ALL MOD CONS
Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson predicts what will be hot in gadgets this year
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
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:
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.