Last year’s predictions weren’t that great (the predictions for 2010 were better), but predicting the future is an addictive game, so I’ll try again. Here are my predictions for 2012:
1. Oflline Google stores that will sell Chromebooks, Android phones, Google TV boxes, Google-branded shirts and more.
2. Google Music will become a subscription service.
3. Google will focus on improving the quality of Android apps. It will offer better tools for creating consistent user interfaces, it will review some of the new apps and applications will be able to request additional permissions after they’ve been installed.
4. Google Games – a new service for multiplayer games that will combine the best games for Chrome, Android and Google+, while syncing your data, ranking users and allowing you to challenge your friends.
5. A new music editing online service that will only work in Chrome (and probably other Chrome-only services).
6. ARM Chromebooks (notebooks and tablets) and ARM Google TV boxes will be cheaper and more successful.
7. Google+ will have at least 300 million users at the end of 2012 and will incorporate many existing Google apps. Google will aggressively promote the service and will even integrate it with Chrome.
8. Google Instant Answers – an improved OneBox that will offer some of the detailed answers that are available in Wolfram Alpha.
9. A virtual assistant for Android that will be more powerful than Siri and it will also be available in the desktop Google interface as an upgrade for voice search. Google will get better at supporting natural language queries.
10. Google’s navigation menu will be customizable and the notification box will support new services.
11. The first Google-branded Motorola phones and tablets.
12. Google search results personalized based on information from your calendar, Google+ posts, the apps you install etc.
13. Google Doodle Creator – a service that lets you create a doodle and share it with your friends.
14. Image Search will be able to analyze images and recognize multiple objects and people.
15. Chrome Web Store apps and extensions for Android.
16. YouTube’s HTML5 player will become the default player.
17. YouTube’s new TV-like channels will combine some of the best videos that are available.
18. The largest fine in Google’s history.
19. Blog commenting service powered by Google+.
20. Google+ Answers service replaces Aardvark.
21. An online Chrome dashboard will let you access your data (bookmarks, passwords, apps) even when you don’t use Chrome.
22. Better Google Docs for tablets, Google Drive – a new name for the Google Docs list, apps for syncing files and more free storage.