Product Launch Predictions 2016-2017

So, I had this really interesting conversation with my colleague Nathanael. It was so interesting that I decided to write about it here. Let’s roll! Dropbox will launch their own smartphone OS It was Nathanael who made this incredible prediction (Although, I have to take credit for the following reasoning). Android has Google Drive as cloud service, iOS…

So, I had this really interesting conversation with my colleague Nathanael. It was so interesting that I decided to write about it here. Let’s roll!

Dropbox will launch their own smartphone OS

It was Nathanael who made this incredible prediction (Although, I have to take credit for the following reasoning).

Android has Google Drive as cloud service, iOS has iCloud, and Dropbox OS will have…Dropbox.

Also, the release of Dropbox paper made me open my eyes to the potential areas that Dropbox wants to gain market share.

Personally, I loathe Android. After having iOS all of my “smartphone life,” I switched to Android in July, so I could buy a Samsung VR Gear to play around with (which is awesome!). That’s when I discovered how awful Android is. It’s illogical, irrational, battery draining, ugly (in all it’s visual presets) and plain out weird (why does it download a 300 mb update of the uninstallable Microsoft Office once per week?!). To create a better OS than Android should be easy. Although, I must say the VR experiences on my Samsung are pretty awesome.

Back to Dropbox’s future direction… the recent acquisitions Dropbox has made, especially Clementine (an enterprise communication service that I think might have a bunch of technology suitable for this prediction), point toward a potential OS bid.

I think there’s a lot of competence already on board as well. Aditya Agarwal, who is the VP of Engineering at Dropbox, helped Facebook scale out their engineering team from 2007-2010. That’s the period Facebook experienced massive growth in mobile users. That’s a journey Dropbox will have to be ready for when launching BoxOS (yep, there’s gonna be a lot of namedropping in this article). Hmmm, maybe DropOS? Nah, sounds like “drop us” and that’s kind of the opposite of their acquisition intentions.

Although, by looking at their openings, it’s hard to find clues since they’re hiring all kinds of competencies.

But overall, this feels really obvious.

Facebook will launch a competitor to Google Analytics

Facebook Analytics is freaking awesome. Google Analytics is freaking terrible (which I would like to elaborate on in a later blog post). You do the math.

The launch of Facebook Pixel was a pretty clear step towards a new tracking experience with Facebook. Also, the information Facebook would get (for the same reasons Google benefits from it) is inevitable. Although, Facebook already gets insanely valuable data thanks for Facebook Pixel, launching a more comprehensive analytics program will only benefit them.

In more of a macro perspective, display advertising is becoming way more popular than search advertising – which will benefit Facebook in numerous ways. One of them being a bigger focus on Facebook Ads.

Apple will launch a VR/AR solution

This one is too easy…

  1. Apple acquired the Germany AR-company Metaio in May.
  2. This patent says it all.
  3. Virginia Tech professor Doug Bowman was recently hired. He has a past with Microsoft HoloLens.
  4. Apple’s competitors Facebook, Samsung, and Microsoft are betting on VR/AR. So why shouldn’t Apple?

I don’t have to convince you any more.

Facebook will launch VR Ads

As I said, I have a pair of Gear VR for my Samsung S6, made with Oculus as the software platform. To me, it’s pretty obvious how these ads will be seen:

  • In the menu of free apps, suggestively on unused areas such as the opposite side of the menu (if you turn your head 180 degrees).
  • App Install Ads in Oculus Home (which already seems to exist since the text “Sponsored” appears in some of the app).
  • Inside the experiences. Imagine running around in a free app and suddenly a popup appears in your face. Now, that’s not an ad impression – that’s an ad experience. Jokes aside… but you get the idea ;)

Sidenote: The other day, when I was watching some (360 degree) YouTube clips on my Gear VR – ads appeared. However, they were all mashed out and almost impossible to understand. It was obvious that YouTube hadn’t thought about how to display ads in the 360-degree format and that they hadn’t spared the extremely rare audience of VR viewers from these experience killers. Very peculiar.

Apple will launch 360-degree Facetime

It feels like Apple’s always been very proud of their Facetime app, so why not keep on developing it into something really awesome – such as VR compatibility? There are, of course, already some startups focusing on this functionality, but I think this will be “household” really quick. Probably more like 2017/2018 though.

The big question is: Who will manufacture and primarily sell the 360-degree camera for Facetime? Apple themselves? Will it be named i360? VRtime? FaceMe? iVR? iSee? Sorry, I’m shutting up with the namedropping now.

Random other predictions where I’m just guessing without having done any research

  • Netflix launches live stream content (Superbowl, The Oscars, and so on..). This will probably occur at the same time they stream the content in 360-degree format since Netflix is already implemented in Oculus.
  • Facebook will launch Live for everyone (users as well).
  • Facebook will start showing “seen” on videos, making it possible to see which one of your friends that have watched a video on Facebook.
  • Instagram will support 360-degree photos very soon.
  • Snapchat will launch text and call functionality. Seems so obvious though?
  • Here’s a long shot (not directly related to product launches): Alibaba will acquire Netflix.
  • Amazon will launch a competitor to Uber. AmaDrive? (Imma drive). Oh, I’m a funny guy…
  • Another long shot (because they’re fun): Google will acquire Twitter.

It’s only logical.