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Five tech things we wish for in 2011

All around us, there are technology predictions for 2011—and in HT, we have discussed at the weekend the stuff that you could look out for, including Android smartphones and tablets, mobile number portability and Google’s Chrome OS. N Madhavan writes.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2011 23:11 IST

All around us, there are technology predictions for 2011—and in HT, we have discussed at the weekend the stuff that you could look out for, including Android smartphones and tablets, mobile number portability and Google’s Chrome OS. But what I see is a chaotic universe of devices and a plethora of applications to serve them all.

It is time to ask, in line with the philosophy of this column, for stuff that could make things easy for the ordinary digital consumer. So here is my wish-list of five things to match predictions. The idea is that companies could do this to make the digital experience more valuable for us.

1. Digital bazaars: We go into various shops. We read those ads. We get confused. A smartphone, PC or tablet has so many features that we are spoilt for choice — and often confused on what to do and how much to pay. We need “one-stop” retail events that we can use to make quick decisions on everything from gadgets to accessories and service plans to data plans. They can also help you discover digital accessories.

2.E-gurus: I have heard Nokia has one, but am yet to meet one. Last week, I hollered on Twitter to wonder why my messages were loading so slow. Why can’t I walk into some place where some simple things can be fixed. I only see “service centres” – digital gizmos need more casual interaction points with gadget gurus.

3.Tablets on service rentals: If you take away the BlackBerry phones or entry-level handsets, India’s telecom service and handset industries are not working actively enough to combine data plan rentals with device sales. We will need this more particularly as 3G services and tablet devices that need broadband services take off. As in the case of the iPhone the US, we need more of affordable, service-bundled gizmos.

4.Annual maintenance contracts: I know there are warranties for phones and handsets. I could do with some extra sweetened contracts so that I need not worry about my gadget for a longer period, say two years. Current options don’t seem rich enough. By the time a device shows up problems, replacing it seems too early, and repairing it seems too expensive.

5.App buffets: There is an explosive world of applications for smartphones and tablets. We must have “buffet” meal-like arrangements to choose their favourite apps rather than end up taking given default options that we do no need.