Seven things we hope to see in tech in 2021…but know we are unlikely to
A wish list for a new year
- What is the tech world likely to see in 2021? Well, a lot of the “more of the same” with better specs and newer designs. And honestly, we do not mind.
- We would, however, be delighted if any of these seven things would happen. They are not impossible. They are rather important.
- But sadly, they are unlikely to happen. Mind you, we will not complain if they do.
As 2021 gets underway, the news wires are already buzzing with news and rumors of new products and offerings in the tech world. And of course, the year is likely to see more than its share of new offerings. And well, there are some things that we would simply love to see happening. The unfortunate part is that they are unlikely to. Still, as we start the new year, here’s our wish list for 2021, even though we know it is likely to end up mostly as wishful thinking:
1. Sony and Microsoft making portable versions of consoles
The gaming world is getting mobile with a vengeance but you would not guess it if you observing the two console behemoths. Even as Nintendo is racking up record sales with a console that can function both as a traditional console as well as a portable one, both Sony and Microsoft have stuck to their “a console has to be plugged into a television” guns. Yes, we do get the whole “big screen, big sound” attraction, but as Sony itself showed us, consumers will always have time, space, and money for a console that slips into a pocket and can work wirelessly. Nintendo’s success with the Switch and Switch Lite proves it. But will Sony and Microsoft take a page out of that book?
2. Chrome OS finally finding a place of its own
It has been around for a while. It is acknowledged as being incredibly quick, secure, and terrific for people to use. And yet, Google’s cloud-friendly OS has never really got the sort of attention that I think it deserved. You would have thought the pandemic would have made it a rage thanks to its relatively low cost and superb battery life. Unfortunately, that does not seem to have happened, thanks mainly to an absence of both – awareness about the platform and devices running it. We really hope this changes in 2021, and Chrome (which also supports Android apps now) comes into its own as a full-fledged OS. But we are not really holding our breaths for it.
3. TWS that do not fall out
We saw truly wireless earphones going mainstream in 2020, but although they came in a number of shapes and sizes, at different price points, and with highly improved audio and battery life, one thing refused to change about them – they would fall out. We used dozens of TWS in 2020, with multiple eartip permutations and combinations, but no matter how snugly they fit, they sooner or later gave in to gravity. How can this be fixed? Through special clips? Through a Post-It like adhesive to keep them stuck into your ears while you use them and yet remove them effortlessly and without pain? We do not know, but we do hope someone works this one out.
4. A DSLR with a simple interface
This has been on our wishlist forever – a camera with the power and modularity of a conventional with none of the dials, buttons, and menus that make using it an undecipherable nightmare for newbies. With the cameraphones significantly upping their game in 2020 – Apple unleashed ProRAW mode – we think it is really about time that the camera biggies sort out the biggest problem plaguing their “real” cameras: the interface. Even now, it is an open secret that most DSLR users use their cameras like point and shooters as they find the controls just too tedious and complex to use. It is not as if even fixing it is rocket science – the smartphones have got the UI down to T. We are not asking for the regular DSLR UI to be ditched altogether, just for users to get a simpler, phone-like option. Oh, and with better on-device editing and sharing tools.
5. The iPod Classic returning
It was the palm-sized pocket media player that triggered a revolution. And then slowly faded away, as the smartphone usurped all its functions. But as music returns to your lives and storage space on smartphones gets cramped thanks to all that high definition content from gaming and OTT apps, and as Apple itself makes waves in audio (them AirPods, Pro and Max), perhaps it is time for the iPod to make a comeback. Not as “the iPhone without the phone” iPod touch but as the classic iPod, albeit perhaps with a slightly more touch-oriented interface than a scroll wheel (not that we mind it either), offering hundreds of gigs of storage, Wi-Fi connectivity, and access to online music streaming services. Oh, and with a 3.5 mm audio jack. At about USD 200-250, it would find takers.
6. Amazon putting a keyboard back on its Kindles
Do not get me wrong – I love the Kindle e-book readers. They are wonderful devices for anyone who likes to read and carry dozens of books along with them with minimum fuss. However, ever since they went into touch territory, they have become a complete and utter pain to work with. Whether it is typing notes, passwords, or even OTPs to purchase books, the Kindle’s onscreen keyboards are a nightmare, with one having to type and then wait for a second or two for the result to appear on the display. It would be awesome to see the physical keyboard that we saw in the earlier Kindles make a comeback sometime this year.
7. Android getting updated regularly across most devices
It REALLY is about time that this happened, isn’t it? I mean, even Windows now gets updated like clockwork across most devices. Android however remains as fragmented as Hapsburg Europe, with updates coming with a frequency that is as predictable as the next stock market surge (or fall). And that is a colossal pity when you consider the sheer reach of the operating system, and the price points it encompasses. Will 2021 change that? If it could, it could well be the perfect tech year.
And one more thing
Call if chimpanzee, ceramic, gorilla, godzilla, king kong, dragon, python, elephant…or whatever but
COULD WE PLEASE HAVE GLASS THAT CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT A DISPLAY PROTECTOR TO SAVE IT FROM SCRATCHES?