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Summary:

As I look ahead, I hope that over the next few months, some of the technology products that I use the most will make incremental changes that could make life better for the people who use their products – including me.

wishlist2

The turning of the clock to 2012 means a new beginning for many. I am happy with simply tweaking what has been working by making things simpler and thus better. So as I look ahead, I hope that over the next few months, some of the technology products that I use the most will make incremental changes that could make life better for the people who use their products.

Here is my wish list, not in any specific order:

1. Twitter Sync

Twitter is trying its very best to make its service more accessible to what some call “normals.” It’s a good aspiration to have. In the interim, what Twitter needs is the ability to “sync” across multiple devices and platforms.

How many times do I need to read the same direct message or @ reply? The fact of the matter is that syncing across platforms is table stakes in today’s modern and highly mobile web. If they have trouble developing this, maybe Amazon can license it to them.

2. Amazon Match

This holiday season, I signed up for iTunes Match  and now I have nearly all of my music in the iCloud. Now Amazon needs to build something similar — for lack of a better word, let’s call it Amazon Match. I’ve bought hundreds of books from the Seattle-based online retailing giant. What I want them to do is make all of them (or at least the ones available online as e-books) sync to my Kindle account.

If they want to charge me an annual fee, I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s one way of keeping me loyal to the Kindle platform and keeping me using it more often. Kindle as a front end for my cloud-based book library isn’t far-fetched: They’re making videos and music one acquires through Amazon available on Amazon Prime, so why not books?

3. Instagram-to-Blog

Instagram just might be the most used social app on my iPhone (after Twitter.) I love using it, because it allows me to cross-post photos to various platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare. However, there’s nothing I want more than for Instagram to build support for WordPress (and other blogging platforms such as Squarespace) so I can post my photos directly to my personal blog at the same time as I do on other services. It allows me to share my experiences with others who aren’t on Instagram and allows me to keep a permanent record of those experiences.

4. Connect the apps

In December 2011, Path relaunched, and with it, created a unified social and mobile experience. It combined photo sharing with location, video sharing and a whole lot of other little incremental changes that basically helped the Dave Morin project recover from its early blunders.

However, the biggest take away from Path is that we need ways for mobile apps to connect with each other better and create enhanced experiences across platforms. Right now, mobile users need to enter data (photos, locations, etc.) into different applications multiple times. The ability to mix and match the data from other apps is going to help us realize that “data is the new plastic.”

5. Un-Swiped

My iPad has become my preferred way of consuming information — video, text and photos — and has started to suck time away from my Macbook Air. This move to iPad has created many new reading experiences and some of them like the Flipboard and Zite  are quite spectacular. And then there are the OnSwipe-enabled WordPress.com blogs, which are a lot less so. It’s the one iPad-centric view that needs to be retired — or at the very least, it shouldn’t be the default setting for those blogs.

What is on your wishlist? Share with us.

Disclosure: Automattic, maker of WordPress.com, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

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  1. Since you asked for my wish list (ok, not me specifically, but so what), here are some:

    1) All wireless carriers unbundle service and equipment, and price their service plans that reflect their cost savings of unsubsidized devices.

    2) Elimination of all restrictions on usage of mobile devices, i.e, all android users get unlocked images.

    3) If #1 & #2 don’t happen, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Cisco buy T-Mobile.

    4) Telcos and cable companies get nostalgic about competing, and get into a fiber-to-the-home war.

    5) All companies with record cash hoards (not just tech companies like Apple), realize that hiding the cash (in non-interest bearing accounts, no less) they extracted from the economy actually shrinks the economy because that cash is no longer being circulated around, and start returning more cash to the economy by investing in R&D, capital equipment, training, health care, education, energy conservation, and all those things that will yield more profits in the next decade.

    6) An end to the patent war (and to software patents in general).

    7) More time between introductions of new smartphones – at least let me enjoy them for a year (o.k. I’ll take 8 months) before I succumb to the urge to upgrade.

    1. KenG

      What a comment. I am glad I asked :)

  2. #1 and #2 are big ones for me, as well.

