Mobile World Congress 2014, the world’s largest mobile show, is over and while it brought us devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the LG G Pro 2
, we still feel like we've barely scratched the surface of all the amazing things that are yet to come in 2014.
What else will this year bring us? The biggest remaining new launches depend on hardware, of course, and the Snapdragon 805 system chip that is expected to launch around the middle of the year could finally bring us the much-rumored Quad HD displays (screens with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels). This mid-year timeframe for the Snapdragon 805 also coincides with conferences from the two companies we expect most from this year - Apple and Google.
First, Apple is rumored to unveil a brand new category of devices this year. We're talking about the rumored iWatch, of course. The latest rumors all agree that the iWatch is likely to be a fitness-oriented device that could be able to measure your heart rate, track your sleep and count your steps. Apple, however, has put a veil of secrecy over this project, and has not confirmed anything about it just yet, so we're yet to see how it pans out. This, however, will not be the only new thing for the company based in Cupertino - you’ll almost certainly have the new iPhone and new iPad launch towards the end of the year, and that's always surrounded with tremendous hype and excitement.
Google, on the other hand, has been on a roll lately with pricey acquisitions and even bolder moonshots. This year, we expect a few ground-breaking products from the search giant. First, Google is expected to start shipping its futuristic “Project Tango” 3D mapping smartphone to developers on March 14th. Tango creates indoor maps (in preparation for our future robot overlords, right Google?) by beaming infra-red light like a Kinect and recording how it bounces of walls, while at the same time the phone is constantly keeping track of its orientation, angle and position using a combination of sensors including the gyroscope. This way, a depth map can be created, and the phone also feature a motion tracking camera in what we imagine would come in handy for augmented reality applications. The whole technology is not new, but it is tremendously processor intensive, and what's new is being able to do all the needed calculations on a mobile phone. Neat!
Next on the list, the company is expected to start developer conferences for its Project Ara “Lego”
phone that you build block by block. The idea is to make Ara truly affordable and customizable in not just hardware, but looks as well. Next, of course, Google I/O should become the biggest event for the company this year. It might also become the launchpad for two new wearables - the Google Glass and Google’s first smartwatch, with the latter said to be based on Google Now and manufactured by LG. Hey, and we did not even touch on the new version of Android that should ship this year, nor on the new series of Nexus devices!
If that wasn’t enough, Samsung is also rumored to be far from done for the year. The Galaxy S5 might have disappointed many
, but Samsung is said to be actually secretly working on a new F series phone that should introduce us to a new, premium design and ground-breaking new features, materializing all our wishes for the S5. Did we mention that Samsung could bring a new Note phablet this fall
, and it could feature a curved display? That's what the expectations are!
Right below, you can see the dates when all of this will happen. Stay tuned, 2014 promises to be amazing.
2014 will be amazing: here’s what's next for mobile tech
2014 will be amazing: here’s what's next for mobile tech
1. HTC - the “All New One” is coming (March 25th)
We're barely over MWC, and the tens of new devices that launched, but we’re already on the verge of seeing the next big thing. While the Galaxy S5 might look a bit mundane in terms of new features, the rumored all new HTC One will not skip on eye-popping innovation. It is expected to become the first phone to sport a dual camera (and not one that captures 3D images and video). Mark March 25th on your calendars - this is when the next revolution in smartphone photography might happen.
2. Microsoft - calm before the storm (Build conference, April 2-4)
Did you see Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress? Nope, neither did we - it just wasn’t there. Microsoft has been restructuring, changing CEOs, reshuffling its strategy, but one thing has remained unchanged - Windows Phone 8.1 is coming with the ambition to turn all the silence in the space into a storm in the beginning of April. Microsoft has just signed tens of new partners for its Windows Phone effort, and with Nokia now being a Microsoft company, new Windows Phone devices should start raining on us soon.
3. Google - Project Ara aims to bring the “Lego” phone dream to reality (Dev conference, April 15-16)
Google might have sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, but it kept some researchers from the company. In fact, Google kept all the cutting-edge research teams (the ones with the "moonshots"), and the Project Ara team is one of them. The division is building the first phone that you can design and build component by component. This “lego” phone will start maturing and will get its first dev conference in the middle of April.
4. Re/Code conference - Interviews with the biggest name in tech (Conference, May 27-29)
The Code conference is the new name for the “D: All Things Digital” yearly conference that has brought the biggest names in tech to talk about their thoughts on the state of the tech industry and the future. This year, it will have a new name, but the same high-profile guests that will answer questions about where we’re going to next in tech.
5. Apple’s WWDC - The future of iOS (June, 10-14)
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference might not get as much press as the unveiling of the iPhone or iPad, but in reality that’s where Apple unveils new versions of its operating systems, opens up to the public and charts the future of its ecosystems. Put simply, it’s a must-watch for Apple followers.
6. Google I/O - On the road to becoming the world’s biggest company (June, 25-27)
If we had to take one bet this year, it would be that Google will surpass Apple in market capitalization and become the world’s largest company. Laser-focused on its “moonshots”, Google seems to be working on the future more than anyone else is. At Google I/O we might finally get a taste of that future with the possible unveiling of Google Glass for the mass public, the Google Smartwatch, and why not even a new version of Android.
7. CTIA - A new format (Sept, 10-15)
CTIA, a wireless conference traditionally held in April, will take place in September this year, and the format will be brand new. Quite honestly, we don’t know what to expect from it, but in previous years CTIA was the venue where some of the hottest gadgets in mobile were unveiled, so we'd definitely keep an eye on it.
8. IFA - Mark the date for Samsung’s new Galaxy Note, plus a ton of new gadgets (Sept, 9-11)
The IFA conference in Berlin has become the stage where Samsung unveils its new Galaxy Note every year, and this year should be no exception to that rule. Good news is that Samsung is said to really step up development and bring a brand new, flexible display to the Note 3 in a unique form factor.
9. WSJ.D Conference - The new “D Conference” is here (Oct, 27-29)
The Wall Street Journal has a brand new tech team replacing its veteran reporters Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, and this new team has the ambition to reshape the yearly “D Conference.” Luckily, Mossber and Swisher are hosting a similar "Code" conference earlier in the year, so we would have not just one, but two conferences of such a high scale. Expect to see the likes of Google and Apple’s CEO here speak about their companies.