As the year comes to a close, we’re issuing our Top Ten Predictions for 2010. In the new year, the bulk of innovation will be aimed at the consumer market and the way in which we interact with computers. How and when we experience them will change dramatically over the course of next year.
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The range of functions available from the App Store is bewildering: cooks can carry a library of recipes in their pockets; birdwatchers, the identifying features of every feathered creature they are likely to encounter. Many apps are meant to do no more than raise a quick laugh – an image of a glass of lager, for example, which empties as the phone is tilted.
Increasingly, however, apps are becoming serious and useful. Sccope, for example, has developed an app that allows shoppers to compare prices from a number of leading stores using a phone’s camera to scan product barcodes.
There are now 100,000 iPhone apps in the App Store, mostly free or costing only a few dollars, leaving other hardware and software manufacturers to play catch-up.