This story was written by Keith Dawson for UBM DeusM’s community Web site Develop in the Cloud, sponsored by AT&T. It is archived here for informational purposes only because the Develop in the Cloud site is no more. This material is Copyright 2012 by UBM DeusM.

Predictions for Developers, 2013

A couple of confident predictions and one wooly speculation.

We will definitely see more of HTML5 and more online education. Let's go out on a limb and speculate on what an Apple TV might mean.

Source: IBBoard on

Here's a confident prediction: Unless you shut off all media access for the next few weeks, you'll see lots of predictions about how technology will develop in the year to come. Besides this one, look for Mark Shander's prognostications today; and I hope to air the musings of a few more informed observers here as they gaze into the future for developers.

More HTML5
This one is pretty much a no-brainer, after the World Wide Web Consortium declared HTML5 feature-complete before the end of last year. Despite Gartner's placing of HTML5 5 or 10 years out on its Hype Cycle, cross-platform app development in HTML5 / CSS3 / JavaScript has huge momentum and a great deal of growth to come.

More online education
Massive open online courses are exploding. Online resources for teaching and learning programming are everywhere -- even those targeting kids -- though there are those who say we could be teaching programming much more effectively. There is little doubt that all of these online learning resources will grow over 2013 and beyond. Developers can look forward to more, and better, ways to learn and expand their craft.

More TV
Months ago we alluded to the allure of the modern TV as a nascent medium and delivery vehicle for developers' apps. Google TV and Samsung TV engaged only 11 percent of developers at the time of that survey (PDF) by the Application Developers Alliance.

Now we're getting more speculative. Apple has long been rumored to be working on a TV offering. Let's say that comes about. Let's say that it is at least a modestly runaway success -- not on the scale of the iPad when it was first introduced, perhaps, but enough of a big seller to keep Apple's long record of industry-altering hits going for another year.

Suppose the Apple TV has iOS underneath? Suppose it runs apps? Suppose it has an SDK for developers to use to introduce apps, and a corner in the Apple App Store all its own?

Have we got your attention yet? A programming interface that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of developers know well; and a greenfield platform with the potential for tens of millions of devices in the near term, with intimate ties to major networks, studios, advertisers, and brands.

Think about the possibilities for two-screen apps: ones that complement particular shows on TV but also make use of the iPad and/or iPhone in the hands of the person on the couch.

Facebook apps perhaps? Netflix apps?

The future looks bright indeed.

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