What I'm Looking Forward to in 2010

Vanishing pointI still can’t really believe that the “noughties” have nearly gone; it’ll be 2010 in less than a month. I’ve been thinking about 2010 (what an impossibly futuristic date that sounds!) and what it might hold in store for me as a web worker:

Faster, Better Browsers

The ongoing browser war means that browsers are improving at an almost unbelievable rate. In particular next year I’m looking forward to using Chrome on my MacBook, and seeing whether Google can cultivate an extension ecosystem for Chrome that rivals Firefox’s.

Faster web apps could mean that in 2010 I shift nearly all my working entirely to web apps, and effectively have a “virtual desktop” that I can access anywhere. Currently, the only desktop apps that I use (apart from my browser and IM/Twitter clients) are photo and video editing tools — and there are already plenty of online options for those tasks.

For more on where browsers are headed, check out my post “What Does the Future Hold For Browsers” over on GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

Apps Taking Advantage of New Technologies: HTML5, Geolocation, Canvas, Web Fonts, and More

As well as being faster, the newer browsers are making new technologies available to web developers. Innovative web apps vendors will be able to use those technologies to create richer, more powerful web apps to provide experiences that would have previously relied heavily on technologies requiring browser plug-ins like Flash, Flex and Silverlight.

We’re already seeing some great mobile apps that take advantage of geolocation data, like Gowalla and Foursquare (an app that Om loves), and interesting tools like WorkSnug, a web worker-friendly augmented reality iPhone app that helps you find places with Wi-Fi nearby.

As these technologies mature and developers think up new ways to mash up location data, the mass of data available from apps over APIs and these new technologies, 2010 should be an exciting year for web apps.

Tighter Integration Between Web Apps

While exciting web apps that take advantage of new technologies might make the headlines, the greater integration that we’ve seen between web applications, like Zoho integrating Google Docs, and initiatives like the Small Business Web, will continue over the next year. This trend is important, because it makes the web apps that we already use much more useful and efficient.

Gadget Lust: iPhone 4G

I love my iPhone 3G. It’s fun to use, and it helps keep me productive when I’m away from my laptop, but I’m already envious of friends with the newer, faster 3GS with video. I couldn’t upgrade my phone without paying over-the-odds on my contract, so gadget-wise I’m really looking forward to the 4G that will likely be released sometime over the summer next year.

A Proliferation of Coworking Spaces

Coworking is a movement that just seems to continue growing. Innovative spaces keep opening all over, meaning you should be able to find a great place to work nearly anywhere in 2010 — pitch up in a new city and there’s likely to be a great coworking venue someplace nearby. It also means that you’ll have more flexibility to pick and choose a space that matches your exact needs, with more niche, specialist places opening. Looking for a coworking venue that has fabrication equipment and tools? There’s a space for that.

What are you looking forward to in 2010?

Photo credit: Justin Timperio (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jtimperio/ / CC BY 2.0)

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