As we reflect back on the year of 2011 there are several momentous feats that were accomplished. The war in Iraq ended, Osama bin Laden was killed, Occupy Wall Street made headlines around the world, the Japanese earthquake, and, while not nearly as important to most, let's not forget the Facebook "updates." But what about the world of technology? What strides, or flops, were introduced to the world?
In early 2011, the popularity of the tablet soared to where it is today. With the introduction of the iPad2 on March 11, 2011, companies like Samsung, Motorola, Acer, and others scrambled to develop similar products. Now, tablets are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and with different operating systems. Most non-Apple tablets run on the Android operating system while some companies, like HP and Blackberry, tried their own.
Along the same lines in soaring popularity, the Android operating system has been taking over. In 2011, the presence of the Android OS rose from 13% to 72% of the marketplace. Most of this can be attributed to it being open source, unlike Apple which is proprietary and used solely on Apple products. Android can be integrated on smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and even mobile media devices.
The introduction of streaming media is another leap forward in technology that came about in 2011. Though Netflix has been streaming some movies and TV shows online since 2008, the competition just recently started taking aim. Due to the vast availability of streaming media from your PC, TV, phone, or Apple products, Netflix lost 78% of its market share, stock worth, and customer base in a matter of months. Now that you can download movies and TV shows from Hulu, Flickster, Amazon, and about 1000 other places, the need for DVD rentals through the mail has absolutely tanked. Combine that with the introduction of Redbox and Netflix is on the verge of becoming another Blockbuster.
One of the greatest accomplishments for the field of technology in 2011 is the widespread introduction and availability of 4G. 4G is the new standard in wireless technology and mobile broadband. Currently the use of LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a "beta" type of 4G, meaning it's not all the way up and running yet. 3G was nice when it came out, but 4G, WOW. 4G technology takes the 200kbits/s standard (or as slow as cold molasses) and multiplies it by 500, giving you amazing mobile speed. In several areas around Charlotte I can get 35 Mbps download speeds. That's 4 times faster that the cable internet speeds I pay Time Warner for at home. With the introduction of faster speeds for downloads and uploads, the social network has been affected the most. Status updates, picture uploads, games with friends... they're all in real time. We can now update all of our "followers" as we actually partake in whatever event at the moment is "status update worthy."
Though these are just a few examples of how technology has changed in 2011, we can look back and be comforted in knowing that technology is ever-growing, ever-evolving, and making leaps and bounds for the human race every day.
From all of us at IRIS Solutions, we wish you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year!