Every year new tech products emerge that have us techie geeks eager to get our hands on them. While some of it is an unquestioned benefit to our lives, there are some that we can all do without.
However, there is still more to come and the second half promises to be exciting with new products such as these seven top tech gadgets of 2014. I am already making my wish list for the end of the year.
Swift, Apple's New Way to Code
This one isn’t really a gadget but it is shaking up the developer world. If you are not familiar with a new coding language from Apple called Swift, you will be soon if they have anything to do with it.
Apple says this brand new coding language is intended to make writing apps much easier and faster while creating a more stable result.
Previously, Apple software was built using Objective-C, an off-shoot of C, which has been around since the 80s. Swift is described as Objective, without the C.
Swift is what is considered a high level language like C. This type of code uses syntax and structure similar to a real language. It is also more intuitive allowing developers to skip some of the mind numbing details of telling a program exactly what to do in every situation.
Developers will be able to visualize Swift code in real-time similar to other current scripting languages, but Apple promises that it is considerably faster to execute than those currently used with Objective-C. This will allow developers to create complex apps and test them more quickly.
Apple Swift Demo
Designer Versions of Google Glass
Hold off on the glasshole jokes for now. Google has added a selection of designer frames to its wearable tech glasses that are scheduled to go on sale June 23rd.
They will contain the same computer processor and display that is beamed into your field of vision. They are controlled by voice or by a tiny touchpad on the side of the glasses. The designer frames are expected to be pricey considering the standard version of glass went on sale earlier this year for $1500.
Personally, I would not be caught dead wearing them and I do not really see a use for wearable tech at this point.
Google Glass Demo
Amazon's New 3-D Smart Phone
The Wall Street journal reported in 2013 that Amazon was developing “a smartphone with a screen that displays 3D images without users having to wear special glasses”.
Well, according to reports it involves tracking your retina to make images appear to be floating above the screen.
Other details are sketchy at the moment and no design specs have been leaked online to this point so no one really know what this thing will look like. However, Amazon has had great success with their entry into the mini tablet market and their Amazon Fire TV is selling well as an alternative to Roku and Google Chrome.
Apple's New iWatch
If the long rumored iWatch does not appear this year, then you can probably cross it off the list as a failed internal experiment. After all, Samsung rushed their version of a smart watch to market last year to mixed reviews. While it had some usable functionality, some reviewers compared it to wearing a geeky tri-quarter from Star Trek.
What will an iWatch do?
Speculation is that the iWatch will actually incorporate medical data and act as a health monitor which communicates with doctors and hospital records.
Apple just presented a new Health and Home Automation app at its developers conference in early June 2014 so the rumors appear to be true.
However, when this mythical iWatch will appear is still anyone’s guess, but I expect an announcement before the holiday season of 2014.
Apple's New iPhone 6 or iPhone Air
Staying on the Apple theme, they are expected to launch a new iPhone in August that is rumored to come in two different screen sizes for the first time: 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. There is also the possibility of wireless charging available with this next release. The entire industry is moving toward that goal, with Intel recently announcing that they plan on eliminating all of the wires to the PC by 2016.
No matter what the new device contains, I will be skipping this upgrade cycle because my iPhone 5s is barely 6 months old. However, if you are still on one of the 4 versions, I recommend you go for it. Several of my family members have the version 4 models and they are noticeably thicker and heavier than my version. The new iPhone 6 promises to be even thinner.
As for now, if you are looking for a great deal on the iPhone 5s, it will dip in price as the release date for the new one approaches.
Amazon Price: $1,069.99 $699.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 3, 2015)
Apple iOS 8
Ok, one more from Apple since it is a biggie. The new iOS update expected this fall will have significant enhancement over the existing operating system.
Well, although the look will remain the same, it is getting new features such as widgets, a new keyboard, integrated with home automation, integration with their new health app, new photo editing features and Touch ID.
My advice is to wait to download it until it has been released for a few weeks. There are always initial kinks that have to be worked out in software no matter how much QA testing it goes through.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The eleventh installment in this fantastic series is schedule to be released in November 2014. The Call of Duty series is the most profitable first-person shooting video game in history and promises to deliver once again. Gamers will be lined up for this one.
Rumors suggest that Kevin Spacey will play an important role in the game and it is already available for preorders at Best Buy and Amazon.
Amazon Price: $56.33 $42.43 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 3, 2015)
So get your lists ready because the second half of 2014 is going to be full of some of these innovated products I have touched upon. And as always, the list could go on and on and there are undoubtedly going to be some surprises along the way. Some will hit and others will fall flat like Samsung’s smart watch last year.
Don’t be the first to rush out and get or start using any of them. Let others be the test dummies so they can work out the bugs before you get yours.