(s). The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus are the most advanced handsets ever – in my view the most exciting feature is the introduction of Apple Pay which allows consumers to pay for goods using their phone instead of their credit card. This isn’t available in the UK yet but I really think it has the potential to change the way we pay for goods and services forever! They also launched Apple Watch – personally i’m not convinced about this one yet but i’ll let you know when I buy one in 2015.

5. Talking of Apple Watch wearable technology seems to have had some big hits this year! Google Glass was launched as a premium product in the uk; keeping fit with fit bit, Nike Fuel Band and other similar products seems to have suddenly become cool. I bought myself a Pebble smart watch (and so did at least two other people I know) – I know hardly makes it main stream but you had to at least consider that some of this stuff is catching on! Maybe 2015 is the year of the wearable.

So thats a brief look at what has caught my attention during 2014 – any thoughts on the 2015 trend?

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WWDC: A view of the world

So WWDC is drawing to a close. I thought it worth drawing together my thoughts on what has been an incredible week for technology, innovation and for Apple.

1. iOS 7

This week Apple announced the all new iOS7. Having now been at the keynote where it was unveiled and having discussed it with several people I think it would be fair to say that the general reaction is very positive. The new UI is slick, it offers developers new opportunities to do some cool new things with their apps, and (although others criticise this) it learns from the best of what others have done. In my view, if a feature, or design element works well on another platform there is no reason why Apple re-invent it and incorporate it into iOS. I do agree with the statement made by Tim Cook that this is “The Biggest Change to iPhone since the iPhone” and I applaud Apple for that because it will clearly change the way we think about and use the iPhone – it does however, kind of leave you wondering, what next?

 

2. OSX Mavericks

It has some cool new features, i’d argue its nothing to really write home about though. Tags are going to helpful, and I also like the ability to be able to use tabs within finder – the most helpful thing from my own perspective is the multi display improvements but i’m very conscious that this will only really be of great benefit to power users. For me that’s where the functional excitement ends – if the battery life improvements really do come to fruition then of course that will be useful but i’m still not convinced that its worth all the hype.

 

3. The stats

My experience this week has reinforced how far Apple are ahead of the competition especially in terms of the App Development market. The key statistic that has stuck in my mind this week is that Apple have now paid out $10 billion to developers which is more than all of the other platforms combined. From the standpoint of a developer it is much more attractive to build apps for iOS as opposed to other platforms and that suggests that the App ecosystem offered by Apple is much more sustainable in the long term. I doubt a developer conference for one of the other platforms would sell out in 71 seconds – what do you think?

 

4. Do Apple need Jobs?

I continue to be a little worried for Apple in that I still don’t see anything “new” and if i’m honest I haven’t seen anything new since 2010 when Apple released the iPad. Apple have enjoyed an excellent run over the last 7 years first wowing the world with the iPhone and then repeating the performance with the launch of iPad – the time is now ripe though for something brand new, something exciting, functional and different. If that doesn’t happen next year than in my view Apple are going to start loosing some of their momentum. Within Jobs leading the way in terms of idea generation I fear that Apple could loose their way.

 

All of that said I have had the most amazing week here at WWDC, it is an absolute must attend for any developer who is serious about developing for iPhone, iPad or Mac – if you want to discuss my view on how iOS7 is going to change the world tweet me @stevewestgarth

 

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A View Worth Admiring

photo

I just couldn’t resist sharing this. This is my favourite photo of WWDC so far. You will also love this panorama 

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Does technology help the unorganised man?

As MD at Footsqueek I spend a fair degree of my time working in schools, meeting head teachers and promoting products.

I was in a school earlier to today and had a meeting with a head teacher. As the conversation progressed we started talking around organisation and she openly admitted that she is quite a disorganised person, she went on to say that she was getting an iPad which would “sort her out”.

It occurs to me that this particular head teacher is going to depend on technology to “become organised” but my question is, is it not the person that needs to be organised enough to use the technology?

To give an example – my diary is on my iPad, and my iPhone synced through Microsoft exchange. I need to be organised enough to put appointments in the diary otherwise the technology won’t help me to remember what meetings I have. Surely a disorganised person wouldn’t put the information on the iPad diary just as they would forget to put it in the physical diary?

How organised are you?

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