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Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson pre­dicts what will be hot in gad­gets this year

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

What’s hot in 2012.

WIN­DOWS 8 DUE: LIKE­LI­HOOD: FE­BRU­ARY ( BETA)

CER­TAIN Say good­bye to the Start Menu. Mi­crosoft’s fresh op­er­at­ing sys­tem will ditch the popup bar this year, re­plac­ing it with a Start Screen filled with ap­pli­ca­tions tiles like those in its smart­phones. Win­dows 8 will de­liver plenty of other changes when it is re­leased for test­ing in late Fe­bru­ary too, in­clud­ing a cus­tomis­able Taskbar, new looks for Task Man­ager and Win­dows Ex­plorer, ges­ture- based pass­words that track mouse move­ments, sup­port for the faster USB 3.0 for­mat and Win­dows To Go that lets you keep the op­er­at­ing sys­tem on a USB stick. No word on its fi­nal re­lease date yet.

4G MO­BILE PHONE NET­WORKS DUE: LIKE­LI­HOOD: THROUGH­OUT 2012

CER­TAIN Aus­tralian mo­bile data users got a taste for it this year and 2012 will see a wider mo­bile net­work speed boost. Both Op­tus and Voda­fone plan to launch 4G mo­bile net­works, more than dou­bling the speed of down­loads on the go. Op­tus will launch its 4G net­work in New­cas­tle in April, with Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Perth to fol­low, while Voda­fone has yet to an­nounce a launch date for its 4G of­fer­ing. Tel­stra will con­tinue to ex­pand its speedy of­fer­ings in 2012, spread­ing to 30 new re­gional towns.

CANON EOS- 1D X DUE: LIKE­LI­HOOD: MARCH

CER­TAIN Rarely has a cam­era been so highly an­tic­i­pated. Canon’s flag­ship full- frame dig­i­tal SLR cam­era is due to re­ceive a se­ri­ous makeover in March. The 18- megapixel EOS- 1D X will cap­ture up to 12 pho­tos in a sec­ond ( up from 10), locks on to tar­gets with a 61- point aut­o­fo­cus ( up from 45 points), de­liv­ers a top light sen­si­tiv­ity rat­ing of 51,200 ISO ( up from 12,800) and can cap­ture video in full high- def­i­ni­tion.

AP­PLE IPHONE 5 DUE: LIKE­LI­HOOD:

JUNE Phone fans ex­pected it last year but Ap­ple’s sched­ule dic­tates that an iphone re­design is due in 2012. Early ru­mours have an iphone 5 sport­ing a larger dis­play ( pos­si­bly four inches in size), a thin­ner body, an alu­minium- backed form and 4G mo­bile net­work com­pat­i­bil­ity for speedy down­loads. Ru­mours of a faster pro­ces­sor, how­ever, may be a lit­tle pre­ma­ture.

SONY PLAYSTA­TION VITA DUE: LIKE­LI­HOOD: FE­BRU­ARY 23

CER­TAIN

REA­SON­ABLE Here’s a chal­lenger for the ipod Touch. The first new games con­sole of 2012 prom­ises to change mo­bile gam­ing us­ing a 3G mo­bile in­ter­net con­nec­tion, dou­ble- sided touch- sen­si­tive panels and a screen un­like any other. Sony’s Playsta­tion Vita is a mas­sive up­grade to the PSP as it will ar­rive with a 5- inch OLED screen, a touch­sen­si­tive back panel, mo­tion sen­sors for im­mer­sive play, two cam­eras and a pow­er­ful quad- core pro­ces­sor. The Vita will cost $ 349.95 ( wi- fi) or $ 449.95 ( 3G).

MO­BILE PHONE CREDIT CARDS DUE: LIKE­LI­HOOD:

NOW

CER­TAIN This tech­nol­ogy only just scraped into 2011 but will have a larger role this year. The Com­mon­wealth Bank beat other con­tenders to de­liver the first phone- as- acredit card ser­vice in­side its Kach­ing iphone app last month. App users who buy the ac­com­pa­ny­ing $ 50 icarte iphone 4 case can use their phone as a credit card at any Master­card Pay­pass ter­mi­nal. Ri­vals in­clude Google Wal­let and Visa Wal­let.

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