December 26th 2008
By Mike Flaminio
Wired has published their annual listing of Top Technology Breakthroughs for this year. Some are surprising--like Michael Phelps Speed LZR bathing suit--and others have simply been a long-time coming (ie GPS).
Without further ado, here's their Top 10 for 2008:
10. Flexible displays
09. Edible chips
08. Speedo LZR
07. Flash memory
05. The Memristor
04. Video-capable SLRs
03. USB 3.0
01. Apple's AppStore
Until this year, mobile app developers lacked an easy way to get their software into the hands of consumers, forcing them to make deals with finicky and power-hungry carriers if they wanted to get any distribution at all. Apple's App Store changed all that. It made creating and distributing mobile applications for cellphone users easy--jumpstarting the mobile-app development market and creating clones such as the Android Market. It even forced Research in Motion to offer a BlackBerry Application Storefront. For thousands of programmers, the cellphone is the new PC.
[u] In related news, tech maven Maggie Shiels The BBC adds her voice to the chorus proclaiming the AppStore the year's top innovation:
To my mind Apple's App Store has been one of the big technology hits of the year. And the numbers certainly seem to bear that out with more than 300 million downloads since July. [u]
Yup, the AppStore's changed the world, but will Apple extend the revolution to the Mac, obviating boxed software? That's a (scary) thought worth considering...
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