Everyone likes to share their predictions for what the future will bring in technology at the beginning of the New Year. But year after year, some things seem to manage to stay the same, despite anticipation to the contrary. Here’s a list of areas where I think the boat won’t rock in 2012.
1. The App Store is here to stay
The iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store are a way of life now. As much as people might object to app sandboxing and other limitations of the Mac App Store, it’s not going anywhere in 2012. Adoption will only increase as publishers concede that the App Store is where the customers are. Oh, and managing volume purchases will still be awful a year from now, too.
2. Thunderbolt will still be confusing
Without a large number of accessories that use Thunderbolt, expect continued complaints that Apple hasn’t adopted USB 3.0. That might change in 2013, but 2012 will be the year that Apple continues to push Thunderbolt while everyone else wonders why.
3. iPad will soon revolutionize education
Soon. Very soon. But not this year. Sure, there might be announcements coming of e-textbook, rentals, or other features that will soon revolutionize the classroom, but Apple announcing is different from the market adopting. Always “soon.”
4. Full Screen will still be awkward
It’s supposed to be the future, but multiple displays with Full Screen apps doesn’t work right. And it still won’t later this year. This is a feature that will stick around for a while but will not get the attention to make it work well enough for normal people to use regularly.
5. Lion Server still won’t be a “real” server
Oh sure, it’s good for Directory Services, file sharing and a few other tasks, but it’s not a “real” server that has “real” hardware to run on. This won’t change one bit during 2012. “Real” sysadmins will use “real” servers and some people will still complain that Lion Server isn’t Red Hat Enterprise Linux (or whatever distro you prefer) that can run on rack-mount hardware. I think it’s useful in many situations, but I didn’t try to build a computing infrastructure around Mac OS X Server in any year and I sure won’t be doing it in 2012.
6. Text Editors will still be boring
Yes, text editors are extremely useful and critical to a large number of creative professionals for coding and designing web pages. They are also occasionally useful for editing text. But text editors are tools and rather boring ones at that. Despite the fancy names and incremented version numbers coming in 2012, don’t be fooled. Rather than trust the hype, find something that works and learn how to use it.
7. Printers will still suck, and be expensive
Have you tried buying a printer in the last couple of years? Ink cartridges that cost more than the printer? That get jammed with paper, or clogged with ink? That are impossible to configure correctly? You’d think someone would have figured this out by now. Maybe in the future, they will. But not in 2012.
8. Duplicate contacts
It’s awesome having all your contacts everywhere, synced with all your devices, the cloud and so on. It’s so good, maybe having 5 copies of every contact will be even better! As it turns out, having only one copy would be just awesome, thank you very much. Syncing contacts has been a problem for the last 20 years, why would anything change in 2012?
9. Congress will still try to kill the Internet
There was a pretty good backlash against SOPA and Protect IP, but there will just be new bills with new acronyms to try to destroy the Internet in 2012.
10. The MacBook Air is what you get, and you’ll like it
The Air is still the “future of notebooks” for Apple. Optical drives are dying out (in large part due to the online App Store). Get used to SSDs, longer battery life, and lighter weight. Hmm, maybe you will like this one.
11. iPhone will still generate boatloads of profits
Sure Android is surging or whatever, but no one will make any money off it, regardless of what Google executives say. Apple will continue to reap a generous share of the profits in the mobile industry.
12. We’ll still be waiting for a really good Android tablet
What else are you expecting not to change this year?