  3. Om, in 2012 I’d love to be able to find out immediately on a brick & mortar store or service’s website if they are open! Imagine profiles of who is working right now, and how busy they are ;-)

    1. That is a great idea Lloyd. I would love to see that too.

    2. … and if that B&M store has the item I want. For example, I’d like to know if a local-ish bookstore (e.g., B&N) has a particular book (e.g., the Hedy Lamarr bio).

  4. Titania Bonham-Smythe Monday, January 2, 2012

    Oh dear I must be tired. I just tried to click the OnSwipe link with my finger on my PC screen.

  5. Om and Ken for the WIN on this one! So many wishes and so little time… hopefully we will see a “super sync” revolution in 2012. I just want to be able to do everything in one location. Goodness apps – stop trying to kill my poor little fingers! Can’t you all just get along?! Ken, I am so feeling the “more time between smartphones” vibe… nothing sucks more than buying something awesome… sitting down on the couch to play with your new toy… and learning your device is being replaced immediately by something better. (Grr… this happened when I bought my iPad and three days later found the iPad2 was being released a week later. I totally feel your pain.)

    1. I would love to see super sync too :) thanks for the comment!

  6. Jason L. Baptiste Monday, January 2, 2012

    Hey Om,

    I know you’re frustrated and quite frankly I don’t blame you. All the WP blogs (.com and .org) are on our old legacy plugin that was built upon our first experiment 18 months ago when we were 2 bootstrapped entrepreneurs/writers making something we wanted. Over the next 30 days, we’re hoping to fix what I can only guess you’re most frustrated with. We’re both believers in the web and I think we can get to a place that you’ll like or at least, not hate with the new stuff we’ve built. Ive seen the new omis.me and i think were both trying to drive to the same thing, except we have a good way to go. I’m going to reach out separately to hear all you don’t like and turn those guesses of what i dont think you like into actionable items. We’ll work hard to take the feedback in. Like I said last year when we briefly chatted, I respect you a ton as a fellow writer and your blog was what I read when I was first starting out.

    1. Jason

      I hope to talk w you soon and thanks for sharing that a new version is coming to market soon. Looking forward to it.

  7. For #2, you could get google music and uploadits of music and listen on your computer and android device for free. Why pay?

    1. Sorry man. I use iPhone and iPad so for me it is iTunes. It is just preference more than anything.

  8. Raanan Bar-Cohen Monday, January 2, 2012

    (I work at Automattic/WordPress.com)

    Re: Instagram-to-Blog. Something I’d like to see as well, and could very well happen on WordPress.com using our APIs and OAuth2: http://develop.wordpress.com/ . Kevin and his team are running a pretty massive service with a tiny team — so I suspect it’s on their to-do list, just hasn’t happened yet.

    Re: OnSwipe-enabled WordPress.com blogs. Definitely agree that there is lots of room for improvement, especially for certain blogs that aren’t full of photos and videos. The OnSwipe implementation on WordPress.com has lagged behind the current OnSwipe experience, and a pretty big update is coming soon to address that. Would be good to hear your thoughts once that’s live.

    And Twiiter sync would be huge — gotta imagine that’s near the top of their list as well.

    1. Raanan

      Thanks for the comment but I would say forget on swipe and build your own :)

      1. I would build your own – wordswipe? – but still not make it the default.

        1. Definitely not default.

  9. 1) Instagram on Android… Make it happen.
    2) I like the idea of a singular source of updating. I think Twitter, with some tweaks could be it for brief posts.
    3) Dualboot Android and Win8 tablets or touchscreen enabled ultra books would e sweet too.

  10. Twitter sync: you can use Echofon, and it’s actually great and not crappy like most other third party clients, but yeah, it’ll be nice if it was a built in feature.

    My wishlist:

    1. I want apps to be more similar to the web. Search for an app, or tap a recommendation, or say, tap a Gigaom link in another app, open it without having to install. The home screen then becomes a favorite apps list. This makes trying out apps a little less tedious. I can stomach an app-centered web better if this was the case.

    2. I want set-top box manufacturers to realize that games are also forms of entertainment that can benefit from digital.

    3. I want cheaper e-books pegged at 9.99, like albums. Fuck you, Apple, for ruining it for everyone.

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